Bierley set sights on cup progress

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IT’S 32 years since East Bierley were crowned the best village cricket team in Britain having won a Lord’s final.

On Sunday the club take a step towards further national honours when they entertain Townville in the English Cricket Board National Cup Championship regional semi-finals, 1pm start.

The 2011 East Bierley squad are looking forward to an intriguing contest with Townville who play in the Central Yorkshire League.

Both teams are fifth in their respective top divisions and both will have ambitions of making progress in the competition.

Bierley captain Lee Goddard is in fine form while Mohammed Azhar Ullah has proved a threat with the ball this season.

East Bierley may have to contend with a new threat in the Townville ranks as this week they have signed bowler Khurran Chohan.

He played for Canada in the recent World Cup in India and Sri Lanka and the 31-year-old seamer claimed the wickets of England’s Kevin Petersen, Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell.

Already in the competition East Bierley have disposed of Hanging Heaton and Alfreton, both away, and should Bierley progress on Sunday they will be drawn at home in the regional final.

The winners from each of the 16 groups progress to the national stage, which is a further three rounds plus the final at the Derbyshire County Ground.

Bierley warm up for the contest with a home match against Manningham Mills who are second- bottom of the Division One table.

Bierley have been drawn awy to Bradfordc nad Bingley in the Priestley Cup.

Woodlands are also in cup action on Sunday as they visit Shepley of the Huddersfield League in the Heavy Woollen Cup quarter-finals 1pm start

It makes a nice change to play different teams and Woodlands will relish the challenge. Shepley are showing good signs this season and are up to fifth in the Huddersfield top flight.

Woodlands will be brimming with confidence after a run of five successive league wins has lifted them to third place in the Bradford League, quite a turnaround after they lost their first two matches of the season.

They leapfrogged over East Bierley last Saturday night following a comfortable victory over Manningham Mills. Chris Brice was the star of the day with a hat-trick in a remarkable 5-19 haul. He will be hoping for a similar performance in the league and cup matches.

Woodlands will be tested in the league tomorrow as they entertain neighbours Cleckheaton who are also on a winning run of three matches in their last four league matches which has lifted them out of the bottom three and up to ninth place.

Cleckheaton were in swashbuckling form last Saturday against Hanging Heaton who were bowled out for 56. Yorkshire second teamers James Lee and Iain Wardlaw did the damage with five wickets apiece.

Cleckheaton also made progress in the Priestley Cup on Monday with a 69-run win over Hartshead Moor to boost their win tally even further. They have been given a prime home tie against Woodlands in the quarter finals.

The points regime in the Bradford League may be a little on the complicated side but it does make for continued interest.

Gomersal were in the relegation zone two weeks ago but now they are up to a more healthy-looking eighth place after a tremendous confidence boosting success over Pudsey St Lawrence.

With this one match Gomersal have shown they can match and even better anything anyone can throw at them. Pudsey’s opening pair put on 160 but Gomersal did not let it faze them and Andrew Gorrod, Greg Pickles and Ben Platt answered with 100, 75 and 53 respectively.

Gomersal now need to make it count as they travel to Jenny Lane tomororw to meet Baildon.

Gomersal will be clocking up the mileage this weekend as they travel over the Pennines to Delph and Dobcross in the quarter-finals of the Heavy Woollen Cup.

It will be a testing time for the Oxford Roaders as their opponents are pressing near the top of the Huddersfield League Premier Division.

Gomersal’s second team have been given a tough away draw at Baildon in the Priestley Shield quarter finals, a reward for their demolition of Keighley last Sunday.

In Division Two Hartshead Moor will be aiming to get back to winning ways when they travel to Bankfoot. They lost by five wickets to high fliers Morley last Saturday.

A win would see Moor climb up the table as Bankfoot are just two points ahead of Hartshead so there is plenty at stake.

Spen Victoria are not in league action on Saturday.

PRIESTLEY CUP & SHIELD DRAWS

Priestley Cup quarter-finals, Sunday, June 19, 1pm: Manningham Mills v Pudsey Congs; East Bierley v Bradford & Bingley; Idle v Pudsey St Lawrence; Cleckheaton v Woodlands.

Priestley Shield quarter finals Sunday, June 19 1pm: Yeadon v Hartshead Moor, Cleckheaton v Pudsey Congs*;

Baildon v Gomersal; Manningham Mills v Pudsey St Lawrence*

* Denotes venue switched.