It is a big cup weekend for three of Calderdale’s strongest sides with the first round of the Huddersfield and Bradford League competitions.
Elland, Barkisland and Lightcliffe all have attractive home ties with the former two in the Sykes Cup tomorrow and Lightcliffe in the Priestley Cup on Sunday.
Elland will be hoping to make it four wins out of four at the start of their campaign, Paul Winrow’s side having notched a double against Holmfirth and Delph and Dobcross last weekend after opening with a success at Marsden.
Mark Ward, still very much Elland’s cricket chairman, is delighted with Elland’s early form but expects Kirkburton to be tough nuts to crack.
“They were a top four side last year and have started quite well so it should be a tough game,” he said.
Sean Fox, young Jack Hendy and Greg Finn are among the Elland players who have hit the ground running but Winrow’s side will have to manage without Indian Rahul Bakshi again this weekend.
The top order batsman arrived in this country on Wednesday but is not eligible for the first round of the cup having not yet played a league game.
Bakshi, who has some first class experience, is a proven performer at this level having averaged 45 for Slaithwaite last season and also played in the Central Yorkshire League.
Elland will be coming face to face with a couple of their former players gthis weekend - pace bowler Craig Fletcher and Kirkburton’s skipper Greg Buckley.
Another interesting opponent is likely to be Yorkshire second teamer Gurman Randhawa. The left arm spinner made headlines recently when he was hit for six sixes in an over by Lancashire’s Jordan Clark at Scarborough.
Elland have been short of trophies in recent years , with only a success in the Huddersfield League’s Twenty/20 competition to their name.
Ward is keen to improve that record saying: “We were second in the league last year and it would be nice to go one better this time.”
Barkisland, with their overseas player Lorenzo Ingram now in the ranks, should have two much firepower for Frank Platt Conference side Linthwaite.
Lightcliffe, beaten by Woodlands last weekend in the battle of last season’s top two in the Bradford League, host Hanging Heaton tomorrow before an attractive home game against Spen Victoria in the cup on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Illingworth travel to Addingham in the Aire/Wharfe League following mixed fortunes last weekend.
They got off the mark in Division Three with a 36-run win over Menston, in which Alex Ledger (47) and Luke Brooksby (four for 30) were the star performers.
However, their Waddilove Cup campaign was shortlived on Sunday when they lost a bowl off 4-1 to Adel after their opponents had made 55 without loss before rain.