AIRE-WHARFE cricketers could hardly have wished for better conditions to kick off the new season, but it was a nightmare start for reigning Division One champions Saltaire, who were comfortably beaten by Collingham & Linton at Ryshworth Park.

Wicketkeeper Bilal Hamid (48) got the hosts off to a strong start but they could only manage 150, a total that the visitors reached with seven wickets to spare thanks to a 79-run partnership between Charlie Swallow (44 not out) and wicketkeeper Dan Kilby (37 no).

Otley claimed the maximum 20 in a similar fashion at North Leeds, with captain George Huntley (56no) leading from the front as they chased down the hosts’ 123 in just 24.4 overs.

Rawdon were the only team to make over 200, with strong performances from Tyler Willmot (39no), James Dobson (48), and the ever-reliable Ben Morley (60) laying down a marker of 224 for Bilton to chase.

Willmot (3-23) and Jake Hodges (4-14) then cleaned up with the ball as the hosts were bowled out for just 72.

Both newly-promoted teams also made their marks on the division with wins against Burley-in-Wharfedale and Beckwithshaw respectively.

A 58-run partnership between openers Michael Richmond (19) and Waleed Akhtar (41) formed over half of New Rover’s 109 against Burley, with the hosts falling just 13 runs short of their target against a strong bowling attack that included Aqsad Ali (4-15) and Shahzada Khan (3-34).

John Brough’s devastating 5-24 set Horsforth Hall Park on their way to victory at home to Beckwithshaw, with the visitors’ disappointing 114 chased down in 34 overs thanks to Tom Watson (35) and Andrew Bairstow (23).

In the only other match in the division, Addingham cruised past Ilkley, with a century partnership between Richard Atkins (63no) and John H Johnson (45) seeing them chase down 151 with five wickets, and almost half their overs, to spare.

In Division Two, Steeton picked up where they left off, and are the early pacesetters after claiming the maximum 20 against Horsforth at King George’s Field.

Tom Colley (23), Jonathon Lister (20), and captain Alex Wiggan (11) were the only batters to make double figures for the hosts, with a 92-run partnership between openers Jack Ramage (41) and James Robinson (39 no) seeing Steeton overhaul their target of 102 in just 16 overs.

It was a similar story for both Calverley St Wilfrids and Harden, who settled into life in the division with wins at Green Lane and Olicanian.

A spectacular middle-order collapse that saw five wickets lost for just four runs proved to be Green Lane’s downfall as they fell 67 runs short of their 164 target, while Harden snatched victory from the jaws of defeat after bowling Olicanian out for just one run shy of their 173 total.

Will Pallister and Charlie Bell took five wickets apiece to help Pool to a 17-run win at home to Adel, while Istikhar Hussain claimed a handful of his own as Follifoot bowled Bardsey out for a paltry 87 to win by 35 runs.

Elsewhere, the impressive Gareth Wilkinson (56no) and Taseer Javed (5-28) saw Tong Park Esholt to a 79-run victory at Colton Institute.

Bolton Villas and Kirkstall Educational are leading the pack in Division Three, with both claiming the maximum 20 in games with contrasting scorelines.

Notable contributions from Aadam Hussain (47) and Daanyaal Hussain (39) saw Kirkstall post 273, a total that Rawdon 2nds came nowhere near reaching despite middle-order batsman Richard Porter making 62.

At the other end of the scale, Bolton Villas needed just 11 overs to knock off Old Leodiensians' 51, after unplayable spells from Sam Lawrence (6-31) and Adam Shabir (4-20) before tea.

Wicketkeeper Tom Mounsey (75) helped Menston kick off their campaign with a two-wicket win at home to Alwoodley, while Jack Holland (87no) hit 15 fours and two sixes to help Thackley chase down Ilkley 2nds’ competitive 221 with 16 overs to spare.

There were also narrow wins for Leeds Modernians and Skipton against North Leeds 2nds and Guiseley respectively, with the latter claiming victory with just one ball remaining.