A review of the 10-Man League matches played on Tuesday 24 May
This week's Division 1 fixture programme didn't have the appearance of shock results waiting to happen but that is how it turned out at both ends of the table. Longwood started the day having lost all six league matches they had played without a hint of returning to the form that had secured them a third-place finish last season. With the trepidation that comes with the league leaders visiting hopes were not high of securing that elusive first win. Amazingly not only did they win but in an emphatic manner with a 7-2 scoreline despite losing one of the pairs games 1-21 which took them out of the relegation zone.
This week was supposed to be a real opportunity for Lindley BC 'A' to use their strong home form as the launchpad for a move away from the lower reaches of the division with neighbours Lindley Lib 'A' coming to visit and not in the best of form having lost six of their first seven matches. That is not how it turned out with the visitors rising to the challenge to run out 5-4 victors with a 134-125 aggregate advantage but drop a place despite that.
Lockwood Con 'A' team's revival took a setback with a 3-6 reversal at Waterloo who are now in a rich vein of form. With the Kirkheaton Con 'A' match at Cowcliffe postponed due to a Cowcliffe 'A' team bowler passing away on Monday. That allowed Golcar Lib 'A' to take advantage of Marsh United's slip up and move closer into contention after a 7-2 home win over a Clayton West team that hasn't got into top gear at all this season yet. No slip up for Elland C&BC 'A' as they posted a 6-3 home win over Meltham and climb into the top 5.
Not a good day for the Division 2 bottom two as Brockholes 'A' and Lockwood Con 'B' both lost and become increasingly separated from the other teams in the division. Brockholes are now 16 points away from safety after 8 games and showing few signs of recovering from that in a run of five consecutive defeats. This week they lost 2-7 at home to local derby rivals Thongsbridge 'A' who moved smoothly up into a mid-table position.
The Lockwood Con 'B' side also lost at home but that was a much closer affair going down 3-6 to the league leaders Milnsbridge 'A' who were flattered by a 121-120 aggregate scoreline to pinch the bonus points on offer. That enabled the leaders to extend their lead to 6 points over Almondbury BC 'A' who had the setback of a 4-5 home loss to improving Netherton Con 'A'. Despite that fine win the Netherton team drop two places to sixth such is the congestion at the top end of this table.
The Almondbury team were the only losers in the top four with big wins for Broad Oak 'A' (8-1 over New Mill 'A') and 9-0 for Shepley over a disappointing Hemplow 'A' that arrived with hopes of pushing on from a mid-table position.
Home defeats for Lowerhouses and Slaithwaite temporarily halted their assaults on promotion places with Thorpe Green securing a first away win of the season at Slaithwaite who have now lost 3 of their 4 home matches and only their good away form keeps them out of danger of joining the relegation battle. Lowerhouses' promotion aspirations took a severe blow with a 2-7 home loss to rivals Bradley & Colne who were collecting a third away win and who now have the best away record in the division after having the worst (losing all 13 matches) last season. The 127-128 aggregate score will provide some solace for Lowerhouses who after a bright start have lost their last two matches to teams above them in the table.
in a week of major surprises in Division 3 Almondbury Lib splattered the leaders Paddock I&C's unbeaten record with an 8-1 thrashing to mobilise their own thoughts of improving on their mid-table position. Having won all three home matches but lost all three away fixtures it is clear where Almondbury Lib's focus now needs to be concentrated. Action shots from this match are below.
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That result was sufficient to dislodge Paddock from the top spot who are passed by two teams as Holmfirth 'A' and Denby Dale overtake them after a 5-4 home win for Holmfirth over the Recreation Club which puts them at the top of the pile. A remarkable 8-1 away win for Denby Dale at Linthwaite Hall enabled them to take over second place from Linthwaite Hall who drop three places to fifth. Things remain very tight at the top with the top two both losing and now just 5 points between the top six teams before you even get down to Almondbury Lib who caused the week's biggest upset.
Bottom of the table Marsh United 'B' recorded a first win of the season when beating visitors Springwood by 7-2 which brings them just one point behind the three teams immediately above them. Golcar Lib 'B' won the mid-table confrontation at Kirkheaton C&BC 'A' by 7-2 and that pushed the victors up into fourth place and only 3 points off the top. The Lindley Lib 'B' v Skel Windmill result remains unrecorded at the time of writing this review.
Division 4 leaders Elland C&BC 'B' were scheduled to travel to play third-placed Outlane but that has been postponed until 16 June and saw both teams lose their positions as a result. The leaders inaction sees them drop to third whilst Outlane drop four places to seventh and Ravensknowle Park recapture the top spot after winning 7-2 at New Mill 'B'. Primrose Hill Lib also profit from the results skipping past three teams to go second after a 7-2 home win over Lindley BC 'B'.
Milnsbridge 'B' and Almondbury BC 'B' were level on points at the start of the week as they met this Tuesday but a 7-2 home win for the Milnsbridge outfit eased their concerns a little and left their opponents in the second relegation place. Below them Brockholes 'B' continue to look adrift of the pace and a 2-7 loss at the Rugby Club did nothing to address that situation. A 3-6 home loss for Thongsbridge 'B' by Meltham 'B' did nothing to ease their relegation concerns as they are just above the relegation zone with only a two-point cushion for comfort.
A fifth straight win for Marsh Lib, this time by 7-2 over David Brown Sports, keeps them at the top of the Division 5 table but they haven't shaken off Dalton who remain a point behind the leaders after recording an identical 7-2 home win, this time over Broad Oak 'B'. Lining up behind the top two are last year's relegated pair of Netherton Con 'B' and Kirkheaton Con 'B' locked together on 27 points. Netherton recorded a 7-2 home win Kirkheaton C&BC 'B' whilst two rusty teams playing only their fourth matches of the season saw an 8-1 home win for Kirkheaton Con 'B' over Holmfirth 'B'.