Skipton gave the morale a mighty boost in the Airedale & Wharfedale Cricket League when they blasted Division A side Otley out of the Waddilove Cup at the first round stage with a massive 10-wicket win at Sandylands.

Relegated in successive seasons since the exodus of players a couple of seasons ago, Skipton are now regrouping in Division C and on the evidence of this performance, they should be able to decorate their 150th anniversary season with more wins than they have enjoyed of late.

The win over Otley was achieved via a controlled performance with the ball and an even better effort with the bat in which openers Kevin Owens and Steven Carling were unbeaten.

When Otley subsided to 42-5, it seemed that there might not be any need for a major effort from the batsmen, but a sixth-wicket stand of 81 rescued the position and left Skipton needing 137 for victory, Chris Hope finishing with 3-11 from nine excellent overs, which included removing the top three Otley batsmen.

There was no removing the Skipton openers, however, as Owens (60no) and Carling (59no) carried the side into round two and a trip to Tong Park on June 8. Chander Sheikar blasted 18 fours and five sixes in an unbeaten 148 to steer Tong Park through against Horsforth, so there are bigger tests ahead.

In Saturday's league game at Olicanian, Skipton had to settle for a draw at 147-7 chasing the home side's 171-4