TWO of the Waddilove Cup’s most successful teams go head to head on Sunday for a place in this year’s final.
Otley have won the cup ten times, but not since 1988, while Guiseley, who have picked up the trophy nine times, have to look back to 2003 when they completed a hat-trick of wins.
On paper, Otley look firm favourites. They top Division One and have already beaten Guiseley twice this season, most recently last weekend when the cruised home by 162 runs with skipper James Davies (74 and 5-22) leading the way.
But with players like Brian Jackson, who has already scored more than 500 runs this season, and Nasir Jamal, who is approaching 30 wickets, Guiseley are capable of causing an upset.
It’s difficult to see any giant-killing coming from the other semi-final, where Division One Collingham should be far too strong for Adel from Division Two.
In the league tomorrow, Burley need to break the hold Collingham have over them this season in order to get their championship challenge back on track.
Last week’s defeat by Steeton means Burley trail Otley by 12 points and they can’t afford to let that extend much further if they are to overtake their consistent rivals.
Collingham edged the first meeting in the league when Burley fell three short chasing down a 171target but when the sides met in the cup, the Wetherby side were much more dominant.
But Burley showed they can bounce back quickly by winning three of the four they have played since then, and with Ed Brown, another already past the 500-run mark, and Nick Brook regularly among the runs and Jason Wright one of the division’s leading wicket-takers, they will fancy their chances of taking the title race to the wire.
Otley travel to Kirkstall, who they skittled out for 74 when they met earlier in the season, with James Wilcock taking 7-29, and even though Andy Siddal’s side are in fourth place, most of their victories have come against sides in the bottom half of the table and it is hard to see Otley slipping up.
Steeton should make it two wins in a row by completing the double over rock-bottom Ben Rhydding, while Rawdon desperately need a win over Ilkley to try to escape from the bottom two.
Having slipped from possible title challengers to hovering just above the relegation spots, Guiseley face Bilton, who they bowled out for 81 when last they met.
Thackley will look to build on their impressive win over Adel and climb out of Division Two’s relegation zone when they entertain Knaresborough.
All of the bottom six are still in the mix, so tomorrow could produce some significant moves.
Bottom club Bolton Villas travel to ninth-placed Harden, who beat Knaresborough last week. Skipton have a tough trip to North Leeds and Tong Park Esholt need a repeat of last week’s winning form when they entertain Green Lane.
Although Addingham have been impressive in recent matches, including last week’s win over second-placed Illingworth, it is hard to see them beating Division Three leaders Horsforth, who racked up 318 runs against them when they met earlier in the season.
Calverley’s up-and-down form has seen their challenge fade and they need a win against Silsden if they are not to lose touch with the leaders, while Hall Park entertain New Rover, the side just above them in the table.
Bardsey moved out of the bottom two last week with a win over Silsden and will now be looking to overhaul opponents Menston, who they beat earlier in the season, while Olicanian entertain Illingworth.