A crunch local derby seems to be the highlight of the redrawn Sykes Cup first round after two Premiership sides who know one another intimately pitted against one another. Moorlands shall entertain near neighbours Mirfield Parish Cavaliers who make the short journey to the Memorial Ground next May, providing the recent boost regarding a Government rollout of a Coronavirus vaccine pans out as hoped.
Current holders Hoylandswaine open up their defence away at Premiership newcomers Slaithwaite whereas Delph & Dobcross, who Swaine defeated in the last Sykes Cup match to be played (way back in 2019!), have a tough assignment in another all-Premiership match-up away at Armitage Bridge.
Local cricket followers and former players of a certain vintage might be interested in two behemoths of the seventies who have been drawn to face one another. Elland host Holmfirth in a reminder of the three consecutive finals they played against one another between 1975 and 1977. On each occasion Holmfirth overcame Elland with both clubs boasting the richest of Sykes Cup pedigree winning 25 wins between them.
Some recent winners hit the road in their quest for success as Scholes (second-time winners in 2017) face a journey to Conference side Denby Dale and Barkisland who last won in 2015 against Scholes facing a challenging fixture away at Championship-dwelling Clayton West. Golcar whose last success came in 2009 won’t have far to travel up the Colne valley when they take on Marsden at Hemplow.
Timmy Taylor will relish a home fixture as his side Honley entertain the team where he cut his teeth, Lascelles Hall at Far End Lane. Three times winners Honley may be minded not to underestimate their Championship opponents in a stark contrast to their exit to second tier opponens Almondbury Wesleyans in 2017. In another interesting turn of events, a stalwart of Huddersfield League cricket, Tim Jones faces a former club as Shelley host Denby in an all-Championship tie.
In the remaining fixtures, Premiership Broad Oak will be eager to avoid a banana skin away at Emley who were noted for their high scoring fixtures in the T30 competition last season. Lepton Highlanders will have nothing to lose when they visit Thongsbridge who have won the Sykes Cup once back in 1960. Five-time winners Kirkburton will be put to the test at home to Almondbury Wesleyans who will surely see this as a pleasant distraction to a campaign built around returning to the Premiership at the first attempt. Shepley - the century old trophy eludes them after losing in four finals since their last win in 2011 - are also at home to Championship opponents in Rastrick who haven’t been able to shake them off with the same fixture being redrawn from a year ago. Skelmanthorpe have home advantage against Conference side Mirfield with other Championship v Conference ties coming in the form of Meltham v Hall Bower and Thurstonland v Almondbury.
The first round matches will be played on Sun May 9th 2021 with a reserve date set for Sunday May 16th 2021. The lowest-ranked (in 2019) losing teams will be entered in the Oddfellows Cup which commences on the Sykes Cup second round date of Sunday May 30th 2021.