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10-Man League matchday preview

Veterans League

Preview of the Veterans 10-Man League fixtures for June 27

These fixtures herald the half-way point in the 10-Man League season with every team playing every other team in their division once. This should give a fair indication of the real state of play in each division but things change don't they?

Golcar Lib 'A' sit at the tpp of the Division 1 table with a home fixture this Tuesday against Lockwood Con 'A', a meeting that doesn't raise the trepidation that it would have done not so long ago. With a 21-point difference between the teams the reigning Champions have every reason to be confident of the outcome. They could even stretch their 12-point lead over their two main opponents for the title, Cowcliffe and Rastrick who are locked together on 59 points, with both having difficult looking fixtures this week. Third-placed Rastrick host 4th-placed Waterloo who have lost their last three away fixtures and 2nd-placed Cowcliffe go to Elland C&BC which is not the fortress it once was but never the less still a difficult venue for any team.

Lowerhouses are on the upward path after initially struggling to come to terms with the higher level of bowling after their promotion when losing their first three matches of the season. They have steadily improved since then to gradually climb the table and now sit in 4th place with a home match this week against relegation-threatened Longwood who have lost their last three matches.

Worrying times for Marsh United 'A' who appear to be in free-fall at present on a run of five straight defeats, four of them against teams below them in the table at the time of playing. That came after a grand opening to the season when they won 5 of their first 6 matches to head the table at one point. Things don't get any easier for them as they travel to play a Clayton West team desperate for points to keep out of the relegation places this Tuesday. Their next match is a visit from the table leaders Golcar Lib 'A' in 2 weeks time who will be looking for revenge against the only team to beat them on their own green this season.

Bottom-of-the-table Milnsbridge 'A' will attempt to be the first visiting team to win at Kirkheaton Con 'A' this season to complete the day's Division 1 programme.

After winning five matches on the bounce by the same 6-3 scoreline the Almondbury BC 'A' team has gone off the boil losing 3 of their last 4 fixtures to drop out of immediate contention for the Division 2 title. This Tuesday they travel to play Shepley who have assumed the role of principle challenger to the leaders, Lindley Lib 'A'. Home advantage and the better recent form should see Shepley home here but will they get the 7 points needed to lift them top of the pile?

Third-placed Lindley BC 'A' lost for the first time in seven last week at home to Netherton Con so will be keen to return to winning ways when playing at Linthwaite Hall who are still coming to terms with this level of bowling after their promotion last year. Broad Oak 'A' are the form team having won 6 of their last 7 fixtures and with two home matches coming up will hope to continue that run. The first of those being against Thongsbridge 'A' followed by bottom-of-the-table Bradley & Colne next week so a real opportunity to add up the points and close that 8-point gap to the second promotion place. Consecutive away matches coming up for Bradley & Colne with the first this week at Thorpe Green who may be only two places above them but have only been beaten once at home this season.

Only Shepley have won on the New Mill green this season and the home team will expect to maintain that sequence when they welcome Hemplow 'A' this week who need to keep picking up points to ensure that they don't get dragged into the relegation race. They need to at least match the total that Holmfirth 'A' can muster from a trip to play Netherton Con 'A' which shouldn't be a hefty total. The Holmfirth side have lost their last 8 matches never collecting more than 2 points from any of their away matches and look nailed-on to continue to be involved in the relegation battle for the rest of the season.

There is just one fixture in the bottom three divisions with most teams involved in the Preliminary Round of the Sub-Team KO (preview coming up later). Slaithwaite and Golcar Lib 'B' are not involved in that competition so have taken the opportunity to rearrange their Division 3 fixture. Picking up five points from their trip to Slaithwaite would send the Golcar Lib 'B' team back to the top of the table on playing the same number of matches as their main opponents so a big incentive there.

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