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First home loss for Rastrick is a gift for the leaders

Veterans League

Review of the Veterans 10-Man League Divisions 1 & 2 fixtures played on Tuesday 18 July

A first home defeat of the season for Rastrick and against relegation-threatened Longwood 3-6 had ramifications at both ends of the Division 1 table. It will have given the winners heart to take the fight against the dreaded drop to the next level and frighten a few teams now on their radar but it also has an effect at the top of the table. With Golcar Lib thrashing Milnsbridge 'A' 9-0 it means they have now widened the gap to 17 points to Rastrick in 2nd place, an increase of 6 points in the week.

Kirkheaton Con 'A' now have the only 100% home record in the division and took that to 8 matches when beating Cowcliffe 6-3 to stay in third place one point ahead of Clayton West who were winning for the 7th time in their last 8 fixtures this time at home to Elland C&BC by 6-3.

Over the last three seasons Meltham 'A' have relied heavily on their home results to steer them away from the relegation spotlight. They have only won one away match in each of the last three seasons so relying on those home results to stay out of trouble. That home form has started to falter this season and losing this week to Waterloo at home by 4-5 makes it Won-4 Lost-4 so far this term. They are one of 5 teams separated by 3 points just above the two mandatory relegation places but with the threat of 3 teams being relegated this year, things are starting to look very tight.

Marsh United 'A' and Elland C&BC are in that group of five teams so the Marsh team's 6-3 away win at Lowerhouses is of special significance especially as Lowerhouses has become a bit of a stumbling block for many visiting teams. Elland lost at Clayton West 3-6 to make it three defeats on the trot and they are very much in the extra third-spot relegation mix being only 3 points up and having played one more match than most of the teams below them. Elland play at home to Meltham next Tuesday which will be a key fixture for both teams.

At the start of play on Tuesday there were four Division 2 teams vying for top spot and separated by a single point. That meant a 9-0 win for any of that quartet would be of significance and so it proved as Lindley Lib 'A' inflicted a whitewash scoreline on Almondbury BC 'A' to sprint past two title rivals and take-over at the top.

Previous leaders Lindley BC 'A' were the only losers in that top four going down 3-6 at Broad Oak 'A' and drop from top to fourth and five points behind the new leaders. Good home wins for Shepley (8-1 v Bradley & Colne) and Netherton Con 'A' (7-2 v Thongsbridge 'A') ensured that they still feature in the race for the title and promotion.

Almondbury BC 'A's 0-9 loss coupled with a 7-2 home win for Thorpe Green (v Hemplow 'A') saw Thorpe Green leapfrog a place but still within range of most of the teams below them in the table. The possibility of four teams being relegated from this Division means that the 7 teams in the bottom half of the table are all now in a relegation fight, make no mistake about that. They include Thongsbridge 'A' and Linthwaite Hall who both lost this week and a number of 'must win' matches lined up for most of that group of 7.

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