This Thursday is the opening round of the Bistro with Marsh United defending their title and looking for a third win in the last four holdings of the competition. They have to give a 12-points handicap start to the unbeaten Division 3 leaders Holmfirth 'A'. If any Veterans League competition can be guaranteed to throw up some surprise results it is the Bistro. The unique 5 Pairs format with aggregate scores counting and a handicapping system in place all contribute to the uncertainty that surrounds this all-5-divisions involvement. Every year we get shock results and we are expecting more of the same this year but where will they come from?
One potential banana skin waiting to be tread on awaits Division 1 side Longwood who have lost their first 4 league matches this season and they have to give a 28-point handicap start to Division 4 leaders Ravensknowle Park. An even bigger handicap difference awaits Cowcliffe who have to give 32 points start to Greenhead Park who almost created a major shock in last season's competition with a smaller handicap than that now available to them. With 5 Pairs matches the maximum number of points any team can collect is 105 so to start with a deficit of 32 is always going to challenge any team.
There are a number of team withdrawals from this year's competition which is normal with matches being played on a Thursday which can clash with other commitments for some teams. Four in total to date allowing the opponents of Rastrick, Broad Oak 'B' and the two Elland C&BC teams to pass through to Round 2 unopposed.
There is just a single all-Division 1 clash when Lindley BC 'A' and Lockwood Con 'A' meet at Brockholes so leaving plenty of examples of Division 1 teams meeting lower division opponents who will relish the opportunity to challenge the 'big boys'.
BISTRO KO 2022 Round 1 matches to be played on Thursday 5 May at 1.30pm