BECKWITHSHAW are back in business – with the top-flight champions rewinding the clock to end Otley’s proud unbeaten league record so far in 2014.
It proved a bleak weekend for frontrunners in all three top divisions, with Follifoot and Horsforth also surrendering their unbeaten openings to the campaign.
After their league highs of last season, it’s proved the campaign from hell for Shaw, who have found themselves in the alarming and unaccustomed position of being firmly in the relegation mix in Division One.
But the arrival of leaders Otley brought out the best in the side as they displayed the polish which took them to the title last season by a whopping 27-point margin.
Taking centre stage was ton-up opener Ross Sedgley (100), who shared in a cracking partnership of 132 for the first wicket with Alex Lilley to set Shaw on their way to 241-9 – en route to a much-needed win bonus.
Istikhar Hussain (4-15) then started Otley’s demise with the bat before Stuart Hudson took centre stage with super figures of 6-33 as Shaw enjoyed their best day of the campaign thus far.
The blow of a maiden league defeat in 2014 for Otley was assuaged by the fact that several rivals saw their wings clipped and could not capitalise.
Otley’s nearest rivals, second-placed Kirkstall, had a bad day at the office at the hands of Burley’s Nick Brook, who produced a terrific virtuoso showing to instigate their demise.
Brook hit a fabulous 127 off 103 balls, with Jason Wright joining in the fun with a quick-fire 82, with the duo putting on 147 for the fourth wicket.
Their exploits helped Burley total an imposing 303, despite the best efforts of Tom Webb (5-48) and Eugene Burzler (4-89).
In reply, Kirkstall, to their credit, gave things a good go before being dismissed for 232, with Tom Webb hitting a splendid 98 down the order, but ultimately in a losing cause.
He put on 121 for the seventh wicket with Matt Webb (56) in an entertaining spectacle.
Rock-bottom Collingham (144-5) also had a much-needed good day after accounting for third-placed Steeton (143).
John Swain (59no) and Stephen James (5-31) produced noteworthy contributions for the victors.
Also in fine fettle were Tosh Baker (52), Jacob Rodgers (57) and Dave Amos (5-49), whose combined exploits enabled Pool to see off Guiseley in convincing fashion.
Ryan Nicholson (56) and Victor Craven (58no) was in fluent touch for Bilton (189-6), who accounted for Ilkley (186-9), with another batsman in good order being Ben Heritage, who top-scored with 75 to help Rawdon (184-9) to triumph in a dramatic encounter with Ben Rhydding (181).
Rob Winter (49), Martin Kellaway (64no) and Nick Summerscales (5-25) were the star turns for North Leeds (148-8), who drew level on points with Follifoot (144) following victory against them.
High-flying Adel (147) slipped up in a disappointing four-wicket reverse to Skipton (148-6), for whom Shahid Nadeem (57no and 3-29) saw them home.
In fourth place are Knaresborough (175), with Neil Marshall (6-26) producing an imposing spell with the ball, well supported by Simon Bridson (3-22), in their success over Bolton Villas, all out for just 98.
Green Lane (222-7) are nicely positioned in fifth position after having the better of their encounter with Colton (194).
Waleem Akhtar (86 and 4-51) had a stellar day, with Michael Ellis (4-43) also in the wickets.
Four wickets each for Jamie Moorhouse and Luke Brooksby took four wickets apiece as Illingworth (134-4) surprised Division Three leaders Horsforth (130).