LIFTING the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy would be a “massive achievement” for York Cricket Club in a transitional year, believes skipper Dan Woods.
With the Clifton Parkers likely to lose their seven-year grip on the Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League this weekend, unless Yorkshire Academy fall to a shock defeat, the Shipton Lane outfit can still come out of the campaign with silverware - and what a trophy at that.
Victory over Elsecar at Hanging Heaton CC would crown York as the champions of Yorkshire and for Woods, who has coveted the prize for a number of seasons, it would be a positive result in a campaign of highs and lows.
York made the final with a crushing victory at Bradford League champions Cleckheaton last weekend and they must now see off another outfit from one of the county’s dominant leagues.
Woods said: “We know they are a very good side from playing them in recent seasons.
“We are not used to playing on Bradford League grounds. It is not something that comes naturally to us.
“It would be brilliant to win and it is testament to how strong the Yorkshire League is if we don’t win that but can still be champions of Yorkshire. It would be a massive achievement.
“Winning is a habit and to go a season without winning a trophy, having had the success we have had, would be a tough pill to swallow.
“We are in for a seriously tough game. We have to put in a similar performance to last week and if we come out with a victory it would be brilliant.”
Glen Richmond is missing for York with Matthew Hodsdon coming in to take his place. The squad also has Jack Leaning named in it, subject to Yorkshire granting permission for him to play.
“It would be massive for us,” Woods added.
“To have him opening the batting makes a huge difference. We are a bit makeshift there without him.”
York’s fading hopes of claiming an eighth league title on the bounce will be ended if the Academy win at Cleethorpes but Woods men will look to make them fight to the end by seeing off Sheffield Collegiate at home on Saturday.
They are hit by absences with veterans Nick Elliot, who has turned out for all four of York’s league outfits this season, and Dave Patmore coming in to shore up the side.
Elliot’s son, Charlie, is likely to open the batting for the Clifton Parkers as Woods looks to integrate the younger members of his squad into more prominent roles.
On the match, he said: “We’ve got to win the game tomorrow.
“It is such an important game on Sunday that momentum is vital.
“The Academy are a really strong side and good luck to them if they keep winning.
“They will deserve to win the league.”