Cleckheaton stars missing for club’s date with destiny

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OPPORTUNITY knocks for title-hunting duo Cleckheaton and Pudsey St Lawrence today.

History awaits for Cleckheaton in the form of a first top-flight title in the Bradford League if they claim four points at neighbours and outgoing champions Woodlands – not that they are expecting any favours.

If they fail to secure that haul, St Lawrence – who last won the title in 1991 – can become champions if they take maximum points at Lightcliffe.

John Wood’s Cleckheaton side are without the services of Yorkshire paceman Iain Wardlaw, influential with both bat and ball in the win over Saltaire last weekend, but who is on Scotland duty today while Ammar Mahmood has returned to Pakistan.

Spokesman Kevin Mitchell said: “I have spoken to David Worrall, our chairman, and he poo-pooed the idea of an after-match celebration – though we might think about it if we do it!

“We just don’t want to tempt fate. I remember Sam Allardyce doing that after his Blackpool side won 2-0 in the play-offs at Valley Parade and they printed the stuff about Wembley tickets and Bradford City went and won the second leg 3-0!

“We just hope we’ve enough in the locker. Although we don’t expect anything less than Woodlands trying their best. If the roles were reversed, we’d be.”

In Division Two, second-placed New Farnley need five points at home to champions Farsley to finish runners-up.

Waiting to pounce are Yeadon, who seem unlikely to slip up at home to struggling Great Horton.

Spen Victoria, who still have the most slenderest of hopes, are home to Brighouse.

Driffield aim to retain the Yorkshire League Cup on home ground tomorrow against champions York, whom they beat by just three runs in June.

In the Yorkshire Council Championship final, Elsecar face holders and South Yorkshire League and Whitworth Cup double-winners Whitley Hall at Ackworth.

In the Yorkshire Champions Trophy final tomorrow, Hoylandswaine face Woodhouse Grange at Wrenthorpe.

With issues in the top-flight of the Aire-Wharfe League settled, interest is in the second tier today.

Ilkley can lift the Division Two title if they beat fourth-placed visitors Thackley, with Rawdon, who visit Green Lane, waiting in the wings if they slip up.

Third-placed Knaresborough, still hopeful of promotion, go to North Leeds.

In the Wetherby League, it is a two-horse race for championship honours with new leaders Great Preston welcoming Garforth Parish Church, with the visitors’ relegation set to be confirmed if they lose.

Kirk Deighton, in second, welcome fourth-placed Wetherby.

Pontefract League title hopefuls Ackworth, Streethouse and Old Sharlston all have home comforts, against South Kirkby, Fishlake and Featherstone.

It is also the penultimate weekend in the Central Yorkshire League and in the Premier Division, time is running out for relegation-haunted Altofts, who face a tough game at home to second-placed Methley.

Third-from-bottom Ossett have a huge game at home to basement boys Northowram, who must win to keep their survival hopes alive.

In Division Two, Hopton Mills need three points against Methley A to clinch the title, while Scholes can secure promotion if they bag six points against visiting Mirfield.