Aire-Wharfe League: Bilton put big dent in Horsforth's bid for top

Horsforth's title challenge may be over after Bilton captain Vic Craven led his side to a well-earned victory.
Alex Lilley, of Beckwithshaw, took seven wickets in  the win at Rawdon. PIC: Steve RidingAlex Lilley, of Beckwithshaw, took seven wickets in  the win at Rawdon. PIC: Steve Riding
Alex Lilley, of Beckwithshaw, took seven wickets in the win at Rawdon. PIC: Steve Riding

There are now just seven games to go in the Airedale and Wharfedale Cricket League season and the title race continues to be a close-fought battle.

Otley still lead the way in Division One after they beat strugglers Steeton by 124-runs. Otley’s David Hester top scored with 71 as the league leaders posted a total of 234-10. In reply, Steeton never got close as they were bowled out for just 110 with Chris Thompson taking figures of 3-18.

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The result leaves Steeton 20 points adrift of safety whilst Otley remain on course for another league title.

However, Horsforth’s challenge may be over after they succumbed to a six-wicket defeat to Bilton.

Horsforth had set Bilton 201 to win with Byron Boshoff top-scoring with 43, but it proved to be too little though as Bilton strolled to a convincing victory with captain Vic Craven leading the way scoring 139 not out.

Beckwithshaw may be the only team that can catch Otley now and they kept up their pursuit after a well-fought victory over Rawdon.

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Beckwithshaw had set their opponents 271 to win after being invited to bat first. Ben Quick finished on 84 to top-score for Beckwithshaw. In reply Rawdon fell just 13-runs short despite the effort of Ahmed Raja, who scored 105.

In the end it was the effort of Alex Lilley, who produced figures of 7-60, which earnt a win for Beckwithshaw.

Away from the battle for the title Pool have impressed of late and their recent form has seen them go from relegation candidates to a comfortable mid-table side.

Their latest victory came away at Collingham in convincing fashion as they cruised to a nine wicket win after bowling out their opponents for just 63, Jake Zjilinsky taking 4-16 in the process.

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Elsewhere in Division One, Burley leap-frogged Horsforth to move up to fourth in the league after they beat bottom side Kirkstall Educational by 46-runs.

North Leeds’ poor form continued as they lost once again, this time at the hands of Ilkley by just one wicket.

Runaway leaders Colton Institute and Guiseley both won again and both remain well on course for promotion from Division Two.

Firstly, leaders Colton beat Follifoot by 152-runs, Tom Glover top-scoring with 72 for Colton before Follifoot’s innings crumbled as they lasted just 20 overs to finish on 63. Glover rounded off a fine performance in the meantime, taking 5-44.

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Guiseley also won but not in as convincing style as they beat Thackley by five wickets in a low-scoring game.

Knaresborough remain third after they secured a 67-run win over Calverley St Wilfrids. There were also wins for Ben Rhydding, Adel and Harden.

Next weekend in Division One, it’s third versus fourth as Horsforth will be looking to bounce back from defeat as they take on Burley.

Meanwhile, league leaders Otley host Bilton, who will be looking to build on their impressive win against Horsforth.

And second-placed Beckwithshaw will be looking to avoid any form of complacency as they host struggling outfit Steeton.