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Townville v Hanging Heaton is heavyweight clash

Townville v Hanging Heaton is heavyweight clash

The match of the day in Sunday's Gordon Rigg Priestley Cup first round is undoubtedly at Townville where the home side take on Hanging Heaton.

Since joining the league, Townville have faced Hanging Heaton several times in cup competition and there has been some `battle royals’ between the two sides.

Townville are no longer dependent on Jonny Booth, Jack Hughes and Conor Harvey; they have more strength in depth, with Harry Warwick and Harry Clewett dangerous opponents.

Hanging Heaton has a formidable list of batsmen in Gary Fellows, Joe Fraser, Callum Geldhart, Ben Kohler-Cadmore and powerful hitter David Stiff.

In the bowling, they have a new seamer in Dan Glover who was a leading bowler at Shepley in the Drakes Huddersfield League, and the emerging spinner Callum Bethell.

It is quite remarkable given Hanging Heaton’s trophy laden history that they have not won the Priestley Cup for 35 years. They beat Eccleshill at Undercliffe in 1986 in what became known historically as the `Ronnie Hudson’ final.

In the only other all-Premier League tie holders Woodlands will open their bid for a hat-trick of Priestley Cup wins when they host Batley. Woodlands will go into the match boosted by the confidence of having defeated their opponents in the Premier Division last Saturday.

However, despite the comfortable victory, the cup is a very different animal, and the holders will be wise to tread carefully.

New Farnley, beaten finalists in 2019, and having started strongly in the league this season, have an away clash with the 2019 Championship Two winners Carlton.

It was a surprise to see Carlton lost their first two league games this season, but they do have players like Jonathan Rudge, Farrouk Alam and Daniel White that could cause New Farnley problems.

New Farnley are strong in all departments and will probably utilise three spin bowlers in the limited over cup format.

Ossett 's Marcus Walmsley will be facing the club he started his career with Picture: Ray Spencer

There could be a shock at Ossett where the home side take on Premier League opposition in Cleckheaton. Ossett have started well in the First Division and have key players in overseas player Rishin Patabedigemade and Marcus Walmsley.

Cleckheaton could be vulnerable given their missing players and wretched start to their league campaign.

Another upset could be at Lightcliffe who host Wrenthorpe. Although the home team have not made the best of starts, they have Subhaan Ammar, Alex Stead and Jack Hendy all capable of making it tricky for Wrenthorpe. However, Wrenthorpe’s overseas player Khalil Khan is capable of a big score, and ten economical overs with the ball.

Pudsey Congs’ young side go to Wagon Lane to play Bradford & Bingley. The Congs are misfiring with the batting this time, but at least young Jacob Slator has registered a half-century. Much might depend on the ability of overseas player Pramud Hettiwatte to acclimatise to English conditions and prove to be a match-winner.

Ed Brown’s Bingley side have the all round side to progress far in this competition. They have a bowler in Bradley Reeve who is maturing into a top class spinner, and his ten overs could well be the key.

Hartshead Moor must be delighted to find that former New Farnley player David McCallum is proving to be two players in one for them. He will need to continue being their talisman when East Bierley come calling to Highmoor Lane.

Bierley’s young vibrant side have an ability to score fast runs with Ben Walter their trump card. His double century in the Heavy Woollen Cup against Wakefield Thornes will live long in the memory of those that witnessed the innings.

Morley will probably carry too much experience for Baildon’s young side. Opener James McNichol can dig deep to play a long innings, and Sri Lankan Kavindu Kulasekara might just have found his feet in the league.

Premier League teams with byes to the second round are Pudsey St Lawrence, Farsley and Methley.

FIRST ROUND DRAW (all matches start at 1pm)
Woodlands v Batley
Lightcliffe v Wrenthorpe
Pudsey Congs v Bradford & Bingley
Hartshead Moor v East Bierley
Carlton v New Farnley
Morley v Baildon
Ossett v Cleckheaton
Townville v Hanging Heaton

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