Landmark year for Tod and Sutcliffe wants some success

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TODMORDEN have set their sights on trying to mark the club’s 175th anniversary season by winning a trophy.

The Centre Vale Park team open their Lancashire League programme at Ramsbottom tomorrow and captain Andrew Sutcliffe sees no reason why his men should not be in the hunt for honours this summer.

“Over the last three seasons we have finished in the top four and gone far in all the cup competitions without bringing home any silverware,” he said.

Sutcliffe is hoping for a little more improvement to tip the scales and returning Pakistani professional Qaiser Abbas is obviously central to their hopes after his superb 2011 campaign.

Tod, who are one of the many clubs who have been netting at the Cricket Asylum in Sowerby Bridge, have lost Nick and Stevie Barker back to neighbours Walsden but Elliot Gilford, Joe Hanson and Kristian Garland have made the trip in the opposite direction.

“I think we have got a well balanced side that is good enough to beat last year’s achievements,” added Sutcliffe, who believes he has the best opening pair in the league in batsmen Simon Newbitt and Ben Sutcliffe.

Lee Pearson is captaining the second team this year and Gareth Rudderforth is taking charge of the third team.

Abbas arrived on Wednesday and if he can go close to matching last summer’s haul of 981 runs at 61.31 and 114 wickets at 12.03, then his captain will be delighted.

Ramsbottom, who finished one place below Tod in fourth last season after being champions the year before, have recruited a record breaking South African, Pieter Malan, as their overseas man. He was due to arrive yesterday.

THE opening weekend of the amateur season is in danger of being a damp squib.

Lightcliffe’s return to the Bradford League’s top flight was put on hold when the league called off the opening programme.

Division Two outfit Brighouse were also affected with the management board rearranging the programme for Saturday, September 15.

The Central Yorkshire League took similar action after heavy rain inmidweek, meaning Calderdale club Northowram Fields must now go to Methley on Sunday, July 22.

Towergate Halifax League chiefs decided against a blanket postponement but tomorrow’s opening Sunday Section Division Three programme is off with teams getting six points each.

Group matches in the Rod Warhurst Cup, which involves teams in the top two divisions, are still on but host clubs will be allowed to apply common sense and call games off if there is clearly no chance of play.

Sunday Section secretary Martin Reppion explained that the clubs in the higher divisions were spread over a wider area and tended to be better prepared to deal with bad weather.

HALIFAX League club Triangle are looking for extra players for their under 11 and under 17 teams. Anybody interested should contact Colin Gledhill on 07973 600631.