Watch out for wounded Hoylandswaine!
That’s the message for Premiership leaders Delph & Dobcross and top-flight rivals Broad Oak before a double-header of Drakes League action.
Swaine go to Delph on Saturday just two weeks after suffering an All Rounder Sykes Cup semi-final defeat on the same Huddersfield Road ground.
And on Sunday they return to Broad Oak, scene of their thrilling midweek loss in the Total Indoor Cricket Solutions T20 Trophy semi-finals, in what is the re-arranged programme from the opening day of the season.
Don’t expect Michael Cranmer and his talented side to roll over in either match.
Those losses will no doubt inspire a spirited and forthright response from the Haigh Lane side, although they have wicketkeeper Alan Mynett battling a leg injury suffered in the T20 defeat.
There’s also some top batting in both the Delph and Broad Oak line-ups.
Oak Kiwi Henry Cooper tops the league run-scorers this season with 881 at 67.77 while Delph have three batsmen in the top seven – Chris Laker on 803, Greg Buckley on 651 and Arron Lilley on 642.
That Lancashire trio present a big danger to Swaine putting a first dent in Delph’s unbeaten run, and it was Buckley, with a magnificent 134 not out, and Laker, with a similarly impressive unbeaten 88, who did for the South Yorkshire side in the Cup.
Lilley and Buckley will also have key roles to play with the ball – taking on Swaine’s top batsman Gharib Nawaz (622 runs at just under 40) – but it’s new recruit from Saddleworth, Shakir Muhammad, who leads the Delph attack with 49 wickets at 12.98.
He is just one victim behind the only man to 50 wickets so far, Shepley’s Jamal Nasir (50 at 9.94).
Swaine will look to former Yorkshire and Scotland player Iain Wardlaw to provide a spearhead following his 41 wickets so far at 18.46, while Cranmer is always hungry for wickets and former Surrey spinner Murtaza Hussain is making an impact, having collected 23 wickets at just over 16.
Against the Oak on Sunday, Harvey Booth could be the man for Swaine to look out for.
He’s leading the attack with 24 wickets at 22.88 to add to his 330 runs and he’s fresh from a blistering 51 in the T20 which ended Hoylandswaine’s four-year unbeten run in that competition.
John Keeling is bowling really well, too, however, as is Cooper.