Aire-Wharfe round-up: Wright putting best ‘Foot forward as Shaw and Bilton win

Beckwithshaw keeper Ross Sedgley behind the stumps on Saturday. Photo by Caught Light Photography
Beckwithshaw keeper Ross Sedgley behind the stumps on Saturday. Photo by Caught Light Photography

Follifoot captain Dave Wright reckons the group of players at his disposal is the strongest ever, as his squad remain well-positioned for an immediate return to Aire-Wharfe Division One.

Follifoot are second in Division Two at the half-way stage of the summer, much different to last year which was spent fighting relegation at the bottom of the top tier.

North Leeds are the only team lying above Wright’s men and the pair are 18 points clear of their rivals in the promotion race.

Wright has missed the majority of the first part of the season, but he took back the captaincy reins on Saturday as ‘Foot thrashed Harden by two wickets.

Opening bowler Umer Yaqoob was the architect of Harden’s demise with six wickets as Foot dismissed the visitors for just 159 all out.

Ed Clayton’s composed half century at the top of Foot’s order then eased the high fliers home, with Jim Pickles (36), James Orton (33no) and David Mahoney (24no) also contributing.

“It’s the strongest squad I have ever played with at Follifoot,” declared Wright.

“We bat all the way down, we have six bowlers and two wicketkeepers.

“You can’t ask for much more.

“There’s also competition for places which we have never had in the past.

“It’s a lot better than last year as we are playing in a winning team.

“Everyone is playing with confidence.”

In Division One, Bilton and Beckwithshaw both strengthened their positions at the weekend with dominant victories.

Ryan Nicholson’s Bilton moved to within eight points of table toppers Burley after blowing Pool away by 124 runs.

Vic Craven’s 66 helped the Harrogate side to 210 all out after Nicholson won the toss and chose to stick the pads on.

Craven (2-32) then removed Pool’s toporder cheaply alongside fellow opening bowler Richard Spittlehouse (3-28) before Will Liddle’s excellent spell of 4-14 ripped through the visitor’s tail.

Pool were eventually bowled out for just 86.

Bilton will host Steeton this Saturday hoping for a reverse of their opening day crushing defeat, when the opposition plundered 273-7 before bowling Bilton out for 210.

Nicholson’s men will have a double weekend of action, as they hunt a Waddilove Cup semi-final spot against Guiseley away on Sunday.

The winner of the tie will face either money-bags Horsforth or Otley in the semis.

Beckwithshaw pulled away from the Division One drop zone with as they leapfrogged opponents Rawdon.

Shaw kept the field tight and restricted Rawdon’s scoring throughout to oust the visitors for just 128, Yasir Ali taking 3-26.

And Ben Quick’s outfit were under no pressuer in their chase as they eased home with seven wickets spare.

Alex Lilley topscored with 33, whilst Ali (28no) and Miles Butler (29no) were left unbeaten.

Shaw will host Kirkstall on Saturday looking to avenge defeat from the season’s opening day.

Follifoot head to struggling Thackley in Division Two.