Horsforth on track for a repeat of promotion

Gareth Lee.
Gareth Lee.
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Horsforth are still on course for back-to-back promotions as they kept up the pressure on Skipton at the top of Division Two with a 128-run victory over Ben Rhydding, writes DAISY YOUNG.

Mark Gilliver hit 55 for Horsforth as they reached 198-9 in their innings before demolishing their opponents’ batting order for just 70 all out, with Gareth Lee taking 6-12.

Horsforth captain Leon Harber was pleased with his side’s comprehensive victory: “It was really important that we got the victory especially with the weather causing many of the fixtures to be called off.

“We want to go up as champions and with just three games remaining we’re confident that we will do so as Skipton have a tough game against Pool on the final day of the season.

“We built a squad with the aim of reaching the top division in three years but to do it in two years would be great,” admitted Harber.

Next up for Horsforth is bottom-of-the-table Green Lane, but Harber states that his side will not be taking their opponents lightly: “They have some good batsmen and we know just how good they can be.”

Leaders Skipton are just seven points ahead of Horsforth in the league after their five-wicket triumph over Tong Park Esholt who are fighting to stay in the division. Tong made 186-9 in their overs but Richard Nichols (88) and Kevin Owens (54) saw Skipton reach 187-5, giving them the all important win.

Third-placed Pool still haven’t given up hope of achieving promotion as they enjoyed a five-wicket success over Illingworth. A four-wicket haul from Ben Platt (4-13) saw their opponents dismissed for just 83 which Pool managed to overcome in their innings despite another four-wicket haul, this time from Luke Brooksby (4-29).

Harden improved their chances of staying up with a 12-run victory over Thackley. Despite struggling to make runs Harden reached 111 all out with Scott Hartley (29 not out) leading the way. However, seven Thackley batsmen failed to reach double figures and they fell just short on 99 all out.

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Steeton capped a fine few weeks of cricket with their first league victory in five games to push away from the relegation zone.

The second team had been the first to celebrate as they beat Guiseley by seven wickets to claim the Birtwhistle Cup for the first time in their history.

The first team then beat Follifoot in the league on Saturday, which gave them some breathing space at the bottom end of the table.

The Birtwhistle Cup final took place at Horsforth and saw a great game of cricket.

Guiseley batted first and made 198-9 in 45 overs with everyone contributing as Joe Reed top scored with 45.

Steeton’s reply began steadily and then captain Craig Walton (65no) was joined at the crease by Oliver Gledhill (66no) and they took them to 199-3 to win by seven wickets.

Steeton Division A victory came against bottom of the table Follifoot.

Nigel Best took seven wickets as the hosts skittled their opponents for 156 with Nick Robinson (63) top-scoring. Best then struck an unbeaten 29 to see Steeton home at 157-7, despite the best efforts of Damien Lawrence (4-50).

Captain Stephen Pearson spoke of his delight at the past few weeks: “Winning the cup was a great achievement for the club and has capped a good season for us.

“We started the season with a couple of new players which took a bit of time for the team to gel but we are pleased with how we have performed this season.

“Despite being near the bottom we seem to be safe. The last couple of weeks have been great, especially for me as my daughter was born recently and I’m hoping she will be one to watch in the future!”

Steeton next face Beckwithshaw, who are still fighting it out at the top of the table.

Their fixture against Rawdon was abandoned on Saturday mid-way through Beckwithshaw’s innings as they looked to be on course for a possible victory, reaching 134-3 in reply to 186-8.

Their title rivals, Otley, also saw their game abandoned due to the bad weather, which means there is just 12 points separating the two sides going into the final three games of the campaign.

North Leeds secured back-to-back victories as they pulled off a surprise win over high-flying Kirkstall.

Just one Kirkstall batsman made double figures as they were skittled for 85, allowing Leeds to cruise to victory at 88-2 with Farhan Khan hitting 36 runs. Despite the defeat, Kirkstall remain in third, whilst North Leeds sit in eighth.

Yorkshire face an anxious wait on Friday evening

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