Aire-Wharfe League: Beckwithshaw put down marker for title challengers

Otley batsman Barry Morley. PIC: Tony Johnson
Otley batsman Barry Morley. PIC: Tony Johnson
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BECKWITHSHAW THUMPED Steeton by 145 runs as they laid down a marker for the rest to follow at the top of Division One.

They racked up 282-4 and declared after just 43 overs as John Inglis hit 141 from just 105 balls. Jonathan Best put in a sterling shift with the ball for Steeton, finishing with 4-38 from 11 overs. In response, Steeton mustered only 137, John Akrigg hitting 45 and Best an unbeaten 27 as they were bowled out in 36 overs.

First XI captain Stuart Hudson was pleased with his side’s victory: “It was a convincing display over Steeton by so many runs and a massive 141 from Jonathan (Best) set us on our way to declare at 282. The bowlers then finished them off, but Steeton are always a tough side and have good players.”

Hudson added: “We are fully focused on the league as winning the title is our aim this season.”

The table leaders now face a tough run of games which will determine if they can maintain their position at the top after facing third-placed Kirkstall next week and close rivals Otley the week after.

“We face Kirkstall and Otley in the space two weeks and whoever comes out victorious in those fixtures will have a very good chance going forward,” predicted Hudson.

Otley responded to the challenge by picking up 20 points of their own, but it was a much closer affair as they won by 27 runs against North Leeds. George Huntley and Rick Halloran (61) boosted Otley up to a challenging 251-8 from their 50 overs. North Leeds pushed Otley hard in response, but the loss of regular wickets saw them fall short on 224.

Guiseley claimed a crucial first win of the season as they beat fellow strugglers Ilkley in a bottom of the table clash. The hosts set 188 all out to record the victory. Ilkley were all out for 117 thus giving Guiseley a much-needed first win of the campaign. Stewart Smith anchored the innings hitting 69, although 5-15 from Rob Wheeler meant that Guiseley collapsed to 188 all out. Guiseley’s Bradley Reeve then ripped through the Ilkley top order with 5-32 and Chris Wain (3-21) as Ilkley were skittled for 117.

Kirkstall, meanwhile, are on a great run having not lost a fixture so far this campaign after beating bottom club Follifoot by 143 runs. The hosts recorded 272-8 with Andrew Siddal hitting 61 and they went on to bowl Follifoot all out for 129.

Bilton tightened their grip on fourth with a 100-run win over sixth-placed Rawdon. Bilton’s Vic Craven (79) and R Bradshaw (64) helped them to 227-9 to secure maximum batting points.

Rawdon struggled in response and reached only 127.

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Horsforth closed the gap on the leaders of Division Two after their seven-wicket success over bottom side Green Lane, writes DAISY YOUNG.

Last year’s Division Three champions are on course to gain back-to-back promotions as they sit just one point behind leaders Colton. Hosts Green Lane were bowled out for 57 with M Lambert (6-24) and Andrew Robinson (4-32) smashing through the Lane order, but Horsforth claimed the victory with 58-3 in return.

Meanwhile Colton are just top of the table having recorded a five-wicket victory over Harden, who drop to seventh.

Illingworth bounced back from last week’s defeat to Pool to beat Skipton by nine wickets. Skipton batted first, but they could muster only 141. Steve Cook (5-19) and Liam Kelly (4-45) were the pick of the bowlers for Illingworth. Both Illingworth openers were dropped without scoring in response, and this proved crucial as James Lawton (50) and Danny Gibbs (59) saw Illingworth cruise to a nine-wicket victory.

Adel came out victors in a thrilling game with Tong Park Esholt. Tom Shaw (162) was the star for Adel as they racked up 298. A 140-run stand between Ross Todd (86) and Daniel Groom (55) gave Tong hope but 6-50 from J Stanwick saw them fall short on 261.

Ben Rhydding claimed their first win with a nine-wicket success over Knaresborough, who were all out for 100 and Rhydding easily reached 101-1 to claim a comfortable victory.

Division Three leaders New Rover suffered a 17-run loss to Hall Park, who were bowled out for 167. But New Rover could only reply with 150 all out.

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