HOLDERS Harrogate face a stern test having been drawn in a tough group stage in the Hunters T20 Blast.

The cup winners will face Yorkshire Premier League North champions Sheriff Hutton Bridge and Yorkshire Academy in the opening group stage.

Harrogate beat Dunnington in last year’s final and will have home advantage on June 14 against sides they've not previously faced in this format.

Yorkshire Academy and Sheriff Hutton Bridge met at the same stage last season, with the former winning on their way to a third appearance at Finals Day, but they have yet to lift the trophy.

Sheriff Hutton Bridge are one of four clubs in this year’s competition bidding to reach the semi-finals for the first time having failed to progress on their last four occasions.

Acomb reached the semi-finals in both 2017 and 2018 and, after gaining promotion back to the Premier League, they will be looking to make it a hat-trick.

Standing in their way at Low Catton Road will be hosts Stamford Bridge, who beat them at the same venue in 2018 and Bridge’s local rivals Dunnington.

The pair met at Clifton Park last season Dunnington winning by eight wickets thanks to an unbeaten 92 from Chris Peareth.

Like Acomb, Driffield Town return to the competition this season and will host Castleford and Scarborough at Kings Mill Road.

It will be the first time these three sides will have played against each other in the Blast and all three will be hoping to make it through to the latter stages which in a break with tradition will take place at York’s Clifton Park ground on July 5.

Woodhouse Grange, the competition's winners in 2018, will be hosting a group stage for the fifth year in a row and for a fourth consecutive occasion Clifton Alliance will be among the visitors.

Elsewhere, York make up the trio at Sandhill Lane.