6:30pm Thursday 1st May 2014
By Sports Desk
Something has to give when Otley entertain Kirkstall in Division One of the Aire-Wharfe League on Saturday, both sides having started the season with two wins.
Both Otley’s victories – over Rawdon and Guiseley – have been close-run affairs and they will be conscious that Kirkstall have already taken the scalp of defending champions Beckwithshaw.
They will also have noted that the visitors are the only side in the division with maximum bowling points under the new bonus system – mainly down to Tom Webb, their new signing from Baildon.
Ilkley and Rawdon, the two sides promoted from Division Two, go head to head having had very different experiences in their top-flight baptism.
With Jonathan Hughes in top form with the bat, Ilkley are joint-top with Kirkstall, while Rawdon are in the bottom two. But both their defeats have not been by much and they will be keen to halt their rivals’ run.
Burley have also made a winning start to the campaign and are likely to stretch that to three in a row at Collingham, while Guiseley should be too strong for Bilton.
Steeton have been the most successful side under the new points system, taking 18 of a possible 20, and they will be confident facing a Ben Rhydding team smarting from being dismissed in their latest match for 56 when only chasing 61.
Having missed out last week, when their game at Upper Wharfedale was the only one washed out, Tong Park Esholt will look to get their Division Two challenge back on track when they go to Green Lane, who have still to break their duck.
Harden have found life difficult following relegation and they will need an upturn in form if they are to upset Bolton Villas, who already have several players showing good form.
Skipton have made an impressive start following promotion but face their toughest test to date with the visit of North Leeds, who are only one bonus point off the top of the table, while Thackley will hope to kick-start their season at Knaresborough.
Division Three surprise package Silsden face Calverley, who last week notched their first win following relegation, while Horsforth will expect to make it three wins in three against Addingham.
Olicanian face a tough trip to early pacemakers Illingworth – and Hall Park will need their A game at New Rover, who have looked very impressive so far.
Menston can climb the table against a Bardsey side struggling to adapt to life after relegation.
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