Aire-Wharfe League: Education teach title holders a lesson

Action from Kirkstall Educational v Beckwithshaw ('100406c). PIC: Steve Riding
Action from Kirkstall Educational v Beckwithshaw ('100406c). PIC: Steve Riding
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KIRKSTALL Education signalled their 2014 title intent with an opening day victory against defending champions Beckwithshaw.

Key to the success was an unbeaten century partnership between Dan Mason (71no) and Matt Webb (60no).

Tom Webb picked up 4-36 as the visitors were restricted to 202 with Ben Quick top scoring on 48. Mason and fellow opener Lee Gordon (54) gave the home side a solid start and put them on the way to an upset.

Steeton hovered above the relegation spots last season but started with a victory over runners-up Bilton and added the full ten bonus points to the ten they get for winning under the scoring system introduced this year.

John Akrigg (63) and half centuries from Neil Spragg and Adam Foulds saw Steeton to 273-7 before Ross Suri (4-40) starred as the visitors were dismissed for 210, with Sajad Ali top scoring with 48.

Jonathan Hughes hit a century and with the support of Nick Cockcroft (55) and Dave Pennett (46) steered Ilkley to 297 and victory on their return to the top flight after 20 years’ absence.

Half centuries from Charlie Swallow and Bradley Ranford could only take Ben Rhydding to 205-7.

Harrison Durkin (76) and Brian Jackson (84) put on 131 and with 54 from Peter Towner Guiseley set a 284-8 total which was too much for Collingham, despite the efforts of Stephen James who followed up a four-wicket spell with 91.

Having restricted Rawdon to 227-8 in which Conor McInerney hit 61, Otley clinched victory with three balls to spare thanks to a towering six from James Wilcock.

Calum Lockett (81no) and Isaak Beck (50) led the way as newly promoted Upper Wharfedale started life in Division Two with a seven wicket win at Green Lane.

Skipton, the other promoted side, looked set when Richard Nicholls (79) and Steve Carling (68) helped them to 251-7 but Bolton Villas batted deep and won by four wickets with Steve Shuttleworth top scoring on 55.

Martin Kellaway (114no) and Rob Winter (64) were the main contributors to North Leeds’s 243-6 before Farhan Khan (5-28) skittled Knaresborough out for 80.

James Orton’s 72 and Muhammad Bilal’s 6-51 were the highlights of Follifoot’s 46-run win over Thackley for whom Bradley Goodaire made a half century.

Nadeem Hanif (4-48) and veteran Mick Scott (3-25) bowled out Colton for 172 in reply to Tong Park Esholt’s 195-8.

Hall Park are the early leaders of Division Three after their defeat of Bardsey.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s fixtures, defending champions Beckwithshaw will look to bounce back from their opening day loss to Kirkstall when they welcome Ilkley.

Kirkstall will be looking for more of the same when they visit Rawdon.

Bilton will be seeking their first win of the new season when they welcome Collingham while Guiseley will be out to consolidate their good start at home to Otley.

Ben Rhydding also play hosts to Pool while Steeton make the trip to Burley.

In Division Two, Upper Wharfedale will look to push on from their Green Lane victory when they welcome Tong Park Esholt.

Green Lane will be out to inflict a second defeat on hosts Skipton.

Follifoot will look to make it two wins out of two at Colton while Harden welcome Knaresborough.

Saturday’s Division Two fixture list is completed with Thackley entertaining Adel and a North Leeds trip for Bolton Villas.

Yorkshire's Alex Lees, left, and Adam Lyth.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Openers Lyth and Lees ready to open up together again for Yorkshire