WOODLANDS may be well placed to seal the first leg of a league and cup double tomorrow, but no-one at Albert Terrace is getting ahead of themselves.
They face New Farnley tomorrow in the Priestley Cup final at Undercliffe (noon start) and despite the disparity in league positions between the pair, secretary Brian Pearson believes that it is very much an event contest.
On the double prospects for Woodlands, competing in their third final in three years after lifting the trophy in 2016 and 2018, Pearson said: “It is a nice one to talk about, but it is a long way off. We have done it in the past and it is a hell of an achievement.
“We are bound to make some mistakes along the road, but we have played well enough to pull it off if it comes our way. But we are not counting our chickens.
“I know New Farnley would not have (Andrew) Brewster at the start of the season. But now that he is back and they have signed Charlie Parker, they are now a strong unit.
“From our perspective, the final probably starts even-steven. Although to do it would be lovely.”
Winners in 2017, Farnley are seeking to salvage a silverware lining after a difficult and largely forgettable season on the league front.
Farnley skipper Lee Goddard said: “It should be a good match between two very strong sides on the day and hopefully we will get a good crowd in.
“We have a lot of respect for Woodlands. Hopefully it’s a good wicket which might take a bit of spin, but we do not know about the weather. Even if it doesn’t rain on the day, it’s what’s happened before and the disrupted preparations which might affect things.
“When we beat Woodlands at their place in the league, it was one of those days that everything fell into place. The ball swung, but not too much.
“Often it can swing too much and it’s no longer dangerous, but that day we put it in the right spots and it happened for us. I couldn’t blame the batting as such – there was little they did wrong, it was just one of those days for the bowlers”.
Offering his take on the final, Woodlands captain Cieran Garner added: “We come into this weekend on the back of what most people have classed as an upset against Wrenthorpe. However, as it’s been proven throughout the season, anyone can beat anyone in the league this year.
“With regards to Sunday, there is no getting away from the fact that it is a big game.
“While we were recognised as the winners of the Priestley Cup last season, it wasn’t in the way we, or I should imagine, anyone else would have wanted to win it. Cup finals are quite rightly one of the biggest days in the calendar. This is not just for the sides involved, but for the hosts, and I’m delighted that Undercliffe have been given another opportunity this year.
“As a club, we are very much looking forward to the game. Ironically, the way in which we bounced back following our league defeat to New Farnley is something we will take confidence from. If we bounce back in the same manner this weekend then we’ll be very tough to stop.”