CUP final football is top of the agenda for both Bay Athletic and Lepton Highlanders.
But the West Riding County Amateur League duo – who go head to head in an intriguing Huddersfield FA Challenge Cup showpiece at the Galpharm on Tuesday (7.00) – have different points to prove.
First priority for Lepton, who are aiming to underline their reputation as the town’s rising force, is tonight’s big West Riding FA Challenge Cup final clash with Leeds City at Woodlesford (7.30).
For Bay, who carry the West Riding FA flag in tomorrow’s Northern Counties Cup final showdown with Cheshire’s Ashville at Ellesmere Port (2.00), it’s about proving reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated.
While Lepton have clinched a second successive promotion as runaway County Amateur First Division champions, winning 22 and drawing the other two of their league games so far, Bay’s grip on the Premier Division title is about to be broken.
Mathematically, they could still land a fifth consecutive championship – last year’s fourth running set a new league record – but manager Richard Spychalksi accepts the honours are bound for Ovenden.
That means Bay, whose sights are set on beating Tyersal to runners-up spot, are determined to end the season with a hat trick of trophies (like Lepton they are also on course in their divisional cup).
“It’s been a season of turmoil really, because we lost a lot of players during pre-season,” explained Spychalksi, whose side take on Littletown on Monday, May 7 for the right to face Ovenden in the Premier Division Cup final.
“I think that having broken the record of consecutive titles, in a way there was nowhere left for us to go, and a number of them wanted a fresh challenge, which is fair enough.
“That meant we had to promote players from the reserves, and it took time for them to find their feet, but the way we have performed over the second half of the season has been very encouraging, and to finish second would be a great reflection of the effort the lads have put in.
“Congratulations to Ovenden. They are a talented and well-organised side, and we fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw with them recently.
“It’s a disappointment that we are set to lose out on the league title, but the chance to take part in the Northern Counties Cup, and to be involved in the District Challenge Cup final for the third season running, is excellent for us.”
Tomorrow’s game takes place at Conference North club Vauxhall Motors’ Rivacre Park ground and Spychalksi, whose team beat a Liverpool FA select side 4-1 to make the big match, continued: “It’s a prestigious match against a good team who have just won their league title, but we are going there to win.”
Jimmy Martin’s Lepton have the chance to take both the West Riding and District Challenge Cup off Bay’s hands after their rivals won both last season, beating Otley Town and Uppermill respectively.
Tonight’s opponents Leeds City are fifth in the West Yorkshire League Premier Division.
Lepton’s third final is against Tingley Athletic in the County Amateur League First Division Cup at AFC Emley’s Welfare Ground a week tonight (7.15).
l AFC Emley hope tomorrow’s Northern Counties East League First Division home clash against Glasshoughton MW gets the go-ahead after Wednesday’s derby against Worsbrough Bridge Athletic was postponed because the Welfare Ground pitch was waterlogged.
The meeting with the Barnsley side has been rearranged for next Wednesday, May 2 (7.45).
Emley boss Darren Hepworth, pictured, is determined to finish the campaign with two victories