There’s an air of positivity at Ilkley despite having dropped into the bottom five, says captain Will Spivey.
The club lost out to North Leeds on Saturday, suffering back-to-back defeats, but 22-year-old Spivey says his troops are full of optimism heading towards the halfway mark.
“We’re still looking to be very positive,” he said. “We had a really good season last year and the aim is still to build on that. We have a cup quarter-final on Sunday and with a good run in the league we could finish as high as we want so there’s still an awful lot to play for.”
Spivey, an assured opening batsman and handy leg spin bowler, took over the captaincy in the off season after nine years of club stalwart Nick Cockcroft holdings the reins.
“I’m really enjoying the captaincy,” he said. “Cocky has been a great help, and we’re lucky to have a number of experienced senior players to fall back on and offer me advice. It’s worked really well so far.”
North Leeds overcame Ilkley on Saturday, winning by 48 runs. Skipper Andrew Carson hit a score of 39 and there were starts for Ryan Smith (26), Faddi Lak (32), Farhan Khan (32) and Dominic Cowley (28 not out) on a day when the toss played a huge part.
“It felt like a tough toss to lose on such a hot day and bowling first was always going to be difficult, but we let them get off to a good start which was frustrating,” said Spivey, who together with left arm spinner Cockcroft returned figures of 2-55 and 3-47 respectively as North Leeds posted 204-5.
Having fallen to 88-7, Ilkley’s blushes were spared by the efforts of Paul Dover who struck 55 not out from number seven to see his side to two bonus batting points in their 156-9.
Spivey’s side next face ninth-placed Collingham on Saturday before a Waddilove Cup quarter-final at Pool on Sunday.
Another side who have slipped down the table in recent weeks are basement dwellers Colton, who were rolled for 106 by Beckwithshaw. Oliver Hotchkiss took 4-37 while Alex Lilley (48 no) and Ross Sedgley (34 no) made light work of the chase.
‘Shaw remain top but are closely followed by Burley, whose red-hot form with the bat continued as they plundered 346-3 against Guiseley thanks to knocks of 139 by Nick Brook, 84 by Dan Revis, 48 not out by Jason Wright and 40 not out from Redmond Bolton.
Guiseley fell 92 runs short of their target despite the efforts of Mike Truswell, who hit 65 ,and James Davey’s 51. Nicky Bulcock took 6-58 to seal the win.
Bilton’s Mustahsan Ali Shah took 4-23 as they skittled Pool for 126, knocking it off inside 30 overs. Vic Craven top scoring with 38.
Otley’s 216 was enough to overcome Rawdon, who could only muster 152. Jack Martin’s 36 was the top score for Otley while Stephen Brown took a match winning 4-47. Leon Harber’s 53 was Horsforth’s first half century of the season and their 206-6 proved too strong for Collingham who were bowled out for 174.
In Division Two, Ben Rhydding kept up their pursuit of leaders Adel with a 38-run win over Horsforth Hall Park. A century from Sam Housam (108) helped Ben Rhydding post 263-9 and Horsforth were bowled out for 225 despite Robbie Salerni’s impressive 110.