Champions Woodlands face top-two showdown

15 june 2013'Bradford League. Gomersal v Farsley.'Gomersal's James Russell appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of Farsley's Mark Harrison.
15 june 2013'Bradford League. Gomersal v Farsley.'Gomersal's James Russell appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of Farsley's Mark Harrison.

Champions Woodlands are ready for their toughest test to date when they travel to Cleckheaton in Bradford League Division One tomorrow.

Cleckheaton have emerged as the biggest challengers to Woodlands’ crown and lie 24 points behind Pieter Swanepoel’s men as the campaign reaches halfway.

Woodlands have only lost one of their opening 10 games and although they have lost influential all-rounder Chris Brice to injury, they are again the side to beat in this season’s title race.

Cleckheaton are also playing some quality cricket in the league and last week’s 47-run victory over Saltaire owed much to the efforts of captain John Wood, who made 41 and claimed 3-17, and Ian Nicholson who top scored with 66.

The Moorenders have the added boost of being able to select Scotland and Yorkshire fast bowler Iain Wardlaw for the showdown as he is not involved in the County Championship game against Surrey.

East Bierley lie seventh in the table and go in search of a fifth win tomorrow with a trip to bottom side Morley.

Spen Victoria have emerged as genuine promotion contenders with nine wins from their opening 11 matches in Division Two.

Spen are only six points behind leaders Farsley and have opened a 17-point gap on third-placed New Farnley.

Tomorrow could prove to be a key day in the promotion race as Spen travel to Brighouse, while Farsley entertain New Farnley.

Another side with a keen eye on those games are Gomersal, who will be aiming to make up ground when they host Undercliffe.

Gomersal lost to Farsley last week, and are 34 points behind Spen but are capable of beating anyone on their day.

Hartshead Moor are 10th, level on 95 points with tomorrow’s opponents Windhill.