Lightcliffe gala is on as Cup tie is put back

Lightcliffe CC officials breathed a sigh of relief earlier this week when All Rounder Bradford Cricket League officials – together with the courtesy of near-neighbours Scholes CC – allowed them to play their postponed Priestley Cup quarter-final on July 10, thereby avoiding a clash with their annual club gala.

Skipper Alex Stead said he was grateful to both parties that they could skip this Sunday with all hands required on deck at Wakefield Road. Last Sunday’s tie was washed out as early as the previous Saturday evening at New Popplewell Lane.

“We have every incentive now to beat Scholes as we have been drawn at home to Pudsey St Lawrence on July 17 and go for a place in the final for the second year running,” said Stead.

In the other semi-final, holders Bradford and Bingley or Hanging Heaton will play Woodlands this Sunday.

Lightcliffe, whose last three weekends have been rain affected, are hoping for another bumper crowd and a full day’s cricket this Saturday at home to Cleckheaton in what is always another eagerly-awaited derby fixture (1pm).

While his own batting form in the first half of the season has seen him approach 500 runs, captain Stead is hoping that his overseas professional, Suleman Khan – now described as one their “own” after his last three seasons with them – can get back the early-season form that saw him hit 120 off 80 balls against Hanging Heaton before recoring another century against New Farnley.

“Sully is a very good allrounder and is a match-winner on his day and this season we have also been very pleased with our quick, young, fast bowler Johnny Whiteoak

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with his performances earning him a couple of run outs with Durham CCC’s second team. His family have a long link with this club despite him starting out with Elland and then onto Sheffield United. It was a conversation my dad, Roger, had with his dad, Richard in Tesco’s Brighouse store that led to him coming here where his dad, and granddad Eric, played.

“While we have some senior players to come back from injury, including paceman Rob Burton (knee), and holidays. However we are delighted with our crop of youngsters, the Broadbent twins, Jake and Regan, brothers Max and Sam Gardner, who came to us from Northowram Hedge Top to follow their dad Andrew who graced Wakefield Road, Leicestershire CCC trainee Danaayl Ahmed and the nicely progressing Jordan Pickles.”

“We need to get our early season form going in the second half of the season and climb up that table beginning on Saturday.”