Aire-Wharfe League: Horsforth overturn torrid start to season

Second-tier action from Follifoot v Kirkstall. PIC: Steve Riding
Second-tier action from Follifoot v Kirkstall. PIC: Steve Riding
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new-look Horsforth continued their upturn in fortunes since the takeover of Ollie Hardaker as captain as they shocked Bilton in a low-scoring three wicket win on Saturday.

The Brownberrie Lane side, who had found themselves in the relegation places after a torrid start to the season, elevated themselves to eighth, 26 points from the drop zone.

A bowling breakthrough during the Follifoot v Kirkstall Educational encounter. PIC: Steve Riding

A bowling breakthrough during the Follifoot v Kirkstall Educational encounter. PIC: Steve Riding

Hardaker said how pleased he was with his side’s efforts in bowling out the sixth-placed Harrogate outfit for just 80.

Former Northants second teamer Charlie Swallow (6-25) and young Alex Myers (3-55) provided the new-ball partnership in the absence of big-reputation, off-season signings Sharrukh Kahn and Michael Kitson, who have both returned to their former clubs.

“Our two opening bowlers were on great form, and bowled so consistently,” he said. “Alex Myers stepped up to the new ball for the first time this year and looked good. Going forward, those two can form a really great partnership.”

The Horsforth batsmen made hard work of chasing such a meagre total, losing seven wickets, six to the wily leg-break partnership of Kiel van Vollenhoven (3-22) and Mustahsan Ali Shah (3-23).

Follifoot bowler Josh Cutts. PIC: Steve Riding

Follifoot bowler Josh Cutts. PIC: Steve Riding

Opener Ben Heritage stood firm with a typically stoic 28 not out from 97 balls, and aside from Leon Harber (15), Corey Barsby (12) and Charlie Swallow (11), no batsman made it to double figures.

Hardaker says it is over to the club’s existing core to get themselves further towards safety and climb into the middle of the table.

“The guys all came together and spoke about how each of us needs to up their game and stand up, and the bowlers definitely did that,” said Hardaker. “The batters need to do so now and put together some consistent innings.

“Bilton obviously set a pitch to their strength and have two really good attacking leg spinners, but it was a good win against a good side.”

Nestled between Horsforth and the drop zone are North Leeds, who crashed to defeat despite bowling leaders Beckwithshaw out for 184.

Ross Sedgley top scored with 62 for the hosts, who were pegged back by the continuing form of Barry Singleton, who took 5-31. North Leeds were rolled for 105 thanks in the main to Oliver Hotchkiss, who took 4-31.

Four points and one place back on ’Shaw are hard-hitting Burley, who smashed 313-7 against basement-dwelling Colton. Contributions came throughout the Burley middle order, Nicky Bulcock top scoring with 63, before Nick Brook’s spell of 5-47 secured maximum points with Colton all out for 217.

Nick Thackray carried his bat for 85 not out.

Collingham’s batting woes continued as they spiralled to 92 all out in response to Rawdon’s 210, for whom Andrew Duckworth struck 63.

Slow left-armer Bradley Reeve took 5-25 as only Jack Harrison (45) showed any resistance. Rawdon go fourth. Skipper Charlie Bell (72) seemed to have got Pool off to a good start against Ilkley.

But his side were pegged back by Henry Wilson’s 4-50 and were all out for 176.

In reply, 51 from Rory Kroon and an unbeaten 49 from Jibrael Malik saw Ilkley home by eight wickets.

Otley remain third after Chris Thompson’s spell of 5-18 ripped the heart out of Guiseley, who were rolled for just 87. And 35 not out from Matt O’Grady saw the Cross Greeners home by six wickets inside 20 overs.

In the second tier, Follifoot kept the heat on league leaders Adel with a resounding win over Kirkstall thanks, in part, to Nick Robinson’s 110 not out. They posted an imposing 309-4 before steamrolling the Kirkstall batting line-up for 110 to win by 199 runs.

Adel came back from being bowled out for 126 to skittle Tong Park Esholt for 92, with six wickets falling to the spin of Gavin Thorpe (3-24) and Andy Laws (3-4).

Ben Rhydding remain in the hunt and beat Steeton by 81 runs thanks to a 158-run partnership between Lewis Bolton (100 not out) and Struan Connor (97).