Aire-Wharfe League: Kirkstall chairman plays down early-season championship talk

Action from Adel v Pool.
Action from Adel v Pool.
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Kirkstall Educational chairman Nick Davis is refusing to be drawn into talk about a title push after his side began their season on the right foot with a win against Collingham.

Collingham only managed 193 as Kirkstall batted 205-9 to secure the win.

Their single wicket win could bode well for an improvement on last season’s ninth place finish.

He said: “It’s too early to talk about title challenges, there are some other strong teams in the league this season, teams that have recruited well. Every team goes into the season hoping to mount a title challenge, and we’re no different.”

North Leeds kicked off their campaign at the weekend with a 29 run loss against Burley in Wharfedale.

Burley built to a record of 213-9 during their innings.

Charlie Davey put together their best display at the crease, tallying 61 runs before being caught out.

Leeds’ response could not match Burley’s effort, managing 184 all out. Jason Wright took four wickets for 47 runs to cap Burley’s excellent display.

Otley (181) put together an impressive 30 run victory against Bilton (151), thanks in part to Ricky Halloran’s fantastic four wicket haul for only 35 runs.

Bilton’s best display probably came from Sajad Ali, who managed 38 runs.

Guiseley chose to bat first in their clash with Beckwithshaw before struggling to a 74 run haul, losing the clash by a staggering nine wickets.

Alex Lilley’s display for Beckwithshaw while bowling was particularly impressive, as he managed to take five wickets for only eight runs.

Kirkstall’s Davis sees Beckwithshaw as one of the top title contenders this season in a tough division, adding: “I think Beckwithshaw have a very strong squad. They’ve got a number of players with a lot of Yorkshire league experience. They’ll be strong. Bilton have made a couple of signings as well. I think, to be honest, as I say every year, the league is just getting stronger and stronger.”

Rawdon and Steeton could only manage a tie over their 100 overs, with both sides hitting 208 for nine.

Ryan Gladwin impressed for Rawdon, who batted first, hitting 49, with bowler Andrew Doidge, who took six wickets for only 34 runs, also putting together a good display.

Steeton’s James Freebury ensured that his side achieved a draw, hitting 63 not out.

Elsewhere in Division 1, Ilkley (129) fell to a 59 run loss against Follifoot (188).

Follifoot owed much of their success to Alex Fox, who hit 65 before being caught by Paul Dover.