Aire-Wharfe League: Sidebottom happy to be eclipsed as leaders are toppled

Action from the Aire Wharfe League clash between Collingham and Beckwithshaw.
Action from the Aire Wharfe League clash between Collingham and Beckwithshaw.
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CAPTAIN Sam Anderson admits his Collingham side were particularly keen to impress in their latest fixture given the guest outing of a star name in their side.

Yorkshire’s former England strike bowler Ryan Sidebottom opened the bowling and batted at No 3.

What followed was a one-wicket defeat of leaders Beckwithshaw, in which Anderson was thrilled that it was Sidebottom’s team-mates who came to the fore.

Boston Spa resident Sidebottom used the fixture to gauge his progress on the road back from a calf injury and bowled 15 overs which returned no wickets but yielded just 29 runs.

The 37-year-old also weighed in with 26 runs but it was 17-year-old Adam Wetherall who shone the brightest with the bat and Steve James who excelled with the ball.

James’s 12 overs might have been expensive in conceding 50 runs but five wickets proved crucial in keeping the leaders to 142-9. After a key knock of 42 from opener Jonathan Haslem, the late flurry of Wetherhall – son of former Leeds United and Bradford star David – took Collingham past the post at 143-9. The success lifted Collingham to seventh, and with Sidebottom having played his part, captain Anderson was left hailing the perfect afternoon. “Ryan has a close association with the club and he lives in Boston Spa,” revealed Anderson.

“He’s coming back from a calf injury and felt he needed a game to play in to see how he would do when having to bowl on and off in spells.

“We were more than happy to have him in the team especially as we had Toby Jacklin missing. He was a pleasure to play with and great to have in the dressing room. Everyone enjoyed having him in the team and it lifted us – you don’t want to have a poor performance when you have someone like that in the team.

“Perhaps the most pleasing thing was the way we won, though. If someone had said we were to win the game, I would have thought Ryan would take six or seven wickets and score 40 or so. Not taking anything away from his contribution, but it was pleasing that the win wasn’t dominated by him.”

The result allowed Otley to move two points off top in second with a seven-run win against bottom club Guiseley.

Kirkstall are 15 points back in third after a 71-run crushing of second-bottom Ilkley.

Four points further back are Bilton, who were 45-run victors against Burley. Rawdon moved fifth with a 71-run verdict against Follifoot, who drop to sixth, while third-bottom North Leeds aided their plight with a 44-run triumph against Steeton.