Woodlands ready to face champions St Lawrence

Mark Lawson is one of several star players on show when Woodlands take on champions Pudsey St Lawrence this Saturday.
Mark Lawson is one of several star players on show when Woodlands take on champions Pudsey St Lawrence this Saturday.

Woodlands are gearing up to welcome Bradford League champions Pudsey St Lawrence to Albert Terrace in what should be a cracking early season contest on Saturday.

The two sides have won their opening three league games with St Lawrence bidding for a third consecutive top flight title.

Woodlands are expected to be one of the closest challenges to Pudsey St Lawrence having strengthened in the close season with the signings of all-rounder Mark Lawson and top order batsman Jamie Pickering, who made a debut century in last week’s win over East Bierley.

St Lawrence have kept the majority of the side that featured in the inaugural Yorkshire Premier Leagues Grand Final in Abu Dhabi last season, with the addition of top order batsman Charlie Best.

Woodlands are also in action on Sunday and will welcome back one of their former title winning captains, Tim Orrell, when they entertain Huddersfield League Championship high fliers Mirfield Parish Cavaliers in the Heavy Woollen Cup second round.

East Bierley bid to bounce back from last week’s defeat against Woodlands when they travel to another unbeaten side, Farsley.

At the other end of the table, Cleckheaton will target a first win of the campaign when they make the short trip to Mount Pleasant to take on Batley.

Cleckheaton may have lost their opening three matches — against New Farnley, Woodlands and Farsley — but they pushed St Lawrence all the way in a cracking Priestley Cup tie last week before being edged out by three runs.

Cleckheaton’s new overseas player, Qaisar Ashraf, is settling in well and a win may not be too far away for John Wood’s Moorenders.

Hartshead Moor have made a terrific start in Championship Two with three straight wins, although they were made to battle all the way last week before edging past Northowram Fields by one wicket.

Their latest test comes at home to Hunslet Nelson on Saturday with the visitors arriving having won two of their opening three games.

Buttershaw St Paul’s are the early pace setters, four points above Hartshead, and they face a tricky trip to Liversedge on Saturday.

Liversedge picked up their first win last week as veteran opener Alan Sumner hit his first century of the season as they defeated Brighouse by 133 runs.