Aire-Wharfe League: Winter is warming to North Leeds’ potential

Byron Boshoff who scored 111 off 110 deliveries in the Aire-Wharfe clash between Horsforth and Collingham. PIC: Steve Riding
Byron Boshoff who scored 111 off 110 deliveries in the Aire-Wharfe clash between Horsforth and Collingham. PIC: Steve Riding
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topsy turvy North Leeds are still managing to compete ‘very well this season’ insists captain Rob Winter following their won one, lost one bank holiday weekend.

The Airedale and Wharfedale Cricket league was in full flow over the holiday with Division One sides playing on both Saturday and Monday.

North Leeds continued their form of beating the teams around them, whilst competing well but ultimately falling short against the stronger sides in the league.

On Saturday, North Leeds defeated mid-table rivals Collingham by 41-runs after notching a total of 188-8. Leeds went on to defend the total comfortably with a strong bowling performance.

Monday brought Leeds their third defeat of the season at the hands of Burley-in-Wharfedale, losing out by 48-runs. Burley’s Nicholas Brook did the most damage with the bat as Burley posted a formidable 273-9.

“I’ve been very pleased with the season so far,” said Winter. “We lost to Horsforth, Beckwithshaw and Burley but we competed against Horsforth and against Burley.

“We decided at the start of the season there were certain teams in our mini-league that we’d have to beat and Pool, Collingham and Ilkley were in that pool and we managed to beat those three, so I’m very pleased. We’ve gone for a younger, more mobile unit of guys this year and they’re a good bunch of guys so I’m very pleased with the season so far.”

The other fixtures in Division One from Saturday saw Beckwithshaw beat Bilton by six wickets to retain their spot at the top of the league.

Despite a bright start to Bilton’s innings through captain Vic Craven, who made 71, Eugene Burzler’s 6-38 forced a batting collapse that restricted Bilton to just 147 all out.

In response, Beckwithshaw looked comfortable losing only four wickets in the chase.

Steeton earned their first league victory of the season in a close match against Ilkley. Steeton’s total of 188 looked to be more than enough when Ilkley were on 152-9 in reply. But a stubborn final-wicket stand made it a tense end to the match with Ilkley falling just five runs short after losing their final wicket in the last over.

Elsewhere, Horsforth’s 269-8 proved way too much for Kirkstall who, in reply, could muster only 110. Pool picked up their first league win this campaign with a 61-run win over Rawdon, and champions Otley kept up their title defence with a 66-run victory over Burley-in-Wharfedale.

Monday’s fixtures saw Beckwithshaw make it six wins from six after demolishing Ilkley by 115-runs. The win means that Beckwithshaw are now 10 points clear at the top of Division One with a trip to Burley-in-Wharfedale next up. Horsforth are placed second after a 101-run victory over Collingham.

Overseas player Byron Boshoff continued his fine form with the bat, scoring 111-runs off just 110 balls in the win for Horsforth. The match of the day was between Bilton and Rawdon with Bilton clinching a one-run victory off the final ball of the game.

Ryan Bradshaw will go down as the hero for Bilton with his unbeaten 96 proving crucial in the three-wicket victory.

Otley posted the highest score of the weekend, finishing on 303-6, which saw off Pool and left the champions in third place after six league games.

Ralph Middlebrook.

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