Clubs face up to hectic finalé

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CRICKET clubs across the district are facing up to a hectic end to the campaign following one of the worst summers on record.

Both the Bradford and Central Yorkshire Leagues have already extended their campaigns to accommodate matches re-arranged from the start of the season, while a host of cup finals have been re-scheduled after rain ruined play on the original dates.

Rain halted play in last Sunday’s Priestley Cup final, with East Bierley struggling on 99-6 against Manningham Mills.

Despite hard work from groundstaff at host club Spen Victoria, play was unable to resume — even on Bank Holiday Monday — so the match will be re-started on September 16.

Spectators will be admitted free to the replay, which will start at 11am.

Woodlands second team were due to play Baildon in the Crowther Cup at Shepley on Monday but that final was also postponed and will also be staged on September 16, which is the same day as the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy final between Wrenthorpe and Whitley Hall at Elsecar.

Liversedge faced similar problems when they staged the Heavy Woollen Cup final on August 5 as torrential rain left the ground flooded with Wrenthorpe 59-2 after 13 overs against Townville.

Competition organisers will have their fingers crossed for better weather this Sunday when the Heavy Woollen final will be replayed with a noon start.

There are still some important issues to be resolved going into the final four games of the Bradford League season.

Woodlands appear to be on course to retain the Division One title as theyb hold a 42 point lead over Cleckheaton.

They men from Oakenshaw have stuttered in recent weeks, while they have seen overseas star Sarfraz Ahmed return home but they will look to take another step towards the chamopionship crown when they travel to Pudsey Congs tomorrow (start noon).

The race for second is hotting up, with Cleckheaton, Lightcliffe and East Bierley in the hunt for the runners-up spot and separated by just six points.

Cleckheaton will be aiming to extend their 11-match unbeaten run but face a tough trip to Manningham Mills, Bierley entertain Hanging Heaton, who need points to pull clear of the relegation zone, while Lightcliffe host Pudsey St Lawrence.

Spen Victoria, Gomersal and Hartshead Moor can have a big saw in the Division Two promotion race when they meet the top three sides over the weekend.

Spen, who have put together a fine recent run and lie sixth, travel to third placed Morley and then entertain leaders Baildon.

Gomersal will be aiming to dent Baildon’s title hopes when they meet at Oxford Road tomorrow, while Hartshead Moor travel to Yeadon and are then at Gomersal on Sunday.

Gomersal and Spen are just off the promotion pace but with a game in hand could yet get into the top two but would need to win their remaining matches and hope for favourable results elsewhere.