Otley raring to maintain their unbeaten tag

Wharfedale Observer: Otley celebrate last weekend after James Davies takes a wicket against Ilkley Buy this photo Otley celebrate last weekend after James Davies takes a wicket against Ilkley

A rare bank holiday Aire-Wharfe League programme, to make way for a free ‘Le Tour’ weekend, means two games in three days and an opportunity to make a mark on the tables as a third of the season is complete.

League leaders Otley are the only unbeaten side in Division One, and with players like James Davies and Ben Morley in consistent form and Jamie Pickering still on a high from his unbeaten 158 in the cup last weekend, they will fancy their chances of maintaining that at Burley on Saturday and at home to Pool on Monday.

Possibly the toughest task of the weekend falls to third-placed Steeton, who travel to Kirkstall and then entertain Ilkley, the sides either side of them in the table.

Ilkley, who bounced back from defeat by Otley with a big cup win, face struggling Pool on Saturday.

At the other end of the table, Rawdon can build on last week’s gutsy first win over Steeton and climb off the bottom when they entertain Collingham, who are level with them on points.

They then travel to Guiseley, who also face a tricky match at improving defending champions Beckwithshaw.

Having notched their first win in a Charlie Swallow-inspired display against Guiseley, Ben Rhydding will hope to build on that against Bilton and Burley.

Thackley are desperate to throw off the tag of the only Division Two side without a win.

It will be tough to do that against second-placed North Leeds, but Monday’s visit to Harden, who are only five points above them, might be the chance of a breakthrough.

Harden, however, could have improved their position by then because they take on another struggling side, Green Lane, on Saturday before Lane face a difficult game against Adel.

Skipton’s good start to the season should be maintained at Colton and against Upper Wharfedale , who provide Bolton Villas’ opposition on Saturday. 

Villas then go on to entertain Tong Park Esholt, who have a tough warm-up against third-placed Knaresborough.

Division Three leaders Silsden look to have the edge over Menston but might find the going harder against third-placed Illingworth.

The double header of the weekend sees Horsforth, who are looking like genuine promotion favourites, travel to Calverley and then entertain neighbours Hall Park.

After a slow start, Calverley have started to look like a side capable of bouncing straight back following relegation, while Park will be burning to avenge last week’s cup defeat when Horsforth bowled them out for 25.

Calverley should win comfortably against bottom side Woodhouse on Monday, while Park take on Illingworth on Saturday.

Second-from-bottom Addingham have two home matches against New Rover and Olicanian, who will be expected to notch two wins, starting with Alwoodley on Saturday.

 

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