Aire-Wharfe: Kirstall keep pressure on leaders Otley

Action from Collingham v Kirkstall Educational (100482d). PIC: Steve Riding

Action from Collingham v Kirkstall Educational (100482d). PIC: Steve Riding

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Kirkstall kept the pressure on league leaders Otley as they thrashed struggling Collingham by nine wickets to end the weekend on a high after Saturday’s fixtures were rained off, writes Lee Sobot.

Paul Johnson took five wickets and Tom Webb took four as Collingham were bowled out for 61 on a damp wicket.

Captain Andy Siddall was removed first ball of Kirkstall’s reply but Dan Mason and Lee Gordon were untroubled for the remainder of their response.

“It was massively helpful to win the toss,” Siddall conceded. “It was a damp wicket and we bowled very well and took some good catches.”

Siddall laughed off his own dismissal: “I thought I would chance my arm and try to get us off to a good start, but it didn’t come off.”

“There’s a really good vibe in the team at the moment,” continued Siddall. “The team chemistry is really good, everyone is really happy for each other’s success and it’s certainly apparent.

“We wanted to be in the main group at halfway and be somewhere close with eight weeks to go, so we’ll see how it goes, obviously we want to win the league and we want to win the cup.

“We need to keep the culture of the side good, keep it simple, hit the top of off stump and get partnerships together.

“It’s something we’ve done really well all season, apart from our loss against Otley, which was just one of those days, but it actually came at quite a good time as it grounded us and allowed us to regroup.”

Elsewhere in Division One, Ben Rhydding clinched their first-ever league victory over local rivals Burley with a 43-run win.

Rhydding got off to a flier thanks to Lewis Bolton (77) and Robbie Oldham (44) but were pegged back by Nick Brook and their ex-captain Jason Wright to be bowled out for 185.

Burley captain Charlie Davy was removed in the first over by Charlie Swallow and Rhydding continued to take regular wickets, Tom Pratt (4-18) doing the bulk of the damage as Burley were dismissed for 142.

League leaders Otley continued their dominant form as they thrashed Pool by 157 runs to pick up the maximum 20 points.

Otley racked up 229-9 batting first and completed their impressive win by bowling Pool out for just 72.

Steeton kept pace with Kirkstall and Otley at the top as they clinched an important win against Ilkley, who were bowled out for 187 chasing Steeton’s 216-9.

Promoted Rawdon came just six runs short of beating Guiseley.

Rawdon were dismissed for 147 in their chase of Guiseley’s 152-6, although they did at least move off the bottom of the table thanks to the four bonus points they picked up.

Bilton thrashed reigning champions Beckwithshaw, dismissing ’Shaw for just 49 before they eased to a comfortable six wicket win.

In Division Two, fourth-placed Adel stole a march on the sides above them as they picked up 18 points against Green Lane whilst none of the top sides were able to win, Adel posted 220-8 and reduced Green Lane to 177-9 to seal an important victory.

League leaders Follifoot were only able to pick up six points as their match against third placed Knaresborough was abandoned halfway through the second innings with the match delicately poised.

North Leeds missed the chance to go top as they failed to defend 124 against Colton, who closed in on the leading pack with a three wicket win.

Cricket commentator Henry Blofeld proudly holds his OBE back in 2003. Blofeld will retire from his role as commentator on the BBC Radio 4's Test Match Special programme in September.

My dear old thing... Henry Blofeld to retire from TMS commentary job