Horsforth’s Oli Hardacker believes his side are playing with more “grit and determination” after they beat fellow high-fliers North Leeds to go third in the league.
Weather once again affected the Airedale and Wharefdale Cricket League with only two Division One matches not being abandoned.
Horsforth and North Leeds’ fixture survived the weather but was cut to 36 overs. It was Horsforth who came out winners by 14-runs, with North Leeds’ run chase falling short after running out of overs.
Horsforth had set a target of 175 with overseas batsmen Byron Boshoff top-scoring with 47. In reply North Leeds lost nine wickets and ran out of time with Gareth Lee taking figures of 4-22 to secure a win for Horsforth, who have risen to third in the table.
“Last week we played against Collingham and beforehand we spoke in the changing rooms about how we needed to really play with more grit and determination and be more ruthless and play harder,” said Hardacker.
“We went on and played well there and that’s caused a bit of a run and could possibly be the turn of our season after we had suffered a few losses.
“And now, after a tight win over North Leeds, it means that we’ve got it in us to be tough and now if we want to push on we’ve got to beat the bigger teams and learn from the mistakes from earlier in the season.
“The aim is to push for the title. We’re here to win, we know there’s a lot of work to be done to be as good as Beckwithshaw and Otley, but we still feel that we can win.”
Horsforth travel to Rawdon next time out.
Elsewhere in Division One, Otley extended their lead at the top of the table as they secured a comfortable nine-wicket victory over Collingham.
Collingham were skittled out for just 82 with James Davies taking figures of 6-30. In reply the league leaders lost only one wicket with Ben Morley scoring 51 off just 33 balls.
Division Two was also affected by the weather but did see four games being played to a result.
Third-placed Knaresborough kept up the pressure on the top two as they beat Addingham by six wickets with opener Tom Beasley top scoring for the victors with 80 as they chased down 160.
Calverley St Wilfrids moved up to fourth as they beat mid-table Adel by nine wickets in a match where wickets didn’t come easily with only five being taken overall.
Skipton moved further away from the relegation zone as they beat Illingworth by seven wickets. The result has left Illingworth four points adrift of safety after third-bottom Thackley lost by five wickets to Follifoot.
We are now beyond the halfway stage in the league season, meaning that the matches are now hotting up with sides competing for the league title and scrapping to avoid releagation.
Next up in Division One will see league leaders Otley face a tough task away at North Leeds, and second-placed Beckwithshaw will travel to mid-table Collingham.
Second-bottom Steeton host fourth-placed Burley whilst bottom-of-the-table Kirkstall face Bilton.
The stand-out fixture in Division Two is second-placed Guiseley taking on third-placed Knaresborough.
Kirk Deighton now hold a nine-point advantage in Division One after title rivals Scarcroft crashed to a 23-run defeat at Barwick-in-Elmet.
Deighton franked the form book in a four-wicket success over bottom of the league Church Fenton, despite the presence of a former international player in the hosts line0up.
Connor Williams, 42, scored nearly 8,000 runs in first class cricket for Barodaf in India and made one test appearance against South Africa in 2001, only for the match to be later made unofficial due to protests over the suspension of Virender Sehwag.
The left-hander smashed a half century opening the batting for Fenton but his innings of 73 lacked support with the home team dismissed on 156. Scott Jaffray (5-23) and Rich Ward (4-50) took the wickets.
Jaffray then top-scored with an unbeaten 38 as the league leaders reached the target for the loss of six wickets.
Young wicketkeeper Ewan Hardy scored 56 as Barwick’s 170-9 proved too much for Scarcroft, as Jake Cullen took 5-35. Bilal Shahid (34) was the only man to get going for the second-placed side, while Nazakat Hussain had earlier claimed five wickets.
Bilton-in-Ainsty remain 14 points off the top following a commanding win over Shadwell. Luke Schumann (67no and 4-22) and Tim Lambert (5-20) produced the goods as Shadwell were dismissed for just 78 in reply to 157-5. Second-bottom Old Leodiensians failed to improve their survival chances in a 40-run loss at home to South Milford.
Contributions from Peter Batty (43), Ben White (41), Alex Wards (49no) and Paul Hebden (37no) gave Milford a healthy 203-4 before Dan White’s 5-39 restricted the hosts to 163-9.
Hillam and Monk Fryston also won by 40 runs in a low-scoring affair against Garforth Parish Church.
Adrian Joynson’s 53 proved pivotal for Hillam who had Garforth staring at the prospect of a humiliating score before last pair James Pegg (24) and youngster Tom Conboy (21no and 5-42) put up resistance.
St Chad’s match against Sicklinghall was rained off.
Rufforth’s perfect record in Division Two came to an end as the weather washed out their match at Thorner Mexborough.
Overseas ace Andrew Bottega blitzed his highest total on English soil in a rain-affected draw against Knaresborough Forest.
Bottega smashed eight sixes and 17 boundaries in a 133-ball knock of 174 as Spofforth racked up a massive 323-3 from 45 overs.
Nick Robinson (52) and James Roberts (73no) added further punishment to the Forest attack, who were spared in the second innings by the rain.
A storm descended on School Lane with Forest strongly positioned on 120-2 from 15.1 overs and with Australian Aaron Brunner (42no) crucially at the crease.
League leaders Ouseburn (222-8) had no such problem in dispatching West Tanfield by 56 runs following knocks of 80 and 51 for Sam Parker and David Cummings respectively.
Captain Cummings completed an all-star performance with 6-34 to bowl Tanfield out for 166. Darley kept the heat on the leaders with a devastating win over Hampsthwaite. Four wickets apiece for Brad Stephens (4-14) and Michael Beecroft (4-15) dismissed Hamps for just 75.
Darley reached the score from just 10.4 overs, with Chris Gill striking six maximums in 59 not out.
In another low-scoring game, Helperby scrambled past Burton Leonard’s 76 with two wickets in hand. Sam Crompton’s five-for was not enough to stop Helperby, who recovered from 39-7 thanks to Dan Marston’s measured 23 not out.
Birstwith kept their feint title hopes alive with a seven-wicket win over Bishop Thornton (213-9), with captain Jon Millward shining with the bat. Millward topscored with 60 as Birstwith chased 214 and had team-mates Tom Croston (41), Craig Robinson (39no) and James Riley (40) all helping out.
Andrew Derrick (49), Josh Davies (48) and Ben Sadler (44) sent Thorton towards a competitive target.
Alne won the battle of the bottom two as Pateley Bridge dropped closer towards an immediate return to Division Two.
Bridge amassed 210-7 thanks to contributions by Nick Shirt (61) and Tom Fryer (39) as Toby Stirke took 3/45 for Alne. Edward Myers gave the visitors’ chase a perfect start, scoring 95 runs from just 66 balls but 80 runs were still needed when his wicket fell to Nick Shirt (4-49).
Pateley were moderate favourites with Alne reduced to 147-5 but a quick-fire 36 from Alastair Jackson saw Alne across the line by four wickets.
Title favourites Masham stretched their winning streak to 12 matches in Division Two but were pushed hard by Ripley.
Having made a competitive 189-9 first, Masham held off a spirited attempt from Ripley which came to a halt on 179-9.
Damon Ive struck his fourth century of the season as second-placed Goldsborough took the points over Dacre Banks.
Ive carried his bat through the opening 45 overs with an unbeaten score of 111 to lead the home team up to 235-5 at the interval.
The Goldsborough stalwart hit three sixes and ten boundaries in the knock and he shared a 79-run partnership with Stewart Cummings (44).
The Dacre response got off to a strong start but wickets tumbled as Kevin Wilks (4-32) took three in his first four overs.
The visitors denied Golds’ maximum points but ended short on 169-8.
Simon Pinkney scored an unbeaten 77 but it could not help winless Thornton-le-Moor to victory against third-placed Raskelf.
Instead, Raskelf chased down a target of 140 with six wickets in hand. Matthew Sigsworth scored 60 not out.
Graham Bassitt scored a century for Markington to strike a narrow win over neighbours Studley Royal 2nds.
His 112 took Markington up to 255 all out, which Royal fell 20 runs shy of despite the collective efforts of Oli Simenacz (52), Chris Hill (58no) and Nick Stewart (77).
Newby Hall comfortably beat Harrogate 3rds thanks to seven wickets from Riley Thompson.
Wicketkeeper Paul Virr had scored 82 in Newby’s 219-6 before Thompson destroyed the Harrogate order for 122, finishing with figures of 7-40.
Blubberhouses and Scotton were rained off.