Aire-Wharfe League: Beckwithshaw set for Otley title shootout

Alexis Twigg of Beckwithshaw
Alexis Twigg of Beckwithshaw

Beckwithshaw bowler Stuart Hudson admits it is “all or nothing” as Division One’s top two go head-to-head for a shot at the title.

With just six points separating themselves and second-placed Otley as the final weekend approaches, the victors on Saturday will clinch the title, but Hudson insists his side are ready for the task ahead, viewing last weekend’s hard-fought win over Kirkstall as good preparation for this weekend’s crunch clash.

“It was a nervy one,” Hudson, who handed over the captaincy to fellow pace bowler Alex Lilley earlier in the summer, said of the six-run win.

“Kirkstall are an unpredictable side and never know when they’re beaten.

“It was tight but it was a good mental test and it felt good to come away with a win.

“If you have a run of comfortable games, your mental strength can waver, so that kind of game was ideal for us and will stand us in good stead ahead of Saturday.”

Otley ran out five-wicket winners in the corresponding fixture, and despite conceding it was “a good beating”, Hudson remains confident of ‘Shaw lifting the title on home turf.

“Over the years, we’ve got a good record against them,” he said. “They’re a good side but we know we can match them. This weekend is a winner takes all situation – it’s all or nothing – but we know we can win it.

“It will certainly have a Grand Final feel about it,” he added. “Hopefully we can bring in a good crowd and produce a good advert for the league.”

Elsewhere Bilton kept their hopes of a top-three finish alive after hammering Steeton by eight wickets. Steeton lost the toss and batted first before running up a competitive 184-run target with Andrew Foulds top-scoring on 38.

But Bilton romped home in as Michael Donnelly hit an unbeaten 92.

Collingham won a thriller by a single wicket at Rawdon. The home side ran up 237 runs, Kuda Samunderu hitting 60. In response, James Harrison hit 97 as his side reached their target with one wicket and one ball to spare.

In Division Two, Knaresborough were beaten at relegated Green Lane by three wickets. Knaresborough slumped to 89-6 before Andy Ward jnr’s 48 took them up to 158 all out. Dave Girling took three wickets in Green Lane’s response, but the hosts made the total in 46 overs.

Bardsey (111ao) were thumped by 96 runs at Menston (207-6) in Division Three despite winning the toss.