Aire-Wharfe: Otley survive summer storms to strike title blow

Follifoot batsman 'Ben Whitehead makes a run for it at Bilton. PIC: Steve Riding
Follifoot batsman 'Ben Whitehead makes a run for it at Bilton. PIC: Steve Riding
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THE Gods smiled on last year’s runners-up Otley who struck a potentially crucial blow in the Aire Wharfe League title race with a nine-wicket win at Adel.

In doing so, the Division One leaders collected another maximum 20-point haul as every other game in the division was abandoned.

Bilton bowler Amir Hussain pitches in against Follifoot. PIC: Steve Riding

Bilton bowler Amir Hussain pitches in against Follifoot. PIC: Steve Riding

Otley are now 27 points ahead of second-placed Burley-in-Wharfedale whose home clash with North Leeds was washed out – with Burley having to settle for taking five points with North Leeds amassing ten.

Otley put their hosts in to bat and only two Adel batsmen made double figures with James Dobson’s 45 rescuing the situation from 13-3 with Griffin Lea then coming to the fore with 60.

But Otley’s bowlers were in control with Chris Thompson taking 3-39 and Stephen Brown (3-32) as Adel were bowled out for 163.

Otley then made light work of their run chase with opener Jamie Pickering dismissed for 16 before Ben Morley (83no) and Alex Atkinson (64no) guided the leaders to 167-1.

Yasir Ali, of Follifoot, watches the ball away for more runs against Bilton. PIC: Steve Riding

Yasir Ali, of Follifoot, watches the ball away for more runs against Bilton. PIC: Steve Riding

Meanwhile Burley won the toss against North Leeds and elected to field but batsman Taran Chana blasted 18 fours and two sixes as part of a superb 126 to see his men to 259-4 with support from George Wales (39), Callum Carson (32) and Nuaman Khan (29no). Despite a knock of 46 from opener Nick Brook, Burley were then 117-5 with Nicky Bullock unbeaten on 31 when the game was abandoned.

Only two games survived across the two top two divisions with Collingham & Linton taking top spot in Division Two thanks to a six-wicket triumph at eighth-placed Olicanian. The hosts elected to bat first but no batsman outscored Sam Pilling’s 32 as Olicanian were dismissed for 166 with Toby Jacklin (3-38) the most successful bowler.

Collingham opener Ed Hayhurst began matters with a solid 32 before an unbeaten 56 from skipper Jonny Haslem guided his side to 167-4.

Collingham are now two points clear of second-placed Horsforth Hall Park who are level on points with third-placed Tong Park Esholt after the two sides saw their top-of-the-table clash washed out, with Horsforth taking eight points and Tong Park nine.

The division’s only other completed fixture came at Colton Institute who suffered a 99-run defeat against Saltaire. The visitors opted to bat first and, after limping to 10-2, Saltaire eventually powered their way to 241 all out after a late 59 that included five sixes and two fours from no 9 batsman Aftab Khan.

His contribution followed the earlier efforts of Amjad Hussain (57) and Adeel Ashraf (50) – all in the face of Colton bowlers Nick Thackray (4-36) and Joe Horner (4-103). But Mussawar Shah’s bowling won the day.

The Saltaire ace took 5-39 which, together with the 3-24 returned by Jhanzaib Sulari, saw Colton sent tumbling for 142 all out. Saltaire sit fourth, 16 points behind second-placed Horsforth Hall Park and third-placed Tong Park Esholt. Colton are sixth.