Tanzeel spinning his magic on three fronts

CLECKHEATON fully intend giving the trophy engravers plenty of work in the next six weeks.

The Moorend outfit, home club of Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale, are well placed to retain the Bradford League top-flight crown they won for the first time last September and also have plenty of other business in their in-tray.

The Priestley Cup final, a competition that Cleckheaton have never won, beckons against Pudsey St Lawrence at Undercliffe on August 24, with both harbouring hopes of a domestic league and cup double.

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But John Wood’s side are seeking to go one better as they also face York in the semi-finals of the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champion of Champions trophy at Moorend on August 10 for the right to face Elsecar in the final.

While it has undeniably been a very good season so far for the Spen outfit, for all concerned it is now about turning it into a vintage one.

Chairman David Worrall said: “August is a make-or-break month. But it’s so far, so good and we’d have settled for where we are at this stage of the season.

“We have a chance of three trophies and you cannot ask any more than that.

“The players have been excellent after winning the league last year.

“We had sort of inched our way to the title since John Wood became captain and lifting it was the goal really. But now we have got there, we want another one.”

Spearheading their trophy assault is all-rounder Tanzeel Altaf, whose mesmeric slow bowling has left countless rivals in a spin already this year.

Not that the supporting cast is not strong, with the likes of Wood and ex-Tykes players Iain Wardlaw and Jimmy Lee to call upon, along with many others.

Worrall added: “We are strong in all departments and have the magic ingredient of Tanzeel in his first appearance in this country.

“He has settled in straightaway and is enjoying himself and that shows in his performances.

“He is as good as any overseas we have had. My personal favourite was Kanwaljeet Singh, the off-spinner we had quite a few years ago. But Tanzeel has definitely got something and has great control for a leg-spinner.

“Andy Gorrod has also settled in really well and him and Jacko (Tim Jackson) are as good an opening partnership as you get.

“John is reaping the rewards of all his efforts in his 10th year here, while his bowling has also been exceptional this year.”