Several local sides are involved in friendly matches this weekend but Lightcliffe skipper Chris Taylor believes his team have a ‘proper match’ on Saturday.
The Wakefield Road side host Methley (noon) in a battle of last season’s cup winners from the Bradford and Central Yorkshire leagues.
Taylor is sponsoring the game and the battle of the champions, between Townville and Cleckheaton (1.0) , through his All Rounder Cricket Store company which also sponsors the Central Yorkshire League.
The challenge matches were first played two years ago with Wrenthorpe defeating Woodlands and Pudsey St Lawrence overcoming Townville. Last year’s matches were called off because of snow.
Taylor said:”We’ll be playing for a trophy and we want to win - it will be a proper game.”
The prolific runmaker expects to have eight or nine of his first choice 11 in action.
One notable exception is overseas player Suleman Khan, due to arrive next week prior to the opening fixture away to East Bierley, who finished one place below Lightcliffe in third in 2013.
Lightcliffe have made two signings and lost two players over the winter.
Chris Greenwood is back with a glowing reference from Taylor who said: “In my eyes he is the best spinner in the Bradfofrd League.”
Taylor’s brother Matthew, who played only one game last year due to work commitments, will play more regularly and he will probably bat seven.
Medium pacer bowler Mahmood Rasool and middle order batsman David Hester are the pair to have left.
Lightcliffe will still be able to call on Yorkshire pair Moin Ashraf and Oliver Robinson.
The club has had a spectacular rise from Division Two also-rans to Lightcliffe almost winning the double in 2013. However, Taylor is urging caution.
“I don’t set any goals but we are reasonably strong.”
Sunday’s planned friendly between Huddersfield League side Elland and Central Lancashire League champions Walsden is off after rain at Hullen Edge.