Aire-Wharfe: Bullock stars as Burley close gap on cup finalists Otley

Otley's 'Jamie PIckering, who scored 108, goes on the attack with Ben Morley. Together they put on 132 for the first wicket in the 125-run win over Pool. PIC: Steve Riding
Otley's 'Jamie PIckering, who scored 108, goes on the attack with Ben Morley. Together they put on 132 for the first wicket in the 125-run win over Pool. PIC: Steve Riding
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NICKY BULLOCK excelled as Burley-in-Wharfedale closed in on leaders Otley with a 13-run victory before Otley bounced back to book their place in the Waddilove Cup final.

The day after defeat to their main title rivals, Otley crushed Pool by 125 runs to book a Waddilove final against Guiseley who recorded a three-wicket success at Horsforth who themselves had beaten North Leeds the previous day.

Pool bowler Will Pallister flies in. PIC: Steve Riding

Pool bowler Will Pallister flies in. PIC: Steve Riding

Burley and Otley locked horns in a clash of the division’s top two prior to Waddilove semi-finals day and hosts Otley were kept to 199-9 after being put in to bat. Opener Jamie Pickering made 63 while Alex Atkinson (48) and Chris Thompson (35) offered decent support but Jason Wright took 4-60 to keep the Otley total below a double ton. Bullock’s unbeaten 90 coupled up with Redmond Bolton’s unbeaten 43 then saw the hosts put on an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 106 to see them home at 201-5.

The victory saw Burley close the gap at the top to just 13 points with Rawdon a further 13 points back in third after their two-wicket win at home to fifth-bottom Follifoot. Horsforth are another 28 points back in fourth after their triumph at home to North Leeds who are six points further back in fifth. There are then six points back to sixth-placed Ilkley who eased to a 110-run win at home to Beckwithshaw who remain second bottom, 17 points ahead of bottom Guiseley who were flattened by eight wickets at seventh-placed Adel.

Bilton moved up to ninth and 17 points clear of the dropzone by scraping a one-wicket win at home to Pool who are one place and below them on points difference.

In Sunday’s Waddilove semis, Otley piled on 286-4 thanks to the efforts of Pickering (108), skipper Ben Morley (72) and Alex Atkinson (68). James Rosewarne (61) and Patrick Dixon (40) led the Pool response but James Davies (4-10), Morley (3-21) and Nathan Goldthorp (3-41) saw the visitors dismissed well short at 161 all out.

Otley's Ben Morley, who scored 72, goes on the attack 'with Jamie Pickering. They put on 132 for the first wicket in the win over Pool. PIC: Steve Riding

Otley's Ben Morley, who scored 72, goes on the attack 'with Jamie Pickering. They put on 132 for the first wicket in the win over Pool. PIC: Steve Riding

Put in to bat in the other semi, Horsforth were bowled out for 195 as Damon Reeve (3-21) and Javed Slater (3-54) took key wickets with Slater removing Horsforth skipper Oli Hardaker after his excellent 76. Guiseley then overhauled at 196-7 through batting solidarity led by Heynrych Nel with 41.