WOODLANDS’ SENIOR stagers may be ticking over as good as ever in 2014, but the kids are alright too.
That’s the early-season message from club secretary Brian Pearson, with the typically savvy contributions of three of their main men and match-winners in Chris Brice, Pieter Swanepoel and Safraz Ahmed being backed up by some polished showings from the younger brigade.
It was the duo of Scott Richardson and close-season recruit Logan Weston who came to the party in league and cup wins over Pudsey Congs and Baildon respectively last week, with Bradford League sides again doubling up this Bank Holiday weekend.
Second-placed Woodlands start tomorrow, weather permitting, with a trip to top-flight newboys New Farnley before hosting the side who currently lead them in the Division One table in Farsley in an attractive-looking encounter at Albert Terrace on Bank Holiday Monday.
Woodlands junior product and first change bowler Richardson (56no) joined forces with Cumberland county player Weston (48no) at the crease to impressive effect to see Woodlands home comfortably in the eight-wicket win over Congs.
They were at it again the next day in the six-wicket Priestley Cup success over Baildon, with Weston leading the way with 88 – Richardson hitting 56 after being promoted to open and Pearson hopes there is more to come.
Pearson said: “It was our two youngsters that batted superbly last weekend after we lost some early wickets, with Logan doing well and Scott batting beautifully.
“Scott has been batting at number 11. We were actually laughing with him the other day in that after scoring runs last weekend, he could find himself back at number 11 this week. But it’s nice to have that strength in depth.”
He added: “It’s been a good start to the season and the teams I expected to do well have done so, such as Farsley, Pudsey St Lawrence and ourselves as well. It’s going according to the formbook, in terms of sides on paper.
“Our bowling unit is also looking good, with Saffy (Ahmed), Pete (Swanepoel) and Bricey bowling well and if we can come out of this weekend with two wins, then we will be really pleased. We will be in good nick.”
Tomorrow’s game sees New Farnley’s Scott Richardson snr face his former club, with Pearson expecting all of their big players to return after their comprehensive cup exit to Pudsey St Lawrence last Sunday.
Pearson said: “Their form so far has been hit and miss. But when you bring a disparate group of players in, it does not always knit straightaway.
“I know they lost to Pudsey St Lawrence in the cup on Sunday, but I think it was a bit of a false situation as they have three of their big players missing as there was no (Ian) Fisher, (Nick) Walker and (Lee) Goddard.
“Take those out of a side and you will struggle. But I dare say that they will be all be back on Saturday to play against us.”
Leaders Farsley, ahead of their trip to Woodlands, welcome third-placed Pudsey Saints in the first part of a key weekend double-header.
Yeadon, without a win in five matches so far, visit East Bierley, while Hanging Heaton visit Pudsey Congs, also seeking for their first league success of 2014 after a dismal opening. Morley welcome champions Cleckheaton.
Action in Division One sees Otley put the only unbeaten record on the line at Burley.
Second meets third with Kirkstall hosting Steeton. Bilton and Guiseley visit Ben Rhydding and Beckwithshaw, with fourth-placed Ilkley welcoming Pool. A basement clash sees Rawdon welcome Collingham.
In the Premier Division of the Central Yorkshire League, the top three are all at home, with Scholes, Altofts and Wakefield Thornes hosting Methley, Townville and Wrenthorpe.
ECB Yorkshire League leaders Harrogate will be seeking to get back on the wins trail at Scarborough. Second-placed Yorkshire Academy entertain Castleford.
Wetherby League frontrunners Wetherby host Sicklinghall, while previous leaders Kirk Deighton visit Shadwell.
Ackworth, who lead Division One of the Pontefract League, visit Old Sharlston. Second-placed Fairburn are at home to Fishlake.