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Old guard under pressure

Veterans League

Preview of the Veterans' 10-Man League fixtures for Tuesday 19 April

The new Division 1 season doesn't get any easier for the two prime contenders for the 2022 title as Lockwood Con 'A' and Elland C&BC 'A' try and get their seasons back on track. Both teams have had slow starts to the season with both having played a match less than the other teams and both losing the one match they have played. This week they both have away games at top-four opponents with the Champions, Lockwood Con 'A' at second-placed Marsh United 'A' and the Elland side are at Cowcliffe who currently occupy 4th place. That leaves the teams in first and third positions to clash at Kirkheaton Con where the leaders host Golcar Lib 'A'.

Meltham 'A' and Longwood are two teams also seeking their first wins of the season and both have home matches this week against Lindley Lib 'A' and Waterloo respectively. The final fixture in Week 3 pitches newly promoted Lindley BC 'A' away to Rastrick with both having won one and lost one of their opening fixtures and both keen to consolidate their mid-table positions.

Milnsbridge 'A' have made a bright start to their Division 2 season and have a real opportunity to put some distance between themselves and their main rivals this week.

They are at home to Thorpe Green whilst the next 5 teams in the table all have away fixtures albeit mainly against bottom-half teams who will all be keen to address their stuttering starts to the campaign. That especially applies to the two teams relegated from Divison 1 last term as the 'A' teams from Netherton Con and Thongsbridge are still looking for their first wins of the season. The Netherton team hosts second-in-the-table Shepley so will be really tested whilst Broad Oak will be keen to take advantage of their more gentle opening agenda when they travel to Thongsbridge 'A'.

Bradley & Colne didn't win an away match all last season so will need to concentrate on their home fixtures once again to ensure they don't get pulled into a relegation fight and will expect to pick up the majority of the points at home this week to Hemplow 'A'.

The Division 3 table shows three teams at the top who didn't play in that division last season with a mix of promoted, relegated and new teams forming the early challenge for prime positions in the promotion race.

Initial leaders Denby Dale have continued their 2021 Division 4 form and this week take their unbeaten record to Huddersfield Recreation Club whilst the new team from Linthwaite Hall travel to bottom-of-the-table Skel Windmill. That leaves Paddock I&C to continue their good start to the season and leave their 2021 relegation form well behind them as they entertain Springwood this Tuesday.

The meeting of the neighbours from Lindley Lib 'B' and Marsh United 'B' will provide a first winning opportunity for both teams who will be keen to begin a move up the table.

The leading five teams in Division 4 all have home fixtures this week with the leaders Ravensknowle Park taking on Thongsbridge 'B' with a real expectation of cementing their feet firmly in the prime position by extending their 2-point lead. However, the chasing pack will have something to say about that and the nearest two especially will be looking to reduce the leader's advantage. Second-placed New Mill 'B' host a Primrose Hill Lib side still looking for their first win of the season and Outlane have made a promising winning start to the season which they will aim to extend when the Milnsbridge 'B' side comes to visit.

Dalton are the Division 5 early leaders but that lead could be short-lived as they have a bye week this Tuesday although a four-point lead is some insurance against too big a drop. Greenhead Park and Broad Oak 'B' are both four points off the top and both will be looking to pass that mark with home games this week against two Kirkheaton teams. Greenhead Park host the Cricket Club's 'B' team who appear to be continuing their 2021 form and are again bottom of the table. Broad Oak 'B' have a more difficult looking encounter when they take on Kirkheaton Con 'B' who won their only match to date when seeing off an 8-man Hemplow 'B' side by 8-1 last week.

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