Big guns aim to avoid Priestley Cup upsets

Cleckheaton and Woodlands will be aiming to avoid Priestley Cup upsets on Sunday when they face Division Two neighbours in the first round.

Bradford League champions Cleckheaton fell at the final hurdle last season when Pudsey St Lawrence denied them chance to complete the double.

By Cleckheaton’s own admission they were disappointing in last season’s Priestley Cup final when they were dismissed for 116 and St Lawrence completed an emphatic 107-run win.

This season’s cup challenge begins when they make the short trip to Gomersal in the first round.

Opening batsman Andrew Gorrod, who made 103 against Pudsey Congs last week, faces a return to the club where he began his career and Gomersal will be looking to put on a show against their illustrious opponents.

Another intriguing derby clash takes place at Oakenshaw, when early Division Two pace setters Scholes visit Woodlands.

Scholes came up short when they met first division Pudsey Congs in the Heavy Woollen Cup first round, although they were not helped when several of the team were taken ill on the eve of the game.

East Bierley have won the cup on nine previous occasions, including unprecedented hat-trick of successes between 1998-2000, and they face a cracking home clash against New Farnley.

Spen Victoria bid to reach the second round with a trip to fellow Division Two side Keighley, while three local sides are guaranteed to be in the hat as Hartshead Moor have a bye.

There is a full Bradford League programme tomorrow with East Bierley hosting Hanging Heaton, Woodlands at home to Saltaire and Cleckheaton away to Lightcliffe in Division One.