Rivals set for classic cup semi

Woodlands v East Bierley'Woodland's Sarfraz Ahmed
Woodlands v East Bierley'Woodland's Sarfraz Ahmed

THE top two Bradford League sides clash on Sunday when Woodlands make the short trip to East Bierley in a mouth watering Priestley Cup semi-final.

Although Woodlands are chasing a sixth Division One title in eight years, their only Priestley Cup success came in 2006 when they defeated Bowling Old Lane.

East Bierley in contrast have a great pedigree in the Priestley Cup and they became the first side to register a hat-trick of wins between 1998-2000, while they also won the trophy in 2009 and were runners-up to Pudsey St Lawrence last season.

Sunday’s semi-final should be a cracking contest as it pits together arguably the best bowling attack in the league, with overseas star Sarfraz Ahmed, captain Pieter Swanepoel, left arm spinner Chris Brice and promising young bowler Scott Richardson set to come up against Bierley’s batting line-up which includes ex-county man Lee Goddard, former Scotland captain Gavin Hamilton and hard hitting Andrew Rennison.

Sarfraz has spent well over a decade as Woodlands overseas man and his reputation with the bat, especially late in an innings, is formidable.

He hit a 23-ball half-century in last Saturday’s league win at Hanging Heaton.

Woodlands entertain Farsley in Bradford Division One tomorrow aiming to stretch their 38-point lead over East Bierley, who are at home to Manningham Mills.

Cleckheaton make the short trip to Hanging Heaton tomorrow aiming to put pressure on Bierley and third-placed Pudsey St Lawrence.

Moorenders captain John Wood and brother Ian pledged their future to Cleck, who will look to build on an impressive run which has seen them climb to fourth.

A fine run has taken Gomersal to the brink of the Division Two promotion race and they will aim to pile further pressure on the three sides above them when they welcome near neighbours Spen Victoria to Oxford Road.

Hartshead Moor dropped off the promotion pace last week when they suffered two defeats but they will be looking to bounce back with a trip to Brighouse.

Liversedge and Scholes face double weekends in Central Yorkshire League Division One, with fixtures re-arranged from the opening day taking place on Sunday.

Sedge meet the bottom two, away to Methley A tomorrow before facing bottom side Wakefield Thornes A, while Scholes are at Oulton and then host Methley A.