IT is 30 years since Marsden last appeared in a Sykes Cup semi-final, and to get there in 2010 they have to find a way of combating the massive threat of Wasim Jaffer, who they face tomorrow at Lidgett Lane.
Already the former Test opener has launched six centuries this season, the biggest 185 against Broad Oak last week, and before Marsden can even think about getting the better of the remainder of the Skelmanthorpe side, they need to find a way of stopping the Mumbai run-machine.
Thongsbridge are another side who would love to savour the limelight again, having last appeared in a semi-final and final in 1997, in the days of Brandon Nash, and it is one of Nash’s former clubs, Delph & Dobcross, who they face tomorrow.
The Conference side surprised Kexborough in the last round, but it would be a massive shock if they were to knock Grant Jones’ Delph out of the Cup.
On paper, the two closest matches promise to be at Shepley, where they entertain Elland, and at Scholes, where the visitors are Hoylandswaine.
While Elland are finding it tough in the Premiership, they will certainly not be a pushover, while the lads from Hoylandswaine will be out to upset the current League champions.
Elland have reached the quarters by knocking out a Championship and a Conference side, and having won just twice in the League so far, will start the game at Marsh Lane as underdogs.
But sooner or later I would expect them to bare their ‘teeth’ and bite back.
Shepley however, are second in the Premiership, have one of their best balanced sides for donkey’s years and have a really genuine chance of winning something this season. It could be entertaining.
In the final game, Scholes have recovered from a poor start to the season, and are now starting to show the form which made them League champions last summer, while Premier new boys Hoylandswaine suffered only their second loss last weekend and it could easily be the ‘match of the day.’
The full draw for both the Romida Sykes Cup and Spectrum Interiors Paddock Shield is:
Romida Sykes Cup: Delph & Dobcross v Thongsbridge, Scholes v Hoylandswaine, Shepley v Elland, Skelmanthorpe v Marsden.
Spectrum Interiors Paddock Shield: Elland v Clayton West, Kirkburton v Golcar, Marsden v Skelmanthorpe, Rastrick v Scholes.