Bonus-point kings Steeton must be at their best

Keighley News: Steeton celebrate a wicket against Ben Rhydding last weekend Buy this photo Steeton celebrate a wicket against Ben Rhydding last weekend

Steeton have made full use of the Aire-Wharfe League's new bonus-points system, picking up all but three of the 30 available in the first three matches, and they will need to maintain that standard on Saturday when they travel to Beckwithshaw.

The home side’s defence of their title faltered in the first two games but, with their first win now under their belt, they will be looking to kick on.

But Steeton are in third spot in Division One, with several of the batsmen showing consistent early form – notably Neil Spragg, with two half-centuries and a 48, and Andrew Foulds, who has hit two half-centuries in a row – so they will be full of confidence going into the match.

Leaders Ilkley have a mouth-watering clash with Kirkstall, who caused an upset on the opening day of the season by toppling the champions quite easily.

They are the only side in the division to bowl out all three of their opponents but their batting looked fragile when they were dismissed for 74 by Otley.

James Wilcock picked up seven wickets in that win that put Otley into second place, and they should be too good for a Bilton side heavily defeated by Guiseley last weekend.

Guiseley are likely to find life much tougher at Burley, while Rawdon and Ben Rhydding have a chance to pick up their first wins of the campaign when they entertain Collingham and Pool respectively, neither side having been too convincing in their opening matches.

Thackley, who have had a major change in line-up this season, have struggled to find their form and are the only Division Two side without a win.

They entertain Bolton Villas, who have also struggled a bit since a narrow opening-day win over Skipton.

Tong Park Esholt will need Mick Scott and Nadeem Hanif to be bowling at their best if they are to overcome impressive pacemakers Follifoot, and Green Lane will also need their A game at second- placed North Leeds.

Skipton, who have made a solid start after promotion, travel to Harden, whose first win over Bolton Villas lifted them off bottom spot.

Division Three leaders Silsden have taken maximum bowling points, with Iqbal Khan leading the way with 11 victims.

They will certainly provide a tough test for Hall Park, but they will also be aware that Park looked like a side ready to chase promotion when beating New Rover last week.

 Horsforth are expected to be one of the leading challengers and are likely to be too strong for Olicanian, while Calverley need to improve when they face Menston if they hope to keep their stay in the lowest tier to just one year.

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