SCHOLES and Lightcliffe will be sick of the sight of each after this weekend when they go head-to-head in both league and Cup.
The rivals first do battle in the Bradford League Premier Division on Saturday before locking horns 24 hours later in the quarter-finals of the Priestley Cup at New Popplewell Lane. (1.30pm).
The winners of the second meeting will entertain Pudsey St Lawrence in the last four on Sunday, July 17, with holders Bradford and Bingley meeting Woodlands in the other tie.
The two clubs met earlier in the season at Wakefield Road with Alex Stead’s side emerging victorious – former county man Chris Taylor playing a big innings.
He will not be in either game this weekend and Stead, his brother-in-law, is looking to bring in second-team skipper Michael Brooke for the delayed quarter-final, having been impressed by his rich vein of form with the bat.
All-rounder Rhys Jowett is back from holiday and available for both games and Stead is confident they can do the business on both days, although he realises Scholes – who have beaten Yeadon and Morley along the way – are no pushovers, especially on their own ground and with a big crowd behind them.
“While Scholes have won only two games after a great promotion season last year, I’ve noticed of late they have been taking clubs close,” said Stead.
This is something which Scholes captain and all-rounder James Stansfield agreed with when Echo Sport caught up with him at his corporate sign manufacturing
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company in Cleckheaton earlier this week.
“In our game last weekend with Woodlands another 30 runs would have given us something more to bowl at and put them under pressure. We are not getting scores to defend, we must all see more application with the bat and get our heads down to achieve those extra runs and starting Saturday in the league game. In these two games we certainly have to do our jobs right and be focused from the very first ball.
“Then, again, the wickets so far this season haven’t been great with all the rain we have had.
“The club is moving in the right direction by expanding its junior section and we have started an Under-9s this year and already two lads have shown they will be first team material in years to come. We have U-13s and 15s and the model we are looking at is Pudsey St Lawrence where they produce their own players and don’t in the winter months pay over the odds for players.”
Stansfield himself, a former Brighouse CC captain, and a Huddersfield Town and Halifax Town centre-half, is approaching 38, but isn’t even contemplating retirement from cricket.
“I go with old adage you are a long time retired although after another season of football with Wyke Wanderers, I may look at calling it a day as you are not getting any younger for that game chasing young lads around for ball over 90 minutes. Cricket is different with the bat and ball plus fielding, although I have now been doing 12 months of sport for some 20 years now.
“Its something I love and to do a double, which is not out of our reach this weekend, would give us all a great lift for the second half of the season.”