OTLEY’S FINE start to the Aire-Wharfe League Division One season continued on Saturday, with the Cross Green side making it three wins from three at Ilkley.

Following his unbeaten 89 last week, newly-elected chairman Alex Atkinson batted the entirety of his side’s innings to score 127 not out – including 18 fours and three sixes – as they chased down Ilkley’s 199-8 in 34 overs.

The hosts had owed much of that total to the resilience of captain James E Raper (78) and Alex Bailey (36), with Damon Reeve, Oli Halliday, and Stephen Brown taking two wickets apiece for Otley.

Rawdon sit just a point further back after centuries from the in-form Ben Morley (135) and George Myers (110) saw them post 389-8 to claim a 138-run win at Horsforth Hall Park.

Openers Michael Kelsey (92) and Steve Phillips (46) put on 120 for the first wicket but the run rate was never there for Horsforth, who reached 251-8 in their reply after batting out their overs.

Spectators were treated to a run-fest at Hodson Park, with Burley-in-Wharfedale edging a high-scoring encounter by 44 runs.

After a steady start, it took until a 243-run partnership between Red Bolton (186 not out) and Danger Hastings (94) to kickstart their innings, with Beckwithshaw unable to chase down their 405-9, despite four batters making half-centuries.

David Hardcastle (34) was the only batter to make over 20 for Bilton, who were bowled out for just 123 as they struggled against the bowling of Salts skipper Sajad Ali and spinner Mussawar Shah, who took three wickets apiece.

Wickets then fell at regular intervals for Saltaire in their reply, but Jibrael Malik (38 no) and Ali (10 no) saw them over the line midway through the 31st over.

Elsewhere, Waleed Akhtar (92) and Fahid Rehman (68 no) helped New Rover to a five-wicket win at home to Addingham, while a 151-run partnership between Yash Pednekar (109 no) and Farhan Khan (73) set North Leeds on their way to inflict a first defeat of the season on Collingham & Linton.

In Division Two, it was a top-of-the-table affair at Follifoot, who welcomed early leaders Pool to Harrogate.

The ever-reliable Krutik Patel (73) got the visitors off to a good start, but with wickets falling in clusters thereon, it took a timely 77 from middle-order Will Cooper to set a competitive target of 255.

Patel (4-54) and youngster Will Pallister (4-32) then took control with the ball, with No 8 Istikhar Hussain (63) top-scoring as Follifoot recovered from 73-6 to finish on 189.

Calverley St Wilfrids now lead the chasing pack after claiming the maximum 20 with a three-wicket win at Olicanian.

Tom Starkey (44) and middle-order Ryan Hodgson (83) were the only batters of note as Nav Panesar (5-81) and overseas Lachlan Cork (3-52) cleaned up with the ball for Calverley, who chased down their 202 target with seven overs to spare, despite the best efforts of Tom Starkey (4-59).

Elliot Audsley’s decision to bat was a good one, with the Adel skipper adding 74, alongside Tom Harrison’s unbeaten a-run-a-ball 138, as they cruised to a 115-run win at Horsforth.

Tom Colley (63) and Matt Cordingley (29) saw the hosts start well in their chase, but they never came close, Joe Harrison (3-26) and Mark Johnson (2-7) backing up the impressive Rhys Davey (5-63) as Horsforth’s final seven wickets fell for just 27 runs.

Steeton put last weekend’s defeat behind them, with a 107-run partnership between openers Jamie Robinson (54) and Jack Ramage (59) seeing them to a narrow 36-run victory at Colton Institute, while Green Lane’s seven bowlers couldn’t rip through Bardsey as the visitors chased down 184 with three wickets to spare at Nunroyd Park.

Harden were also victorious after a 162-run partnership between Mark Portlock (76 no) and Martin Walker (71) saw them to a nine-wicket win at Tong Park Esholt, with James Sawyer (6-63) having performed with the ball to bowl the visitors out for 161 before tea.

Kirkstall Educational lead the way in Division Three after claiming the maximum 20 with a 76-run win at Alwoodley.

After a disastrous start which left them 39-2, Muhammad Ibtesam Ul Haq (122 no) and Aadam Hussain (103 no) put on an unbroken stand of 238 to see Kirkstall finish on 277-2, with No. 5 Adam Patterson (119) the only batter to make more than 22 in the hosts’ reply of 201.

Guiseley proved much sterner opposition for Thackley after last weekend’s thrashing of Skipton, but that didn’t stop Safwatt Shehzad (5-57), Jonny Thompson (58 no) or Jack Holland (52) performing as the visitors chased down 229 with seven-wickets to spare.

Bolton Villas fell to a 43-run defeat at home to Skipton but remain third, while Menston moved up to fourth after a 137-run stand between skipper Adam Montague-Millar (163 no) and Adeel Nazir (75) helped them cruise to a 129-run victory against North Leeds.

Elsewhere, opener Terry Pattinson (77 no) scored almost half of Ilkley’s total as they chased down Leeds Modernians’ 167 midway through the 32nd over, while Gaurav Kalra (139 no) performed with the bat before taking 5-64 in Old Leodiensian’s 73-run victory at Rawdon 2nds.  REPORT BY: EMMA KENNEDY