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Veterans 6-Man League season preview

Veterans League

The Veterans League season opens on Monday 3 April with a full 6-Man League programme of fixtures with all 36 teams full of hopes for the 2023 season. Lets take a look at some of the major contenders for honours this coming season.

Shepley were the 2022 Division 1 Champions some 8 points ahead of Honley Con in the final league table. With Honley Con dropping out of the League to play in the Heavy Woollen Monday Afternoon League it leaves the way open for Shepley to take a third consecutive title.

The League shouldn't be losing teams to the Heavy Woollen League just because of a League rule which restricts team selection of 6-man teams.

The 2022 final league tables suggest that Golcar C&BC are the most high profile threat to the Champions but on past form it is difficult to see them mounting a serious challenge to the runaway leaders. The tinkering of the 75% rule may help Crosland Moor to play a stronger team more frequently and they could become the major threat to the reigning Champions.

Marsh United A had a good 2022 season taking the Division 2 title by a clear 17 points and only losing two games all season and it will be interesting to see how they fare at this higher level.

Linthwaite Hall were clearly out of their depth in their first season in the League when they were unwisely placed in Division 1 and they could develop into a good Division 2 team this year but it would still be a surprise to see them among the promotion front-runners this year.

I think the triple threat coming from the next three teams, behind the promoted duo, of Holmfirth A, Clayton West and Slaithwaite is more likely to see the promotion pair emerging from this trio of teams.

Slaithwaite in particular if they can get their team selection sorted out so that they field a full team every week will be a serious contender for honours this year. They failed to field a full team for most of the second half of the season last year, going down to a 2-man team on one occasion and with the change to the 75% rule and with a more careful team selection process should be a major player in the title race.

Clayton West spent many seasons in Division 1 so will be keen to return to that level again and their success in winning the Julie Fuller Trophy last year could provide the platform and momentum to mount a serious title challenge. With the Holmfirth A team finishing above both Slaithwaite and Clayton West they also have to be a strong contender for a promotion push.

Golcar Lib come up from Division 3 after winning 19 of their matches last season sending out strong messages of their intent and potential. That being the case they could also find themselves in the promotion mix in a division which I expect to be the most closely contested of all three divisions this year.

New Mill were a little unfortunate to find themselves in Division 3 for the 2023 season after losing their Division 2 status on a lower aggregate total last year. That misfortune or not will be tested this year and they will expect to be in the promotion shake-up come next September.

Hemplow and Marsh Lib improved their results as the season progressed last year and if that momentum hasn't left them than they too should feature more highly this time around. Thongsbridge will have two teams in Division 3 this season and with some home matches being played on a Friday it will be interesting to see how visiting teams approach this new format and what opportunities it might offer them around team selection.

If after reading this posting you feel the need to update your Fantasy League selections you can still do that up until the 12noon deadline next Monday. Just complete another full entry form and in the box that asks 'Is this is your first entry or a replacement entry' just make the replacement entry option and this will then overwrite your previous entry.

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