By Jamie Harrison

Moorlands will begin their defence of the Sykes Cup away at Meltham in April as the first round draw threw up its usual mix of compelling ties. 

Eddie Walmsley’s side, who have retained the flagship trophy for the past two seasons, will need to negotiate a challenge from Championship side Meltham who enjoyed their own silverware success after taking the T20 Shield in 2022.

Hoylandswaine, who have been denied on both occasions by Moorlands, will entertain Conference team Emley Clarence at Haigh Lane in a draw where all Premiership teams avoided one another.

Thongsbridge and Scholes have considerable banana skins to sidestep by being pitched away to sides relegated from the top division with Thongsbridge away at Golcar and Scholes making the journey over the Pennines to Delph & Dobcross.

Two traditionally big teams but with vastly differing fortunes have been drawn together with Premiership Honley making the journey to Elland who are now in the Conference. It’s a fixture that will invoke nostalgic memories for some. 

Moorlands 2XI’s Paddock Shield defence will begin at home with a tough assignment against Barkisland. Delph & Dobcross, who were the losing finalists, also have a difficult first round fixture away at Honley and Hoylandswaine, who will be the highest ranked 2XI team, face Denby Dale 2XI.

All fixtures will take place on Sunday April 30 (12.30pm)

Full Draw

Sykes Cup R1

Cumberworth United v Broad Oak

Almondbury Wesleyan v Shelley

Lascelles Hall v Hall Bower

Delph and Dobcross v Scholes

Clayton West v Kirkburton

Elland v Honley

Meltham v Moorlands

Barkisland v Slaithwaite

Holmfirth v Skelmanthorpe

Armitage Bridge v Rastrick

Shepley v Denby

Hoylandswaine v Emley Clarence

Upperthong v Kirkheaton

Golcar v Thongsbridge

Birkby Rose Hill v Marsden

Mirfield Parish Cavaliers v Linthwaite

Paddock Shield R1

Thongsbridge v Shepley

Denby v Mirfield Parish Cavaliers

Kirkburton v Armitage Bridge

Hall Bower v Clayton West

Marsden v Almondbury Wesleyan

Skelmanthorpe v Cumberworth United

Linthwaite v Golcar

Denby Dale v Hoylandswaine

Broad Oak v Elland

Scholes v Meltham

Edgerton & Dalton v Holmfirth

Honley v Delph and Dobcross

Shelley v Lascelles Hall

Moorlands v Barkisland

Kirkheaton v Birkby Rose Hill

Slaithwaite v Upperthong