NEWLY-PROMOTED Emley Clarence will have an early chance to test their strength and character when they entertain Delph & Dobcross in the first round of next season's Romida Sykes Cup.

Simon Sykes' Welfare Ground side were first out of the hat when the draw was made at the Drakes League's annual meeting, only for the Frank Platt Conference champions to be instantly paired with Premiership heavyweights Delph.

Holders Honley, meanwhile, will start their attempt for a third successive Cup run with a home tie against Clayton West.

And spare a thought for Armitage Bridge, who were re-elected to the League after finishing bottom of the pile last season, only to find themselves drawn against another of the League's big guns, Elland - both in the Sykes and the Paddock Shield, for second elevens.

Last season's beaten finalists Skelmanthorpe are also at home first up, as they entertain relegated Barkisland at Lidgett Lane.

The two Arrow Central League clubs have both picked out Premiership opponents, champions Cumberworth hosting Meltham, while Hoylandswaine travel to Lascelles Hall.

It was certainly a draw which gives ample opportunity for giant-killing, with no fewer than 10 of the ties featuring Conference against Premiership sides, plus the two non-Leaguers.

Paddock Shield holders Scholes go over the top for their first round tie with a trip to Delph & Dobcross, while beaten finalists and League champions Elland will fancy their chances at Armitage Bridge.

Micklehurst's home draw with Honley looks to be one of the picks of the round, while promoted Broad Oak's visit to Shepley could be another.

Holmfirth, who were also promoted last season, will probably not be relishing the visit of Cumberworth, who have a good reputation in the Shield, with several League scalps to their credit.

The full draws (Sunday May 6) are:


Almondbury v Slaithwaite, Broad Oak v Kirkburton, Cumberworth v Meltham, Elland v Armitage Bridge, Emley Clarence v Delph & Dobcross, Hall Bower v Primrose Hill, Honley v Clayton West, Kexborough v Golcar, Kirkheaton v SHepley, Lascelles Hall v Hoylandswaine, Lepton Highlanders v Linthwaite, Paddock v Marsden, Rastrick v Micklehurst, Scholes v Thongsbridge, Shelley v Holmfirth, Skelmanthorpe v Barkisland.


Armitage Bridge v Elland, Barkisland v Hall Bower, Clayton West v Lascelles Hall, Delph v Scholes, Golcar v Lepton Highlanders, Holmfirth v Cumberworth, Hoylandswaine v Kirkheaton, Kirkburton v Emley Clarence, Linthwaite v Skelmanthorpe, Marsden v Shelley, Meltham v Paddock, Micklehurst v Honley, Primrose Hill v Kexborough, Shepley v Broad Oak, Slaithwaite v Rastrick, Thongsbridge v Almondbury.