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Ben Rhydding survive in Aire-Wharfe League thanks to inspired Charlie Swallow innings
Charlie Swallow produced an inspired display that snatched an unlikely Aire-Wharfe League victory for Ben Rhydding and secured their place in Division One at the expense of Thackley, who are relegated just a year after being crowned champions.
Thackley needed a winning draw against Otley to be sure of survival but crumbled against some fine bowling from Ricky Halloran (6-24).
They only managed to reach 71 thanks to Shane Marshall’s ninth- and tenth-wicket stands with Nasser Jamal and Andy Stothart, which added 35 runs. Josh Atkinson (45) led Otley’s successful reply.
With Kirkstall Educational batting first at Ben Rhydding, nothing less than victory would see the home side survive the drop.
The task became harder when Kirkstall set a target of 202-6 and looked impossible when Ben Rhydding collapsed to 38-5, 43-6 and 70-7.
But as they showed in the Waddilove Cup final, Ben Rhydding are fighters and their hopes rested on the shoulders of number three batsman Swallow, who was still at the crease.
He duly put on 87 with Laurie O’Connor (37) and then saw the job out alongside Alex Miller (28no), finishing with his own season’s best score of 78 not out.
At the other end of the table, Collingham squeaked a victory over Steeton to add the title to their Waddilove Cup triumph.
Chasing the home side’s 143, David Wildsmith (55) took his tally to 230 runs in the last three matches and raised Steeton ’s hopes.
Toby Jacklin (6-37) pegged them back but they got to within eight runs of victory before losing their final wicket.
Neil Davies (3-18) and Shane Etherington (3-20) skittled out Bilton for 85 and even though Burley lost seven wickets on the way, they secured their fifth win in the last six matches.
With Follifoot beating Beckwithshaw, that was enough to see Burley climb into the runners-up spot.
Abid Awan (4-17) and Damon Reeve (3-19) starred as Guiseley dismissed Adel for 65 to set up a six-wicket win.
A season’s best 73 not out from Matthew McCallum and 45 by Chris Brown helped Rawdon ease past Olicanian’s 134-6 (Chris Wheeler 51), by nine wickets.
But with Pool easily beating Bardsey, Rawdon missed out on promotion by two points.
Green Lane’s late charge was also thwarted as they became Knaresborough’s seventh victim in eight matches, losing by 62 runs despite 57 by Davin Charleston and four wickets each from Michael Slater and Adeel Ashraf.
Brothers Andrew (27) and Michael (38) Clarke top-scored as Bolton Villas beat relegated Upper Wharfedale (119) by five wickets.
Openers Rory Kroon (53) and Alex Bailey (41) gave Ilkley a good start but then things fell away to 160 and North Leeds took the points by four wickets.
Tong Park Esholt climbed out of Division Three in style, beating Illingworth by 54 runs.
Danny Groom’s unbeaten half-century in 48 balls and a superb 102 from AJ Weerapuli helped the home side to 214-4 before Nadeem Hanif (5-35) took his wicket tally to 39 in ten games to clinch the victory.
Steve Carling hit 73 in Skipton ’s 157 but it was not enough to stop New Rover winning by five wickets and leaving the visitors at the bottom of the heap.
They are joined in re-election by Horsforth , who for the sixth time in seven matches failed to get past 100.
Ricky Palacio followed up his knock of 64 with 4-26 as Horsforth crumbled to 80 in response to Addingham ’s 222-8, which included 72 from Jason Smith and 42 by Daryl Robinson.
Perennial fall guys Alwoodley escaped the bottom two with a four-wicket win over Hall Park (169), Silsden rounded things off with a five-wicket victory over Woodhouse (175-8) and Menston ’s long-time promotion challenge petered out when they went down by eight wickets at champions Colton after only posting 81.