Division 1 title race is wide open

Veterans League

A preview of the 10-Man League fixtures scheduled for Tuesday 20 June

Fast approaching the half-way mark of the season when teams can take stock of their own situations but things continue to be anything but clear in Division 1. Only 8 points separate the top six teams and they keep taking it in turns to beat each other in the most open title decider for several years.

Champions Lockwood Cons are aiming for an eighth successive title and are now third after a slow start to their season. This Tuesday they welcome Longwood to their home green and will be looking to move up the table even further as second-placed Kirkheaton Con 'A' are without a game. Leaders Golcar Lib 'A' are at home to bottom of the table Lindley BC 'A' and anything other than a decisive home win would be a shock result.

Consecutive away defeats has seen Marsh United 'A' slip to 6th place and they will be keen to address that fall when returning to their own green to take on Waterloo this week. Rastrick have an unbeaten home record and if they are to become serious title contenders need to pick up more away points but wont find that easy this week at Meltham 'A' who have won 4 of their 5 home fixtures to date. Similar for Cowcliffe who need to improve their away points total but have to travel to take on home strong Clayton West this Tuesday.

The emerging threat from Almondbury BC 'A' can act as a spur to Milnsbridge BC with the teams now level on points at the top of the Division 2 table. Milnsbridge have Slaithwaite as visitors this week and they have a good away record so no assumptions should be made. The Almondbury side have to go to play at Thongsbridge 'A' who still seem to have a hangover after last year's relegation and have lost 3 of their last 5 matches.

Netherton Con 'A' seem to be adjusting better after their relegation and are in a run of 5 straight wins which has seen them shoot up the table to 3rd place. They will be well tested this week away at Bradley & Colne who sit one place and 3 points behind them. Fifth-placed Lowerhouses have won their last 2 matches by the same 8-1 scoreline and have to go to Hemplow this week who have lost 2 of their last 3 matches 0-9. However, they were both away from home and they are a different proposition on their own turf.

Bottom of the table Brockholes 'A' will not relish meeting unbeaten at home New Mill 'A' leaving the way open for the two teams immediately above them to sort out which is favourite to accompany them through the relegation trapdoor when they meet up this week. Thorpe Green are 4 points ahead of Lockwood Con 'B' and with home advantage will be looking to widen that gap further.

There is a top two clash in Division 3 as second-placed Linthwaite Hall host leaders Holmfirth 'A'. The home side will be keen to continue their good run in their first season back in the League whilst Holmfirth come into the match on the back of three straight wins against mid-table opponents. Denby Dale are well-positioned to take advantage of whichever team slips up as they have a home fixture against bottom-of-the-table Marsh United 'B' and only a 3-point gap to nullify to a promotion spot.

Fourth in the table Golcar Lib will be pushed all the way at Huddersfield Recreation Club who have won all four of their home matches this season. With bottom of the table Marsh United 'B' away at the leaders that provides an opportunity for the next two strugglers to ease themselves away from the nether regions and this week the two teams most in danger meet at Springwood where Almondbury Lib are the visitors. Springwood come off the back of a great 7-2 away win at Golcar Lib 'B' last week whereas Almondbury Lib still await their first away win of the season and have lost both of their last two fixtures.

There is a also a top two coming together in Division 4 as the leaders Ravensknowle Park travel to Lindley BC 'B'. Both teams are in good form but the onus is on the Lindley team as they are at home and 6 points behind the Park team in the table. The teams in 3rd and 4th positions are level on points and they meet each other this Tuesday. Huddersfield RUBC have home advantage whereas Primrose Hill Lib have the aggregate advantage and they will not be level on points much longer.

There are just 6 points between the bottom 5 teams and with the bottom two the only ones with home matches this week things could get even tighter. Two of those 5 teams meet this week as relegation-placed Almondbury BC 'B' are at home to Thongsbridge 'B' with that 2-point lead looking very precarious.

Division 5 leaders Dalton have the week off leaving the way open for Kirkheaton Con 'B' to put some daylight between themselves at the top of the table when they go to 4th-placed David Brown Sports. Marsh Lib's unbeaten league record is probably not in real danger when they play Kirkheaton C&BC 'B' this week with the home side on a run of four consecutive 2-7 defeats. The Greenhead Park v Broad Oak 'B' fixture brings together two teams locked together on 28 points and finally bottom team Holmfirth 'B' are at home to 3rd from bottom Hemplow 'B'.

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