Inconsistent Burley need to kick-on

DANGERMAN: Burley bowler Jason Wright

DANGERMAN: Burley bowler Jason Wright

First published in Sport

Burley need a big performance against second-placed Kirkstall in the Aire-Wharfe League on Saturday if their season is not to fizzle out before it reaches the halfway stage.

Despite the efforts of consistent performers Nick Brook, Charlie Davy and Ed Brown, their dreams of retaining the Waddilove Cup died when they collapsed from 102-2 to 141 in reply to Collingham’s 212.

It was the second time they had lost to Collingham, a team languishing at the bottom of the table, and an up-and-down league campaign sees Burley in mid-table, already 30 points adrift of leaders Otley.

But after a good start to the season, Kirkstall have also begun to look vulnerable, especially their batting. So if dangerman Jason Wright can get among them, Burley might just give their campaign the kick it needs.

Third-placed Steeton, who entertain Collingham, are in a position to take advantage of any Kirkstall slip up but will be mindful of what happened to Burley.

Last season, Otley’s trip to Beckwithshaw would have been a daunting occasion but such has been the champions’ fall from grace that it will be a major surprise if Otley don’t reinforce their place at the top.

Rawdon were very sporting about being on the wrong end of a major cup shock when they were beaten by Addingham and will be looking to restore some pride against Ben Rhydding, while Guiseley, who have won their last four completed league and cup matches, should be too strong for Pool.

With only 15 points separating the bottom five in Division Two, there will be some tense battles to try to gain breathing space above the drop zone.

Bottom side Thackley have a good chance to pick up some much-needed points against fellow strugglers Upper Wharfedale but Bolton Villas face a much tougher trip to Knaresborough.

Harden travel to Tong Park Esholt, who are looking for a third successive win, while Green Lane can escape that anxious pack near the bottom with a good performance against Colton, who have gone off the boil recently.

The match of the day in Division Three is the clash between unbeaten leaders Horsforth, fresh from knocking Pool out of the cup, and nearest rivals Illingworth.

Third-placed Silsden will be expected to beat Alwoodley, and Calverley can maintain their challenge at home to Olicanian.

Hall Park will wonder what to expect from cup giant-killers Addingham, whose only league win came against struggling Bardsey, while Menston entertain Woodhouse, the only side in the league yet to register a victory.

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