Woodlands want to put squeeze on the Saints

SKIPPER Pieter Swanepoel is urging his Woodlands side to seize the moment and put the squeeze on Division One leaders Pudsey St Lawrence tomorrow.

Albert Terrace stages arguably the match of the season in the Bradford League top flight, with both Woodlands and St Lawrence reeling after surprise defeats last time out.

Lawrence went down to their first league reverse of the campaign, at home to East Bierley, but Woodlands failed to cash in after losing out in another shock defeat to New Farnley.

It means that Lawrence remain 25 points clear of Woodlands at the season’s halfway point, although victory for the latter tomorrow would see them breathing down the necks of their Tofts Road rivals.

Ex-Yorkshire paceman Swanepoel said: “This is a big opportunity for us and we need to take it.

“About 10 years ago, when we won the league, we had a big 48-point margin and I remember we got caught up and had a bit of a bad run. It can happen.

“I think if St Lawrence don’t win it this year, then they won’t win it any other year with that big a gap definitely.

“But we know they are a very good side, with probably the in-form batsman in the league in (Mark Robertshaw).

“We played them in the semis of the Twenty20 last Sunday and they showed their power with their batting in chasing down a good score and it will certainly be a good game.

“We have played quite consistent cricket. Although our batting can still improve as bowling wise, we have got a good six-strong attack with some good variations.

“We feel we will be there or thereabouts, but we know we can play better than Saturday. We missed a chance to close the gap, which was unfortunate.

Woodlands succumbed to a first-class display from Farnley last time out and Swanepoel is not putting it past them gatecrashing the title race if they can field their Yorkshire contingent of James Middlebrook and Andrew Hodd and others with ex-White Rose links each week.

He said: “We were outplayed by a very strong New Farnley side and I think that if we or St Lawrence slip up, they will be the dark horses to win the league, especially if they have the Yorkshire players playing for them.”