Otley clean up after big mopping up exercise
Otley were rewarded for their extensive mopping-up operations with a thrilling seven-run victory over Beckwithshaw in one of the few games to start on Saturday.
Otley chairman Chris Smith said: “When I was a player I was determined to get a game on and now I am chairman I am determined to get a game on.
“We started mopping up at ten to nine in the morning, and both Beckwithshaw and the umpires were happy for us to play, and it was remarkably dry considering.”
Beckwithshaw, promoted from Division Two of the Aire-Wharfe League last season, won the toss and elected to field in what turned out to be a 23-overs-per-side match.
Former Otley captain James Davies, who opened, and Josh Atkinson put on 92 for the second wicket, with Davies’ 54 coming off 34 balls and including five fours and four sixes.
Atkinson scored 39 off 32 balls that contained four fours and two sixes, and wicketkeeper Alex Atkinson (14), Oliver Halliday (23), Stephen Brown (16) and Joshua Stephenson (18no) took Otley to 197-8.
Of the six bowlers used, only Scott Irvine (2-27 off six overs) was able to keep a lid on the home scoring.
Beckwithshaw captain Ben Holderness made 31 before falling at 42-3, and only 16 were added in the next five overs.
Peter Hotchkiss was biding his time though, and found a willing ally in Alex Morrell.
Together they added 80 runs for the fifth wicket in under nine overs, with Morrell eventually falling for 45, made off 25 balls and including five fours and two sixes. Hotchkiss went for 47 and Marcus Lynn finished on 39 not out as Beckwithshaw, who needed 20 to win off the last over, ended up just eight runs short of victory in what Smith called “a fantastic game of cricket”.
Elsewhere, the Bradford Premier League suffered a washout at both first and second-team level – the worst day for them in terms of rain since July, 2019 – albeit given most of 2020 was wiped out by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, East Bierley secured their place in today’s Solly Sports Heavy Woollen Cup quarter-final draw after easing to a six-wicket win over Birstall. They bowled out the home side for 134 with Dan Abbott impressing with 6-39, before knocking off the runs in just 14.2 overs.
Elsewhere in the Heavy Woollen Cup, Farsley beat Elsecar, Castleford defeated Hanging Heaton and Gomersall beat Sandal.