OTLEY bounced back from their cup defeat to local rivals Burley-in-Wharfedale, by beating Olicanian in a three-wicket victory at the weekend.

They reached their target of 195 in the 40 overs, and the win ensured the away side continued their mid-season momentum, as they continue to push for the title.

The victory pushed Otley into Third, which is a remarkable achievement for a side that started so inconsistently in the league.

And captain George Huntley was delighted with his side's bounce-back win.

He said: "I'm delighted we got the win, and it was a good performance in summary really.

"We didn't bowl particularly well, but we got wickets at key times, and we kept them under 200, which was good on the wicket

"And batting-wise, we batted really well."

Huntley added: "The defeat against Burley in the cup was a tough one to take, but it shows the strength of the squad to be able to come back from a defeat like that, and to keep our title ambitions alive.

"We hope this is the victory to push us on further and reach our goal of becoming champions again.

"I have full faith that we can do it, and we have two massive games coming up against Saltaire and Rawdon. If we can beat Saltaire on Saturday, then that is a big swing of momentum for us.

"And then Rawdon the week after, so it's going to be two season defining games for us."

Otley started the season in an inconsistent manner, losing their opening two fixtures to the two sides above them-Rawdon and Saltaire, but since then a drastic change in form has seen their fortunes turn.

And Huntley feels the improvements could be to do with the fact that his side have learnt to win again.

He said: "I think we've just found a way to win games again, rather than losing games. It's a mentality thing

"We haven't particularly played to our full potential yet, and we are still grinding out results, which is a huge positive.

"So, when we do reach our best, I think we will be unstoppable really.

"Our batting form has continued into this season. It has been a strong point throughout this campaign, and we are batting right down to number eleven.

"We have players who come in at nine, ten or even eleven who can win us a game of cricket."

Looking ahead to the table-topping fixture against Saltaire at the weekend, Huntley believes that the change in form of his side, has given him the confidence to believe they can beat them.

He said: "Our run has given me and the side the confidence and belief to know that we can beat Saltaire at the weekend.

"Seeing them lose to Burley also shows they are beatable, so it's going to be a huge game for us.

"It's going to be a tough test. They've been consistent all season and they've had the same team out every week, which is a big bonus for them.

"Because when you are missing players every other week, you find you don't get the consistency in performances.

"The way they play is relentless too. They try and smash the ball from the first over, so it can be hard to stop.

"They have lots of good players who score a lot of runs, and we will need to be on our A-game.

"Like us, they have batters even further down the order, so we need to concentrate until they are all out."