Steeton win thriller but stay in sixth

Ilkley's Henry Wilson bowls in the gloom at Rawdon

Ilkley's Henry Wilson bowls in the gloom at Rawdon

First published in Sport

STEETON were the only first team to win on a rain-hit Saturday in the Aire-Wharfe League.

Their tense Division One game at Ben Rhydding started 75 minutes late and was reduced to 38 overs per side, with Steeton batting first in drizzle.

The visitors progressed smoothly to 31 before losing both openers, South African Jonny Stander for 12 and Andrew Foulds for 18.

Skipper Neil Spragg top-scored with 20 from 41 deliveries, including four boundaries, and shared a 26-run fourth-wicket partnership with Andrew Luxton (12).

With no other batter managing double figures, Steeton only managed 99 in 34.5 overs.

In reply, Jon Best was impressive with the ball as he ripped out Ben Rhydding's top order and finished with 4-41 runs from 11 overs, with catches by Steve Pearson, Stander and keeper Chris Baines.

Wickets continued to tumble as off-spinner Stander (2-9) nipped out two, with catches by John Akrigg and Spragg.

In a tense finish, skipper Neil Spragg bowled eight overs and took 4-23, with a second catch by Pearson and a further two catches for Baines.

Ben Rhydding were out for 97 runs in 31 overs as Steeton won by two runs, the 15 points consolidating their sixth place.

Ben Rhydding, meanwhile, look destined for the drop as they are 21 points from safety and without a win since May 26.

On a day when the rain washed out many fixtures, the new bonus-points system meant there was still plenty at stake in the overs that could be played.

Rawdon used it to their advantage, gaining ground on the teams above them in the race to avoid relegation.

Conor McInerney (31), Ben Heritage (41) and a sparkling half-century in 26 balls, including four fours and three sixes, from Anthony Gilks helped them to 192-5 at almost seven an over against Ilkley.

That brought three batting bonus points, and McInerney, Josh Hobson and Andrew Doidge took a wicket each to grab a bowling bonus before rain drove the players off with Ilkley on 70-3 after 15 overs.

Meanwhile, third-from-bottom Pool were skittled out for 76 by Beckwithshaw and managed only one bowling point to reduce the gap between them and Rawdon to five points.

Guiseley are in danger of being dragged into the dogfight after picking up no bonuses when Bilton bowled them out for 92.

Shane Etherington included a hat-trick in a 6-36 spell as Burley restricted Collingham to 168-9 but, despite the efforts of Ed Brown (39) and Jason Wright (52) who put on 78 at more than ten an over, Burley were still 24 runs short of victory when the rain intervened.

The did inch a point closer to leaders Otley, who picked up four batting points in quick time at Kirkstall thanks to Ben Morley (37), James Davies (64) and George Huntley (25).

Green Lane were the big-hitters in Division Two, Andy Lee smashing 73 in 47 balls as they declared on 236-5 at Tong Park Esholt, who were 60-2 when it was abandoned.

That moved them closer to leaders Follifoot and North Leeds but it will require a massive effort if they are to overhaul the 22-point gap.

In Division Three, Hall Park’s attack was given a hard time by New Rover’s Ryan Skeen, who was unbeaten on 137 made in 104 balls.

With Steve Phillips (51no) and Bev Williams (26no) looking menacing, the rain halted what might have been an interesting run chase.

Minhaj Patel (4-49), Sam Boyden (3-45) and Gareth Lee (3-31) bowled out Bardsey for 165 but Menston’s chase was halted at 28-1.

Skipton were 4-1 at North Leeds in Division Three when rain halted play, and there was no play at all for Upper Wharfedale at home to Follifoot (Division Two) and Silsden at Calverley (Division One).

Persistent rain meant that there was no play in Steeton's second team Division One match at home to Olicanian, nor the Division Three clashes between Skipton and Alwoodley and Silsden and Upper Wharfedale.

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