We have new leaders in Airedale and Wharfedale Division One after Burley pulled off a surprise victory over defending champions Otley.
Otley received an unwanted ‘come down’ this week after last week’s Waddilove Cup success and it was third-placed Burley who delivered it to them.
Otley knew that this promised to be a difficult fixture and so it proved when their hosts put them in to bat, and, after a fine bowling performance, skittled them out for 170.
Chris Thompson’s efforts for Otley were well needed as he finished on 83 but it was the bowlers who shone with Nick Brook taking 4-26 and Jason Wright picking up figures of 4-63.
In reply Burley held it together and used 41 overs to secure a five-wicket victory, which sees them propelled into the title race.
“We’re a very competitive team, and we always have been, but Otley have had the best of us for the last few years really,” said Burley captain Richard Brook when asked about his side’s victory over Otley and his side’s chances of going on to win the league. We did feel eventually we could turn that around and, if we had lost, our season would have been over really, so it was a must-win game.
“If someone had told me about six weeks ago that we’d be within 12 points of the top with five games to go I would have bit my hand off because five or six weeks ago we were 40 points behind. We certainly have the best run-in out the teams going for the title but we have lost a couple of players to injuries and holiday commitments and that could cost us.
“We’re on a good run and have a lot of players in confident mood. Jason Wright has had a top season and I’m just hoping that our other main batter, Ed Brown, will fire for the last part of the season because, if he can find his form, he’s as devastating as anyone in the league.”
Beckwithshaw are the new leaders in Division One after they took full advantage of Otley’s slip up by dispatching Bilton by 132-runs. Beckwithshaw were put in to bat by their hosts and managed 206-9 from their 50 overs with Alex Lilley top-scoring on 53.
Lilley was influential in securing the victory as he took 3-23 along with Yasar Ali who took 3-14 as Bilton were humbled, finishing on just 74.
The result means Beckwithshaw now have a two-point advantage over Otley with Burley just a further 10 points back.
Elsewhere in Division One, Pool continued their great run of form by beating Rawdon by 13-runs in a low-scoring affair. Pool would have been disappointed in their batting performance after they were all out on 134. However, thanks to Jake Zjilinszky (5-43) and his bowling partners, Pool pulled off an unlikely victory as Rawdon collapsed to 121 all out.
Horsforth returned to winning ways by seeing off bottom side Kirkstall Educational by 113-runs, and there was also a defeat for Steeton at the hands of Ilkley, which leaves the bottom two well adrift of the rest.
North Leeds beat Collingham by 63-runs.
Bilton-in-Ainsty kept their slim Wetherby League title hopes alive by handing runaway leaders Kirk Deighton a second defeat of the season on Saturday.
Bilton required a middle-order rearguard to reduce the arrears to 16 points with a 39-run win at their Wetherby Road ground. Deighton gained the early initiative in the top of the table fixture before number six Tim Lambert struck 57 to put the hosts back in charge.
With a lead of 178-9, Bilton kept the usually consistent Deighton batting line-up quiet with only Rohan Sivajoti (43) making a useful contribution. Lambert (3-32) and Luke Schuman (3-31) caused the damage as Deighton settled on 137-8.
Scarcroft’s dream of winning the title turned into a nightmare in a thumping defeat at Garforth Parish Church (153-8). Requiring a modest 154 to win, Scarcroft crumbled to 107 all out. Anas Imtiaz (35) was the only member of the order passing 20 as Mike Haw claimed 5-24.
Scarcroft are now 21 points behind the top and requiring a miraculous turnaround to clinch the silverware.
At the bottom, Church Fenton improved their survival chances in emphatic fashion, destroying a depleted Hillam and Monk Fryston by 253 runs.
Thomas Dean (65), Rob Lancaster (80) and Stephen Wragg (62) bashed Fenton up to 291-5. John Wilkinson then took 7-16 as Hillam folded for just 38. Church Fenton remain at the base of the table and still have a 12-point gap to make up on Old Leodiensians who lost to Barwick-in-Elmet by 60 runs.
Leos looked to have applied the pressure on the Fred Fleetwood winners but Daniel Fitzpatrick’s 57 from number 10 proved decisive in taking Barwick to a unreachable 241-9.
Sicklinghall continued their upturn in form with a high scoring two-wicket win at South Milford.
A seventh-wicket partnership between Imran Ali (67) and wicketkeeper Phil Wood (65) recovered a poor start as ’Hall chased 237. Young wicketkeeper Alex Ward had scored 80 in vain in Milford’s 236-5.
Meanwhile, Shadwell (150-5) downed St Chad’s Broomfield (149ao) by five wickets courtesy of an unbroken partnership between Tom Meyrick (30no) and Ben Turner (29no).
Tim Patterson was the only Chad’s batsman to get going in scoring 60.
Division Two leaders Rufforth suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of fourth-bottom Saxton. The runaway promotion hopefuls collapsed from 80-1 to 119 all out as Steve Hills snared 6-33. Wicketkeeper Matthew Ball ensured Saxton had a safe chase with an unbeaten 55 to wrap up a seven-wicket win.
Second-placed Ledsham (134-6) closed the gap to the top to 16 points in a thrilling 14-run triumph over fellow promotion candidates Headingley Bramhope (120ao).
Garforth Paris Church (132) moved closer to an immediate drop back into Division Three after a 23-run defeat at Scholes (153).
A huge partnership between John Lionden (64no) and Adam Copeland (69no) gave Meanwood a rare victory at neighbours St Chad’s Broomfield A.
A depleted Kirk Hammerton (119) lost by 94 runs at home to Long Marston (213-5),while Sherburn Eversley (125-4) beat Thorner Mexborough (124).
Chris Gill smashed a club-record double hundred to fire Darley to a huge win over Alne on Saturday.
Gill tore the Alne attack apart as third-placed Darley plundered 344-4 off their 45 overs.
The batsman finished unbeaten on 214, from 122 balls, in an innings that included 22 maximums.
Brad Stephens and Rory Sands ensured Darley had no worries in the field with three wickets apiece as Alne made just 140 in reply.
Darley remain 14 points adrift of title favourites Ouseburn, with Birstwith a single point in front in the race for second.
Birstwith continued their impeecable run with the bat to chase down 251 at fellow first-year Division One side West Tanfield.
Jim Riley added 75 to last week’s double century while Craig Robinson totalled 56 in the six-wicket win.
West Tanfield had been sitting pretty at the tea interval following Adam Hodgkinson’s century but it proved not to be enough.
Ouseburn survived a rocky chase to overhaul a low target against Pateley Bridge.
Russell Robshaw claimed four scalps as Bridge were routed for just 79.
Ouseburn lost five men cheaply in the reply but reached the target with Jamie Bryant (31no) at the crease.
Chris Morrison also scored 30 to add to his three earlier wickets.
Bridge remain stuck at the bottom of the table, seven points adrift of Bishop Thornton who lost at home to Knaresborough Forest.
Andy Derrick and Josh Davies both scored 63 for Thornton as they made a competitive 214-7.
Jack Kellett gave everything he could to take five wickets in Forest’s reply but it was not enough as Jack Martin smashed an unbeaten 87 in a three-wicket win.
Captain Craig Hunt rescued Spofforth down the order in their 50-run win over Helperby.
Hunt came to the crease with his side in desperate trouble at 75-5 but smashed 69 off 68 balls to add another 100 to the score.
Helperby’s charge was undone by Jim Roberts (4-21) and Tom Lawson (3-30) as they were all out for just 125.
James Townsend was another skipper producing the goods at the weekend as he guided Burton Leonard to an eight-wicket win at Hampsthwaite.
Townsend hit 122 not out from 84 balls as Leonard chased 205, Miles Rangeley added 53 not out.
Hampsthwaite had contributions from James Cousen (51), Stephen Laurence (52) and Luke Manion (44no) in setting up 204-6.
In Division Two, Masham secured promotion to the top tier after claiming a 16th win of the season.
The league leaders were far too strong for Thornton-le-Moor and bowled the relegation candidates out for just 83 in a seven-wicket win.
Second-placed Goldsborough were also seven-wicket victors as they claimed a simple win over Blubberhouses.
Bash Khan (55) lacked support as Blubbs made 126, with Ben Mackrill chipping away at the order with 5-30.
The consistent Damon Ive then made 74 not out as Golds’ reached the target inside 30 overs.
Markington look to be the only team capable of stopping the leading pair and enjoyed a comfortable afternoon at home to Raskelf.
Graham Bassitt’s 4-15 helped bowl Raskelf out for just 144, a total reached in 25.4 overs by the visitors.
Ripley picked up a crucial win at the bottom end of the table after blowing Newby Hall away for 66.
Ian Taylor took five wickets before Ian Robinson made 49 not out in the reply.
Dacre Banks dropped down to second-bottom after failing to defend 214-8 against Harrogate 3rds.
Waqas Rasheed had made an impressive 80 for Banks but Harrogate responded in style. Jordan Marshall scored 70 as Harrogate scraped home by three wickets.
Studley Royal 2nds (175-9) made a meal of chasing Scotton’s 196 and fell 22 runs shy of victory.
Elsewhere, Lofthouse and Middlesmoor have been relegated from Division Three with Rainton and Ripon 2nds possibilities to join them.
Wath and Melmberby and Burnt Yates are locked together on 73 points at the top of the table.
In Division Seven, West Tanfield 2nds gained promotion without playing after Rainton 2nds were unable to raise a side.