Defending champions Otley claimed an important win to check the progress of current Division One leaders Saltaire in Saturday’s Airedale & Wharfedale League.

Weather played its part, with all five top flight fixtures played being reduced in overs.

The game at Otley was reduced to 30 overs per side, and the hosts posted 177-7 having elected to bat.

It was a total built on a series of useful contributions headed by Rob Spivey’s unbeaten 46 off 34 balls from number six.

In reply, Saltaire were bowled out for 169 on the back of a damaging collapse through the middle of their innings as they slipped from 103-3 to 148-8.

Opening bowler James Davies claimed 3-37 from nine overs, well supported by two wickets apiece for new ball partner Oliver Halliday and Stephen Brown.

Third-placed Otley claimed 18 points to five and moved to within 21 of Saltaire, who sit top on 182 with 10 games remaining.

To overhaul the leaders would be a significant achievement for an Otley side who have won the title in each of the last three seasons, including last year’s shortened competition. But they lost the opening two games of this season and have been fighting back ever since.

However, the significantly bigger achievement would be Saltaire winning the league given they were promoted from Division Two in 2019 – the last full campaign.

Sandwiched in between those two sides are Bilton, who are 16 points off the top. They won by five wickets chasing 144 in 40 overs at bottom side Horsforth.

Awais Ejaz claimed superb figures of 4-18 from 12 overs. He set the tone with the new ball, though Charlie Andrews’ unbeaten 48 fashioned a Horsforth recovery from 24-3 to 143-7.

Bilton slipped to 14-2 in reply, only for James Bryant to lead the recovery with 62 not out off 71 balls, sharing half-century partnerships for the third and fourth wickets with Callum Cardwell (38) and Cameron Martin (21).

The win was secured with almost 11 overs remaining.

Mid-table Burley-in-Wharfedale were the only team in the round to post a score of 200 or more.

They were facing Collingham and Linton and, in a 29-overs per side fixture, recovered from 13-2 thanks chiefly to opener Jason Wright’s 95 off 87 balls and Gabriel Field’s 68 off 39.

The pair put on 114 for the third wicket and shared six sixes, underpinning a total of 212-5.

In reply, Collingham lost wickets all too regularly and were bowled out for 135 in 28 overs. New ball bowler Sam Fox returned an excellent 4-16 from six overs, claiming wickets at either end of the home innings.

While Horsforth are cut adrift at the bottom with only 44 points, second bottom Olicanian with 88 will be confident of avoiding relegation given they are only five points behind third bottom Ilkley.

Both sides were beaten on Saturday.

Ilkley made only 110-8 in 35 overs at home to Beckwithshaw, a total which provided no issues for their visitors, who won by five wickets almost nine overs to spare.

James Nixon’s 33 not out from number nine was the chief reason the hosts made it beyond 100 having been inserted, with them slipping to 56-7.

He shared 52 for the eighth wicket with Alex Bailey (27).

While Max Beeley picked up three wickets, Joseph Holderness and Scott Irvine were miserly with 2-23 and 2-26 from 10 overs apiece.

In the chase, Beckwithshaw were given a solid start by opener Ben Holderness, who made 34 off 37 balls and never looked like letting things slip.

In a 30-over game, hosts Olicanian made 158-7 against Rawdon, including Tom Smallwood’s 50 off 51 balls from number four and two wickets apiece for Joel Morley and Joe Smith.

In reply, Ben Morley, who made 48, shared 54 for the first wicket with Harry Scanlan before James Dobson – 47 – shared 77 for the third wicket, advancing from 78-2, with unbeaten George Myers.

The latter dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on Rawdon’s seven-wicket win with 17 balls remaining, finishing with 39 including three sixes.

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