IT’S no great exaggeration to suggest Huddersfield’s Pennine League match of the day will take place in Division V this weekend.
That’s because Meltham All Blacks are ready to host Slaithwaite Saracens’ second string tomorrow in a derby contest between two teams who are at the heart of the early title race.
The All Blacks went second after a hard-fought 38-24 triumph at Burley Lions to make it six wins from eight starts.
It’s a success that should put them in buoyant mood ahead of the Slaithwaite clash, particularly as the Saracens suffered a shock 62-6 defeat at Hollinwood. That was just their second loss of the season.
Meltham may have feared the worse when they travelled to Burley with just 12 men, and were soon down to 11 when Lewis Heeley was taken to hospital with ankle ligament damage.
But the 11 players produced some of the best rugby seen for years by a Meltham team to send a message to the rest of the competition that they mean business.
Ryan White led the try-scoring with a hat trick, with others coming from Scott Quarmby, Nathan Richardson and Matt Worrall, while Josh Worrall landed seven goals from seven attempts, a number of which were kicked from near the touchline.
Last weekend proved a tough one for the Slaithwaite club, with their first team suffering a surprise 10-4 Premier Division home defeat at the hands of bogey side Halifax Irish.
They, too, will be looking to make amends when they host First Division Batley Boys in the first round of the Pennine Presidents Cup.
In-form Second Division side Emley Moor are also in knock-out action and should be confident of making further progress in the Andrew Bennett Memorial Trophy when they visit Division IV strugglers New Earswick All Blacks A.
St Joseph’s are still searching for their first win of the season in the Championship Division and should be more than capable of breaking their duck at home to fellow strugglers Moorends Thorne Marauders.
Newsome Panthers’ highly-encouraging Division I season was brought to an abrupt halt a week ago with a 56-30 defeat at Methley Royals.
But if they can re-produce their second-half form when they fought back from 56-6 to close the gap significantly, they should be able to dispose of Brighouse Rangers with a bit to spare.
It’ll be a month since Lindley Swifts last took to the field when they line-up at home to Dodworth tomorrow, and if they quickly shake off any rust they should collect their third win.
And Underbank Rangers will also fancy their chances when they visit Troydale Trojans.
At the same time, Underbank’s second string enjoy home advantage and are looking to break their duck against Queensbury B.