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Division 2 action replay

Winter League

A preview of the Divisions 1 & 2 fixtures to be played on Wednesday 4 January

On Monday we posted the Division 4 matchday preview report and highlighted the Milnsbridge 'B' v Lowerhouses 'B' fixture with the teams 2nd and 3rd in that division. Today we cover Divisions 1 & 2 and we have the identical situation in the Division 2 fixture programme as 2nd and 3rd go up against each other and this time it is the 'A' teams from the same two clubs, Milnsbridge and Lowerhouses, that are in confrontation.

This match is of particular interest with the leaders, Lindley BC 'A', set to manage without two of their regular bowlers who are unavailable for all of January. Steve Haigh tops the division's averages table at present whilst his wife, Irene, sits in 13th place as their team's top two bowlers in that table. How will the Lindley BC 'B' team manage without their top two bowlers? Is the 10-point lead they have sufficient to see them over the title chase line first?

Denby Dale will be the first outfit to test that strength in depth and they come on the back of two good wins which have lifted them away from the relegation zone and they will be keen to continue that journey to safety and consolidate their future at the same level for next season.

Jackson Bridge are unbeaten in their last four matches (won 3, drawn 1) but remain in the relegation places so are desperate for points themselves as they line up against Springwood 'A' who haven't won any of their last three matches which has seen them drawn nearer to the relegation tussle and further from hopes of promotion which they harboured until recently. Meanwhile Rastrick 'A' continue to struggle and are now 20-points away from safety and showing little sign of improving on the form that took them there.

One point separates the top two teams in Division 1 and they take on the 3rd and 4th placed teams this week who are level on 38 points but 6 points off the pace at the top. Leaders, Thorpe Green 'C', take on 3rd placed New Millers who recorded a first win in 4 when seeing off Lindley BC 'A' last week. Such is the closeness of teams in the division that this was sufficient to lift them from 7th to 3rd.

Fourth-placed Lindley Lib 'A' have had two good wins on the bounce and will be in good heart when they meet Lower Hopton this week but with only 4 points between 3rd and 7th positions some rocky times are ahead for some of these teams. Included in that group of 5 teams are Kirkheaton Con and Meltham locked together on 34 points but with Meltham in the second relegation place at present. A relegation place probably awaits the loser of this fixture and with that comes the pressure to perform as the season drifts into the final quarter.

Clayton West have only won one of their last four fixtures, mind you they have only lost one of those as well, but such is the density of mid-table that teams can easily be caught out and pitched into a relegation battle with a couple of bad results. That makes it important for the Clayton team to win their match this week against bottom-of-the-table Lindley BC 'A'.

The Lindley side has only clocked up one win this season but that was against the leaders Thorpe Green 'A' so the potential is obviously there but they haven't shown it enough to stay out of trouble and their fate seems sealed. Lots still to play for at both ends of the table as we look forward to another riveting mix of results this Wednesday at Milnsbridge with an 11.30am start time as usual.

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