WHEN it comes to assessing 2015 so far for Otley, it has been the story of virtually everything that they have touched being turned into gold.
Not so on Sunday, with their hopes of back-to-back league and cup doubles obliterated when they were humbled by Bilton in the last four of the Waddilove Cup.
Odge Davey (115) and Vic Craven (4-26) steered Bilton (244-9) to victory over cup holders and hot favourites Otley (144) to book themselves a place in the final against Burley, who edged past brave Horsforth.
The loss represented a “kick up the backside” for Otley according to chairman Chris Smith, although ample consolation will come if they lift the title again in September.
On Sunday’s shock loss to Bilton, who they bowled out for 84 en route to an easy league win earlier this month, he said: “It was a strange game as we had them on the rack at 18-3, but they put 100-odd on and got 85 in the last five overs when they were eight down and it was superb hitting.
“The tail wagged and it knocked the stuffing out of us a little bit. Then Craven bowled well and while we have beaten them twice in the league, they were too good for us on the day.
“You have no divine right to win every game. Hopefully Sunday was a kick up the backside.
“Doing the double again was something we were aiming for. But it takes some doing.”
Twenty-four hours earlier, Otley (178-1) flexed their muscles with an impressive win over Rawdon (176) to move 13 points clear at the top – their game stars being Ben Morley (110no) and James Davies (4-36).
It was an altogether much more pleasurable day than Sunday, with Smith reflecting: “Saturday was a superb performance and James Davies bowled well and Ben Morley showed he is a very good player.
“We have lost just the one (league) game to Kirkstall and beat Beckwithshaw and Bilton in back-to-back games recently.
“We play Beckwithshaw again in the last game and there’s some difficult games to come such as Burley and Kirkstall.
“But we are a strong, young side with a good spirit with a couple of under-17s who are contributing big-time such as Nick Bulcock who got a nine-for recently.”
In Sunday’s other Waddilove Cup semi, Burley (185-8) edged home with one ball and two wickets to spare against Horsforth (181-9), for whom Matthew Wainwright (4-31) and Chris Gordon (54) both caught the eye.
Sami Rehman (44) top-scored for Burley, who have won the competition three times in the past five years.
A virtuoso performance from Stephen Brown kept Kirkstall Educational’s top-two tilt on track after a 51-run victory over Steeton, writes LEON WOBSCHALL.
Brown (72) helped Kirkstall open with a handsome 301-7 and followed up with five wickets as Steeton were dismissed for 250 in reply.
The best efforts of North Leeds’ batsman Martin Kellaway (48) couldn’t thwart second-placed Beckwithshaw (104-2), for whom Istikhar Hussain took a miserly 3-9.
Mark McEarney (3-23) and Alex Lilley (2-22) helped dismiss the hosts for 101, with Miles Buller (53no) then seeing Shaw home at a canter at 104-2.
Vic Craven (4-30 and 33) enabled Bilton (200-5) to prevail against Ilkley (199), with the victors also indebted to a century stand between Paul Cannings (66no) and David Hardcastle (38).
Rory Kroon (67) was the top scorer for Ilkley.
Burley (207) lost their last five wickets for 16 runs as they succumbed to Follifoot (222-8), who climbed off the bottom with James Riley (52) and Tom Clayton (53no) in the runs.
Burley looked on course to top Follifoot’s total, but Sam Gascoyne (3-41) and Alex Fox (4-32) had other ideas.
Jack Harrison (81) and Toby Jacklin (76) put on 161 as Collingham raced to 258-5, with Guiseley stuck at 219-9 in reply, with Jacklin taking 3-43.
In Division Two, Nick Smith was left to savour a hat-trick, while also hitting 27 not out to help Adel (116-5) beat Harden (115).
Sam Wilson (5-11) and David Amos (4-46) wreaked havoc as high-flying Pool (67-2) skittle Knaresborough (64).