IT’S NOT very often that you hit a century but end up on the losing side, but that’s exactly what happened to Waleed Akhtar.

His 125 included 16 fours and a six but was not enough to help newcomers New Rover to victory against Division 1 favourites Otley, with the Leeds side falling an agonizing nine runs shy of their target.

Alex Atkinson (92), Josh Atkinson (62), and James Davies (60) had earlier been in fantastic touch for the visitors, who posted a competitive 330-8 before tea.

Rawdon are the new league leaders after claiming the maximum 20 with a 44-run win at Burley-in-Wharfedale.

Batting first, the visitors made 253-8, with Jake Hodges (60), Ben Morley (58), and No.9 Andrew Doidge (49 no) adding the majority as the economical Joe Hall took 5-47.

In reply, middle-order Red Bolton (76) and Nicky Bulcock (51) put on 99 for the fifth wicket before Nathan Goldthorp (5-41), Jake Hodges (2-19), and George Myers (2-13) took over to bowl Burley out for 209.

Ricky Palacio also enjoyed an outstanding afternoon for Addingham, hitting 98 before taking his third five-wicket haul of the season as they claimed the maximum 20 with a 37-run win at home to Beckwithshaw.

Champions Saltaire continue to rue the loss of players over the winter break, falling to their third defeat of the season at North Leeds.

Michael Shelton (5-62) and Farhan Khan (3-41) had a field day as Salts were bowled out for just 193, most of which had been scored by skipper Sajad Ali (71) late on.

Yash Pednekar (103 no) then batted the entirety of the hosts’ innings as they comfortably chased down their target with half their wickets to spare.

Elsewhere, strong performances from both wicketkeeper Steve Phillips (51) and John Brough (4-46) saw Horsforth Hall Park successfully defend 191 against Bilton, while Collingham & Linton hit the same score as they cruised to an eight-wicket win at Ilkley thanks to the impressive Gregory Brown (104 no).

In Division 2, it was first against last as early leaders Pool recorded a 59-run victory at winless Horsforth.

Opening bowlers Mitch Bunker (4-47) and Matt Wainright (4-39) performed well as the visitors were bowled out for 223, with youngster Will Pallister (68) and wicketkeeper John Goldthorp (35 no) adding the majority.

Charlie Bell (3-24), Krutik Patel (2-20), and Olly Boggie (2-33) then cleaned up with the ball to restrict the hosts to 164 in reply.

Tong Park Esholt skipper David Hester led from the front, taking 7-59 before making 41 with the bat as his side picked up the maximum 20 with a three-wicket win at home to second-placed Calverley.

Alistair Long (50) and Ahmad Raja (79) had earlier put on 133 for the second wicket to help Calverley pick up eight points, enough to keep them in second place.

Follifoot continued their strong start to the season with a comfortable seven-wicket win at Green Lane thanks to Tom Stewart (57) and Yasar Ali (53 no), while Jamin Barron-Troop took 4-61 as Adel defended their total of 222 by just seven runs at Colton Institute.

Steeton made the short hop across Keighley to face Harden, cruising to a 133-run victory despite good work from the hosts’ Dan Viles (6-76) and James Sawyer (4-87).

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jack Ramage (139) and Louis Horsfield (78) put on 210 for the second wicket to help the visitors post 322, a total they easily defended thanks to Mat Nutter (5-45).

The only other match saw Olicanian claim a narrow 20-run win at home to Bardsey, with Tom Starkey scoring 51 before taking 6-57 as the hosts picked up maximum points.

Kirkstall Educational continue to lead the way in Division 3, maintaining their unbeaten record in style after thrashing North Leeds II by 236 runs.

Muhammad Ibtesam Ul Haq (73), Daanyaal Hussain (55), and Daniel Le Messurier (41 no) scored the majority of their 335-8 before Aadam Hussain (5-22) and Ul Haq (3-21) reduced the visitors to just 99 in reply.

Second-placed Bolton Villas are 12 points behind after claiming the maximum 20 with a 66-run win at home to Guiseley.

Electing to bat, the hosts had to wait until lower-order Louis Brown (67) and Joe Lawrence (67 no) came to the crease to rescue their innings, the pair putting on 119 for the eighth wicket as the economical Rob Atkinson took 4-29.

Despite a strong start, Guiseley then fell apart in their reply, with a late 44 from No. 9 Benn Hallas seeing them finish on just 175.

Thackley needed just 49 minutes to chase down Leeds Modernians’ paltry 101, with Luke Holroyd (45), Jack Holland (26 no), and extras (23) seeing them reach their target in 9.5 overs.

Craig Wiseman (5-51) had earlier shone with the ball for the Bradford side before tea.

The match between Rawdon II and Skipton came down to a nail-biting finish at Larkfield Road, the visitors defending their 287-9 by just five runs despite an outstanding performance from Rawdon skipper James Doidge (79 no).

Elsewhere, Alwoodley made it back-to-back wins after Guy Hales (6-43) helped them beat Old Leodiensians by 82 runs, while Ilkley were also victorious at Menston, despite the home side’s David Blackburn scoring a fine 88.   REPORT BY: EMMA KENNEDY