Aire-Wharfe preview: Beckwithshaw and Bilton go for title as Knaresborough aim to bow out on high

Bilton's Vic Craven.(1505023AM1)

Bilton's Vic Craven.(1505023AM1)

  • Five key signings
  • Chris Morrison (Ouseburn to Bilton)
  • Sam Davies (Harrogate to Knaresborough)
  • Saeed Williams (Bardsey overseas player)
  • James Brecknock (Pannal to Collingham)
  • Tom Clayton (Follifoot to Bardsey to Collingham)
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Following their final-day heartbreak against eventual champions Otley last season, BECKWITHSHAW will be eyeing revenge in 2016.

Alex Lilley took charge of the final month of last season and has permanent control from the off at the start of this year’s title quest.

Collingham's Toby Jacklin. (1404264AM5)

Collingham's Toby Jacklin. (1404264AM5)

His plans have been boosted by the return of older brother James Lilley from a spell in London, while Eugene Burzler and Liam Mulligan have signed from Leeds outfit Kirkstall.

The exit door has seen Mark McEneaney join Horsforth Hall Park and Sam Moore leave for Skipton.

Captain Vic Craven is expecting his BILTON to build on last year’s Waddilove Cup triumph and bring the Division One title back to Harrogate.

Left-arm spinner Ryan Heptinstall is back from Yeadon while ex-Ouseburn captain Chris Morrison and Knaresborough captain Simon Bridson are other prize captures.

Hopefully we can push on and back up winning the cup.

Vic Craven, Bilton captain

Odge Davey’s batting will be missed in the middle order

Craven said: “We have brought a couple in and the young lads are getting better. Hopefully we can push on and back up winning the cup.

“We have competition for places this year. Hopefully that will not put pressure on players but bring the best out of everyone.”

Bilton will also operate without an overseas player, relying on the batting prowess of Ryan Bradshaw, Paul Cannings and Craven himself.

Youth potential is also the phrase on the lips at COLLINGHAM under new skipper Steve James.

The spin-bowler, who took ten wickets in an innings last year, believes young new ball pairing Adam Weatherall and Chris Bridge will strike fear for the Harewood Laners.

After finishing sixth last year, Collingham will be looking to advance far in the Waddilove Cup and securing their place in midtable again.

Wicketkeeper batsman James Brecknock replaces Jack Harrison who has left for university, while all-rounder Andrew Guest and Follifoot duo Leo Haley and Tom Clatyon are other arrivals. Asange Weerasinghe has been registered as the club’s overseas.

James said: “We are still not paying any players and we want to bring through the juniors. The boys that were brought in two years ago at 16/17 are now 18/19-year-old young men and are really going to contribute heavily.”

KNARESBOROUGH will be led by Neil Marshall in their final year in the Aire-Wharfe League. The Aspin Lane club were voted into the York Senior League on Monday night and club stalwart Jon Corcoran said they would be aiming to go out on a high.

He said:“We are seeing this as a development year for our club. We have a proud history in this league and we want a strong finish.”

Former Harrogate fast bowler Sam Davies will lead the attack while James Kean and Ben Cutts have both swapped the Nidderdale League to join.

Sam Ryan will also remain at Boro after performing a u-turn on joining FOLLIFOOT, who are back down in Division Two after a cruel relegation last year.

’Foot felt the full force of a controversial points penalty for playing an overseas player and their drop in leagues has seen captain Nick Robinson walk away to Spofforth.

Paul Angove takes charge and will have Killinghall pair Josh Cutts and Matthew Williams at his disposal.

Australian batsman Justin Galeotti will add the fireworks to the batting card.

The son of West Indies Test player Stuart Williams will be BARDSEY’S joker in the pack.

St Kitts opening batsman and spin bowler Saaed Williams will be ripping it big on the English pitches according to his new captain Matt Wells, who recently visited the Caribbean on a club tour.

Williams was close to making the West Indies’ Under 19s World Cup squad earlier this year and could become a star of Division Two.

“He was turning the ball on their flat pitches so I would like to think he will turn it even more over here,” said Wells.

The captain is also expecting big things from talented bowler Henry Wainman on his return to full fitness as his young team will battle to finish outside the lower reaches of the table.