WE’RE nearly in July yet it will be the first time that Bradford Premier League rivals Woodlands and New Farnley will have come face to face with one another this season.

Champions for the last four campaigns, Woodlands have set the tone at the table’s summit in recent years.

However, New Farnley have pushed them all the way and have finished runners up the last two years.

Today’s meeting between the two sides presents both with a different opportunity – to narrow the deficit between themselves and Jer Lane who currently sit in 1st place – Woodlands (today’s hosts) in 3rd and New Farnley in 2nd place respectively.

Looking ahead to the latest edition of this highly anticipated fixture across West Yorkshire, the champions’ captain, Brad Schmulian said: “We’re feeling confident about this one.

“We’ve been watching from afar with New Farnley and haven’t really had anything to do with them, so we’re not totally sure on how they are playing this year, but we know that we’re in good form and our spirits are high.

“The weather is scheduled to be nice for it too, which always helps, so we’re looking forward to the game.”

Schmulian admitted that it’s a contest that will require his players to be on their A-game.

He said: “They’re a great team, we know that very well because we’ve been in some top battles with them over the years.

“They’ve got a number of match winners who can flick the switch at any given moment, so you need to always be on it and prepared for the different challenges that they can throw at you.

“For sure, I do think it requires us to be that little bit more focused than usual because of the quality of opposition.”

The battle between Woodlands and New Farnley at the top of the Bradford Premier League has come to fruition even more so in the past few years, but Schmulian admitted, that despite the challenges that their rivals throw at them, he and his teammates enjoy the competition.

He said: “I wouldn’t call it a rivalry as in there’s hatred between the two teams, but I’d call it a competitive rivalry – one that gets the best out of both teams.

“We want to beat each other but that’s where it ends.

“We’re too extremely competitive teams that are used to winning cricket matches, and obviously that means someone to lose at the end of the day. There’s more of a possibility of us losing against a team like New Farnley because of the way they play.

“However, win or lose, we are two sides that play cricket in the right way and I’m expecting the same this Saturday.

“I’m sure will be in for another entertaining contest this time around.”