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Champions v Champions-in-Waiting

Veterans League

Preview of the 10-Man League fixtures to be played on Tuesday 16 August

Division 1: Golcar Lib A v Lockwood Con A

We continue the preview format of selecting a Match of the Day in each division starting with an intriguing Division 1 clash with the 7-times Champions, Lockwood Con 'A', travelling to play the current leaders Golcar Lib 'A'.

The Lockwood team hasn't run up seven consecutive titles by giving up when behind in previous years and they wont be doing that this year until it is mathematically impossible and that is going to be some considerable time yet with such a wide-open competition this year. However the Cons team don't come into the match in the best of form having lost 3 of their last 4 matches and all the top half teams are smelling blood and eager to be in at 'the kill'.

The Golcar team has the easiest run-in of all the top teams with 5 of their final 7 matches, starting with this one, all at home and with the only unbeaten home record in the division they are best placed to lift the title for the first time since 2005.

Division 2: Lowerhouses v Milnsbridge A Having lost their last match 0-9 away at Thongsbridge 'A' the Lowerhouses team will be keen to address any suggestion that they can't handle the pressure of holding on to a promotion place.

That pressure has gone after that result and they get the perfect opportunity to knock on the head any doubts about their credibility as they welcome the table leaders Milnsbridge 'A' this Tuesday. With a game in hand and 3 points behind second placed Almondbury BC 'A' they need a win to build on their challenge for that 2nd promotion spot. With the Almondbury team having a home match against bottom-of-the-table Brockholes 'A' they are poised to take advantage of either team's loss this week.

The leaders continue to impress but have lost 2 of their last 3 away fixtures and will be keen to halt the run of a major rival and not concede any of their 14 points lead. With their next away match at Almondbury BC 'A' this is 'squeaky-bum' time and any hint of a break in standards will be seized upon by the chasing pack.

Division 3: Holmfirth A v Golcar Lib B This is a big match in the promotion battle in Division 3 as 2nd meets 4th and with the team wedged between them, Denby Dale, having a home match against foot-of-the-table Springwood, this is not a time to lose your nerve and show any weakness at all.

Holmfirth have home advantage and a 6 point lead over their visitors but have played a match more. Having lost their last 3 home matches, Holmfirth cannot afford to make that a run of 4 if they are to remain as the most potent threat to the leaders and more importantly hanging on to the 2nd promotion place. Golcar Lib 'B' are in their best run of the season with 3 straight wins including the scalps of the teams that were placed first and second at that time, Linthwaite Hall and Denby Dale.

Division 4: Brockholes B v Almondbury B We turn to matters at the wrong end of the table for our Division 4 Match of the Day with Brockholes 'B' at home to Almondbury BC 'B' who are 7 points ahead of them and in the final safe spot in the table. A big win for the home team could conceivably see them lifted right out of the relegation places altogether and that should be incentive enough to motivate them to bring their 'A' game to the fore. Having won their last 3 home games there is no reason that shouldn't be the case this Tuesday.

However the Almondbury side won for the first time this season away from home last Tuesday with a 7-2 win at Elland C&BC 'B' and a repeat of that performance would steady the relegation murmerings.

Division 5: Netherton Con B v Holmfirth B There is no relegation from Division 5 but if there was then these two teams would be in the thick of it currently holding 2 of the bottom 3 places. That doesn't mean that this is a less meaningful exercise, far from it. Just 4 points separate the two teams who are not used to seeing themselves in such lowly league positions and their pride at least will spur them both on.

Netherton Con 'B' were a Division 4 team in 2021 but had team-raising problems all season which contributed significantly to their eventual relegation. They still have similar problems but not so severe with failing to field a full team on 3 occasions to date this season. Whereas the Holmfirth team has only fallen short of a full complement of bowlers in one match, ironically that was the first meeting this season of these two teams when both teams declared one team member short each resulting in a 6-2 away win for the Netherton team.

Both teams have the problems that all B teams have - their A teams calling on their better players whenever they are short. Netherton started the season brightly winning 4 of their opening 5 fixtures but have only beaten Hemplow 'B' since then. All of Holmfirth's 3 wins this season have come from home games and they have won their last two on their own green so will fancy their chances once again this week no doubt.

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