Woodlands face test of trophy ambitions

Woodlands overseas player Sarfraz Ahmed can be devastating with bat or ball.
Woodlands overseas player Sarfraz Ahmed can be devastating with bat or ball.

Woodlands face a double test of their trophy ambitions with two tricky away games over an action packed double weekend.

Pieter Swanepoel’s side lie second in JCT600 Bradford League Division One, 24 points behind unbeaten leaders Pudsey St Lawrence.

Woodlands travel to third place Bradford and Bingley tomorrow and then face a re-arranged Heavy Woollen Cup second round tie at Huddersfield League outfit Barkisland on Sunday.

The strength in depth of the Woodlands side was shown on Monday when overseas player Sarfraz Ahmed batted at no10 and blazed 75 from just 36 balls to rescue his side against Farsley.

Woodlands had been reduced to 53-8 before Ahmed’s heroics allowed them to post 172, while Swanepoel then swept through the Farsley batting, claiming 7-16 as Woodlands won by 172 runs.

Bingley look set to provide a sterner test tomorrow and go into the game on the back of victory at Hanging Heaton, while Luke Bridge smashed 136 for Barkisland against Hall Bower on Monday so the Oakenshaw side will be wary of the double threat.

A cracking game is in prospect at Moorend tomorrow when champions Cleckheaton entertain a New Farnley side who could call on the services of Yorkshire wicketkeeper Andrew Hodd and county spinner James Middlebrook.

East Bierley will look to build on their Bank Holiday win over Cleckheaton when they travel to lowly Farsley.

Gomersal welcome Bradford Division Two leaders Morley to Oxford Road tomorrow, when second placed Scholes entertain Keighley.

Scholes trail Morley by 22 points, with Gomersal a further 17 behind, and Graham Hilton’s side will be keen to keep in touch with the leading promotion contenders.