As the Drakes Huddersfield League season enters the final six matches Rastrick have their eyes firmly fixed on a first and second XI league double.
As well as promotion up for grabs there is the matter of the Schweppes Cup awarded to the side who scores most points in the final six matches. Both sides will be hoping to pick those up as well as the league titles.
The first XI have their trickiest and most important Cedar Court Conference fixture this coming Saturday, August 8, at home to title rivals Denby. If they can manage to win that then surely that will almost seal promotion. If they are to win that match they will have to do it without the help of leading run scorer Jacob Waterson who has 982 runs for the season at an average of 89.27, but Rastrick will be confident on their home patch.
The week after, the first team have their free game when they should have been playing defunct Paddock which will give the chasing pack chance to gain some ground back.
On August 22, the first XI will host Cumberworth Utd who pushed Rastrick all the way in the previous encounter but have struggled the rest of the season, only being able to notch up four wins. The week after will pose a stiffer test as they travel to third- place Denby Dale. The penultimate match will see Hall Bower come to the Round Hill who, after their flying start to the season, have somewhat tailed off into mid-table.The final fixture will see an away trip to Cartworth Moor, currently second bottom of the Conference where, all being well, skipper Oliver Pearson will be hoping to get his hands on the trophy.
Unfortunately the second XI have dropped into second place over the past weekend as their fixture was rained off and this let Denby Dale in when they pulled off a comprehensive win over strugglers Denby, which has now given them a three-point cushion at the top of table.
However, it doesn’t really change things as Rastrick still have them to play on August 22, and if the 2nd X1 win that game, and their remaining five fixtures, they will be champions as well. The stand out fixture comes on Saturday week, August 15, at home to third-placed Upperthong when the first team has no fixture. So, in theory, skipper Simon Farlow shouldn’t lose any key players there and they have home advantage. The second X1 will hope they can get back on top spot this Saturday when they travel to Thongsbridge, and Kirkheaton can do them a favour by beating Denby Dale.
Farlow adds: “Both sides have a great chance of sealing promotion and even better league titles.
“What a great achievement that would be for a club who have seen big changes behind the scenes as well as on the field. With some new committee members and the chairmanship of Paul Shaw it has allowed the club to flourish.
“Let’s just hope this is the beginning of a successful era.”
Chairman Paul Shaw added: “There is a huge amount of excitement at the club as we get to the business end of the season. We already have some exciting plans for the next 12 months, both on and off the field, and securing promotion for both teams is key to that.
"We are hoping to have a much increased playing budget for next season and our successful junior set up is starting to produce young players capable of making an impact in senior cricket.”