1st XI Horsforth (H)
OCC were looking to bounce back from only their second defeat of the season the previous week at Burley and would face a dangerous Horsforth side at Cross Green.
Skipper James Davies won the toss and with rain forecast throughout the day, he chose to bowl first.
Davies opened up with Ricky Halloran and chances came immediately but some streaky boundaries saw the visitors reach 34 without loss from just 8 overs but when Davies struck to remove the opener, this signalled a strong passage of play form the 1st XI as they ripped through the middle order as 34-0 became 47-6. Halloran picking up 2 wickets and Davies the other 4, with OCCs catching once again proved sublime as Davies removing Horsforth’s overseas and Halloran picking up the other danger man.
It could have been 47-7 next ball but a dropped chance went awry and Horsforth used this to their advantage as they cut loose adding 42 for the 7th wicket and 63 for the 8th wicket. It was disappointing for OCC who would have hoped to have dismissed the visitors for under 100, however another passage of play saw the last 3 wickets fall for 3 runs as the visitors finished 155 all out. George Hanson played his part on First Team league debut collecting 2-20, with Davies and Halloran 4-32 and 2-42 respectively.
OCC have been dominant at Cross Green this year and have chased down totals with disdain in some cases, this chase proved no exception.
Another fifty partnership between openers Jamie Pickering and Ben Morley was the perfect start before Pickering was dismissed for 21 trying to hit over the top.
Morley was in sublime form as he despatched both the seamers and the slow bowlers with ease, making his way to 50 in usual swashbuckling style.
Dave Hester had joined him and soon picked up the pace alongside Morley having looked scratchy early on and surviving a confident caught behind appeal.
Morley was keen not give the opposition a sniff and with drinks break on the horizon OCC were almost home and hosed, he finished the game with some big sixes in to the graveyards ending with an unbelievable 94 not out in just 76 balls consisting of 11 fours and 5 sixes.
Morley has now scored 301 runs in just league 7 innings averaging 100.33, it will be hoped he can maintain that form until the end of the season.
Hester finished with 41 not out, as OCC comfortably got home by 9 wickets with 23 overs remaining and picked up 20 points
1st XI Burley (A)
The 1st XI were back in league action facing old rivals Burley as they looked to push their league title aspirations a step further.
Once again skipper James Davies lost the toss and Burley had no hesitation in bowling first on green seamer with overhead conditions looking set fair.
Otley got off to the worst possible start as Jamie Pickering was dismissed without scoring, before more quick wickets saw OCC reduced to 33-4. Chris Thompson tried to steady the ship and along with Josh Atkinson (11) they repaired some of the damage, adding 39, before Atkinson fell just before the drinks break. OCC were 75-5 at drinks and would be heavily reliant on Thompson to set a defendable total.
Thompson then added 33 with Nicky Bulcock (11) and it looked like they could set a decent total, but when Bulcock was caught behind with the score on 105, the game swung again. OCC passed the 150 mark and with 8 overs remaining would be hopeful of a score around 200 but Thompson eventually fell for 83 from 114 balls as he reined in his usual attacking game.
Thompson’s dismissal signalled the end as the innings quickly subsided as OCC were all out for 170 in 46 overs
OCCs bowling unit would need to be at the height of their powers in order to defend the total and when Chris Thompson (2-4) picked up a wicket in his first over, they got the start they needed. Thompson struck again in the next over but pulled up sharply in doing so and was unable to complete his over due to an injury.
After being 5-2 the hosts recovered slightly as OCC created plenty of chances but were unable to find the next breakthrough until the 16th over when Ricky Halloran (2-70) picked up an LBW. OCC rung the bowling changes as they looked for breakthroughs, and when Halloran and Nicky Bulcock (1-26) picked up wickets in quick succession Burley were reduced to 72-5 and OCC were looking in the driving seat.
Burley had other ideas and a partnership followed that took them over the line, as OCC tried 8 bowlers in their search for a wicket but to no avail.
OCC claimed 4 points from the game making the final five games must win, with one including a vital clash at Beckwithshaw.
Waddilove Cup Final
A bright and breezy day at Pool set the stage for the 1st XI’s second trophy attempt of the season, having already picked up the T20 crown they would be keen to add the Waddilove Cup to their tally.
Pool had prepared a high quality wicket for the fixture and when Otley lost the toss, Skipper James Davies would have been preparing himself for the worst, but TPE decided to bowl and Davies was far from disappointed.
Usual opening pair of Ben Morley and Jamie Pickering got off to a sedate start as they looked to settle in however Morley survived an early dropped catch and that was the catalyst for change. Morley ratcheted up his strike rate as he hit straight sixes and Pickering followed suit with boundaries square of the wicket, they had added 102 for the first wicket and Ben Morley and reached his fifty from 62 balls before being cramped for room and caught behind for 52. The loss of another quick wicket as Dave Hester was bowled for 5, temporarily pushed OCC on to the back foot but skipper Davies was the man for the job as he survived an early LBW shout before embarking upon an onslaught the like of which will never be seen again. Alongside Pickering, who didn’t look like he could be dismissed, they added 254 for the 3rd wicket in just 24 overs. No area of the ground was safe from Davies’ bat as 16 fours and 9 sixes were produced, including an over of 28 as Davies pummelled the outlying areas of the ground.
Pickering was almost playing second fiddle but when he was on strike, he was hitting the ball as clean as Davies and with more control as he threaded fielders and placed the ball where he wanted it to go, he hit 22 fours and 4 sixes throughout his knock.
The partnership was a real sight to behold and the growing crowd knew that even though the game was over as a contest they were witnessing something very special.
When Davies was dismissed for 145 looking to hit a maximum to match Pickering’s 150, caught smartly on the boundary he had scored 145 from just 80 balls, a truly superb innings. Chris Thompson was to face the last ball and a boundary to finish summed up the innings, with Pickering carrying his bat for 154 not out in a chanceless display of cricketing skill. Otley had set TPE 377 for victory in just 45 overs.
TPE had produced some shocks throughout their route to the final and would need the biggest of all to overturn the deficit they faced, a job made infinitely harder as their opener was clean bowled by that man Davies after 3 balls.
Chris Thompson also bowled the number 3 as the score became 20-2, and a strong shout for caught behind next ball could have really finished the game, only to be turned down.
Some pinch hitting saw boundaries come at a good rate as TPE added 47 for the 3rd wicket before a shot too many saw Ricky Halloran pick up the first of his 3 wickets. The introduction of Nicky Bulcock brought immediate rewards in the next over and when Halloran struck again an over later TPE were under the pump at 81-5.
Bulcock was bowling well and he bowled the overseas for 40 and it looked at this stage as if the game would drift away, but credit to the lower order as they took a chance and played some good shots as they added stands of 31 and 47, whilst Davies changed the bowling around to pick up a wicket. Halloran was the man to break the partnership as Pickering took an excellent catch in the deep, Halloran finishing with figures of 3-19.
Pickering then came on to bowl and picked up a wicket in his solitary over before Bulcock finished the job fittingly with another catch from Pickering. Bulcock taking away figures of 3-41, as TPE were dismissed for a credible 186.
OCC had added the Waddilove Cup to their growing list of silverware and skipper James Davies picked up the Man of the Match award. A massive congratulations to Tong Park Esholt for reaching the final and we wish them the best for the remainder of the season.
OCC – Waddilove Cup Winners 2016
1st XI Bilton (H)
The 1st XI went in to the cup final weekend with a tricky looking clash against mid-table Bilton, where a rained off fixture earlier in the year looked to have cost OCC the win.
Skipper James Davies was true to form as Otley lost the toss and were asked to bowl first, a decision which looked an interesting one.
Some tight bowling at both ends with swing and seam on offer was a sight to behold as the batsman struggled to get bat on ball and when the first wicket fell the score was 11-1 from 6 overs. Davies was proving far too much for the opposition as he removed 4 batsman without scoring with 2 in consecutive balls and 5 wickets in 3 overs. He was helped by some superb catching behind the stumps as Paul Nicholson, Ben Morley and Jamie Pickering all picked up smart catches.
With the score at 23-6, Bilton’s opening batter who had remained steadfast throughout cut loose but it was the introduction of Ricky Halloran who saw him on his way as he shattered Davies’ dreams of another 10 wicket haul against Bilton. He picked up the opener and 2 others as he demolished the Bilton lower order as they were dismissed for 59 in just 21.3 overs.
Ben Morley and Jamie Pickering wasted no time in setting about the target as they took 27 from the first 2 overs and 21 from the last two overs as they rubbed off the total in just 6 overs taking 21 minutes; indeed when the opening pair walked off the game had lasted just 1 hour 39 minutes. Morley was the destroyer in chief as he blazed 48 not out from just 26 balls with 11 fours as Pickering could only stand and admire
OCC picked up 20 points for the victory.
1st XI Steeton (A)
The 1st XI made the trip to Steeton as they looked to continue their unbeaten run stretching back to May, the omission of Ben Morley and Ricky Halloran both with work commitments would make things tougher.
Skipper James Davies won the toss and elected to bat on a green yet flat surface, which looked like it would play well and so it proved as Davies and Jamie Pickering proceeded to blaze a trail, smashing a fifty partnership in the first 7 overs before Pickering was caught going for another big shot.
Dave Hester joined Davies at the crease as the rate slowed up; the hosts bowling with much more control and finding some real assistance from the pitch.
Both batsman ground out ones and 2’s whilst capitalising on the rare bad ball, they had added another fifty partnership and taken the score to 109 before Davies was given LBW for 43. Steetons’s opening bowler was coming to the end of a 15 over spell and he picked up Josh Atkinson in his penultimate over. OCCs middle order hasn’t fired in recent weeks and another collapse ensued as they went from 168-3 to 181-6 with only Hester at the other end witnessing the procession. George Huntley stuck around adding a vital 22 taking the score past the fifth bonus point before Hester was eventually out after a mammoth knock spanning 122 balls in making his 71, Hester had played a key part in setting a defendable total.
When John Brough was caught just short of his ground and run out, OCC were all out for 233 with 2 balls remaining, a score which seemed below par from the position they were in but credit Steeton who bowled well and used the pitch to their advantage.
OCC would be keen to get early wickets in the second half and really stamp their authority on the game and following a maiden from James Davies (1-21), Chris Thompson (3-18) struck twice in 2 balls, with a regulation chance for Josh Atkinson and an LBW, as Steeton found themselves 0-2. Thompson carried on in the same vain the next over as he induced some extra bounce to get an inside edge which clattered the stumps.
Davies joined in at the other end as he got his inswinger right and clean bowled the number 5 as OCC dominated the opening exchanges with score at 28-4.
Thompson was looking dangerous but pulled up sharply following another quick delivery and looked to be in some discomfort meaning he couldn’t complete his over, as Dave Hester (1-18) picked up the reins. He almost collected a wicket with his very first ball as he found an edge but didn’t have the pace to carry to the cordon.
Hester continued in to a second over and picked up his first senior league wicket as Huntley produced an outstanding catch.
Steeton’s middle order decided to chance their arms a little and scored freely through the middle overs before Sam Kellett (1-38) made the breakthrough. The other youngster Nicky Bulcock (2-6) bowled excellently as he found good areas taking a great return catch to pick up the first of his 2 wickets and when John Brough came on to finish up he once again found himself in the wickets with 2-9 from 1.4 overs.
Steeton had been dismissed for 110 as the 1st XI collected a vital 20 points.
1st XI Rawdon (H)
A home clash against Rawdon in the league would have a little extra edge, as Rawdon had been the only team to beat the 1st XI when the two sides met on the second week of the season.
Skipper James Davies won the toss and elected to bat hoping that the high class batting order would once again show their worth, but as Rawdon bowled well in the early stages the opening pair of Jamie Pickering and Ben Morley found scoring much more difficult than in previous weeks. Morley tried to take the attack to the bowlers but was caught at extra cover and Dave Hester followed soon after, caught in the deep as he found the only fielder available. As wickets continued to tumble Pickering was still there and had moved on to 30 not out, he was joined by josh Atkinson with score on 70-4, as the two looked to consolidate against the spinners.
When Pickering was caught for 32, he sparked a mini-collapse as 83-4 soon became 87-7 with OCC looking at a well below par score.
Atkinson, however, stood firm and he batted time out of the game with Paul Nicholson, who although didn't score managed to use up 32 balls and slow the Rawdon charge, allowing Atkinson to settle in for the remaining overs. Ricky Halloran joined Atkinson after Nicholson’s dismissal and it was this partnership that really swung the innings back towards OCC, as Halloran and Atkinson used the spreading of the fielders to pick up 1s and 2s with ease. Atkinson played some lovely shots as he picked up the tempo of his innings and he reached deserved half century with 2 overs remaining; when Halloran was dismissed looking for a maximum the pair had added 63 runs in 14 overs.
Atkinson carried his bat for 35 overs for a vital 57 not out, which was a fantastic effort, as the 1st XI posted 163-9 from their 50 overs.
OCC’s bowling attack has been performing well over the last weeks and they would need to be at the top of their game again as they looked to defend the total. James Davies got them off to the perfect start as he trapped the opener LBW with just 20 on the board, and a bowling change after at Davies’ end saw Halloran pick up a wicket with his first ball as he trapped the Rawdon danger man LBW. Halloran followed this up a couple of overs later as he clean bowled the other opener and Rawdon were faltering on 51-3.
A partnership of 30 followed as Rawdon’s middle order picked up a few boundaries, before the re-introduction of Chris Thompson saw him pick up a sharp caught and bowled from his first ball back and he took another in his next over with the aid of a smart catch by Ben Morley at slip.
Halloran finished his seven over spell with 2-25, as John Brough picked up the reins and knocked back off stump with his first ball as Rawdon’s top scorer was gone.
Thompson and Brough proceeded to demolish the lower order as the visitors 81-3 had soon become 101-9, and when Brough picked up the tenth wicket OCC’s great escape was complete as the last 5 wickets, all of which were bowled, were testament to the high quality bowling.
Brough finished with amazing figures of 3-7 from just 2.4 overs and Thompson equally as good with 4-32 in ten overs.
OCC picked up a 17 point victory from the jaws of defeat and maintain their position at the top of the table.
Burley T20 final (A)
A second trip in 4 days to Burley saw the T20 side take their place in the final of the TB T20. Arguably the two best sides in the tournament faced off in what was sure to be a fascinating encounter with some serious firepower on show from the likes of James Davies, Ben Morley and Chris Thompson. Otley T20 skipper Morley won the toss and elected to bat on the same deck the 1st XI had been victorious in the cup on the Sunday.
OCC got off to a fortunate start as Davies was dropped on just the 3rd ball of the innings, even at this stage it looked like it could be a costly drop; a further 3 drops inside the Powerplay overs didn't help Burley’s cause.
Davies cashed in to full effect as he hit some huge sixes keeping the scoring rate around the 12 an over mark and when opening partner Jamie Pickering was slow off the mark for a quick single and run out on the last ball of the Powerplay, Otley were 76-1 from the first 6 overs.
Morley, in at three, played second fiddle to a rampant Davies as all the bowlers faced a savage assault of clean hitting before Davies fell with the score on 119 from 10 overs; Davies had scored 80 from 39 balls with 5 fours and 7 sixes.
Morley eventually found some fluency and along with Dave Hester they added 70 in the next 5 overs, Hester scoring quickly before being bowled for 27.
With just 24 balls remaining OCC found themselves on 189 and looking for a score well in excess of 200, Thompson hit 4 sixes in these late overs, as he scored 28 from 13 balls and Morley finished with 58 not out as the T20 XI posted a formidable 235-3.
The total was by no means out of reach on a good wicket, with a fast outfield and a Burley side boasting some firepower of their own.
Young George Hanson, who has bowled superbly this season, opened the bowling and struck in his second over as an early wicket helped settle some OCC nerves. Guest player Jordan Thompson, at the other end, was miserly in his first 2 overs as the run rate began to sneak up.
Hanson picked up another wicket as he removed the other Burley opener caught in the deep by Hester, Hanson finished his spell and some sixes in his last over were the only blemish on what was a great opening salvo as he finished with 2-39.
The rate was up around 10’s for the Powerplay and when Chris Thompson dismissed Burley’s guest batsman with a fantastic diving catch in the deep from George Huntley, Burley were 62-3 from 7 overs. With Burleys two best players now at the crease, OCC faced a critical period of cricket and as these two players got to work it looked like a close finish would be on the cards.
OCC guest player Alex Fox came in to the attack with his off spin and he was the one to break the partnership worth 75, as he had the top scorer caught in the deep with the score on 137 from 13.2 overs. He struck again an over later as he took 2 in 2 balls picking up the other key man in the process as the game started to swing OCC’s way; Fox finished his spell with fine figures of 3-42.
Jordan Thompson put the game to bed with his final two overs conceding just 10 runs as Burley finished on 200-8.
An excellent display of league cricket from both sides saw OCC pick up the TB T20 trophy and James Davies was a deserved Man of the Match.
Waddilove Cup -Semi
A red-hot clash against rivals Burley faced the 1st XI for a place in the final of the Waddilove Cup, with both teams having excellent cup pedigree it promised to be an absorbing clash on an equally red-hot day at Burley.
A flat, hard wicket and a racing fast outfield meant Burley had no hesitation in batting when skipper James Davies lost the toss.
Burley got off to a steady start as the short boundary played a part and some early bowling changes were enforced as OCC looked to pick up early wickets, it was Chris Thompson (2-54) in his second spell who picked up the first, followed by Nicky Bulcock two overs later as he spun one through the Burley opener.
When Thompson picked up his second, OCC had fought back well as Burley went from 40-0 to 61-3. Burley’s two key men were now at the crease and the 1st XI were facing a crucial period of cricket that would have a big say in the outcome of the game; some more bowling changes kept the batsman thinking and some good fielding in the outfield kept the scoring rate in check. Ricky Halloran was finding some good areas and he broke the partnership, worth 55, with the aid of Paul Nicholson, as he flew to his right to pouch an unbelievable one handed catch that brought the Otley faithful to their feet.
The run rate slowed from here and John Brough was proving miserly as he varied his pace effectively, he picked up an LBW before removing the other key player with a smart caught and bowled. When Brough finished his spell he had fantastic figures of 2-36 in his nine overs. Burley looked to make up for a few quiet overs and hit a few boundaries as Thompson returned for a third spell, but the spinners at the opposite end were still proving difficult to get away.
When Halloran picked up 2 wickets in an over Burley went from being in a commanding position at 190-6 with 5 overs remaining to 193-8. Bulcock wrapped things up as he picked up 2 wickets as Burley were dismissed with 2 balls remaining for 208. Bulcock finishing with 3-41 and Halloran equally as good, with 3-42.
OCC would have been extremely happy with their performance, in which fielding and bowling were both to a high standard, if the batting was of a similar standard they would be confident of chasing down the total.
Jamie Pickering had scored 17 and was looking assured before he was bowled with the score on just 19. His opening partner, Ben Morley had been looking just as solid at the other end and he scored steadily after being joined by Dave Hester.
This pair played watchfully and once settled they looked to cash in as they whittled down the total, both Hester and Morley played good shots through the offside and similar to the first innings there were plenty of bowling changes as Burley went in search of wickets.
Morley was playing the spinners well but got caught on the crease to a straighter ball and played on having made 47, with 5 fours and 3 sixes; his partnership with Hester worth 76.
The situation for OCC saw them requiring 113 from 26 overs with 8 wickets in hand as James Davies came to the crease.
Davies moved untroubled to 24 with some impressive boundaries, as Hester followed suit and they added a fifty partnership in just 9 overs before Davies was adjudged LBW and when Hester followed two balls later there would have been some nervous OCC spectators.
Chris Thompson and Josh Atkinson were now at the crease and with the target seeming a little further away, as OCC required 63. They did have 17 overs on their side though and this allowed them to steady the innings and pick up singles here and there for a few overs as they took down the target slowly.
Again there were bowling changes a plenty, as only wickets could pull the game back for Burley, and Thompson took full advantage of any bad ball, as Atkinson worked the field and kept the scoreboard ticking.
The pair looked set and two high scoring overs put OCC firmly in the driving seat as they got past the 200 mark.
OCC booked their place in the final as Thompson hit a six over long off landing straight through the clubhouse door, OCC getting home with 6 wickets in hand and 5 overs to spare. Thompson and Atkinson had shared in a partnership of 68, Thompson with 46 not out and Atkinson with 19 not out.
They will face Tong Park Esholt in the final on the 7th August at Pool Cricket Club.
1st XI North Leeds (A)
A trip to third placed North Leeds got the weekend under way for the 1st XI, as they looked to continue their unbeaten league run stretching back to May.
Skipper James Davies lost the toss and the hosts elected to bat first on a dry afternoon and a new pitch.
Three consecutive maidens got Otley off to a good start and it looked like scoring would be hard but the early cloud cover moved away and the openers picked up the scoring rate as they moved to 50 without loss.
Chris Thompson was getting in to his seventh over when he began to find some assistance from the pitch and he made the most of it as he picked up 2 wickets in 3 balls, first caught at slip before picking up the number 3, stone dead in front of middle, LBW. This got Otley off and running and another 2 wickets in his next over both clean bowled saw Thompson single handedly reduce North Leeds to 59-4.
A small partnership followed as the hosts looked to consolidate and when drinks came they had moved on to 84-4 but Thompson soon made this 85-6 as he took 2 more wickets in consecutive overs, removing the other opening batter in the process.
Thompson was coming to the end of his mammoth spell having picked up the first 6 wickets and when he bowled another batsmen in his final over, it looked like he would finish with seven wickets, however the umpire called a no-ball and he had to settle for fine figures of 6-39 from 15 overs.
Otley still had work to do and Thompson keen to make amends for his no-ball got his chance as he ran out the same batter from short fine leg.
Nicky Bulcock had bowled with great control at the other end as he limited scoring opportunities and built up pressure and although North Leeds had cut loose a little moving to 144 for 7, Bulcock’s persistence told, as he finished the innings with 3 wickets in an over. An LBW, a clean bowled and a smart catch at slip from his top-spinner saw the hosts 144 all out, Bulcock finishing with excellent figures of 12-2-27-3.
The score looked woefully under-par on a good wicket, a fast scoring ground and with in-form batsmen Jamie Pickering and Ben Morley at the top of the order, it would take something special from the hosts to prevent an OCC victory
Pickering and Morley set about the chase with aplomb, hitting boundary after boundary as the North Leeds attack had no answer to the ferocious assault that faced them.
They moved on untroubled, adding a fifty partnership in 6 overs and continued to score at almost 10 an over up until Pickering was stumped as he looked to force the spinner with the score on 93 from 10 overs.
Morley continued his complete domination of the bowling even with the double spin attack looking to peg OCC back, as he hit a full array of shots around the ground, he moved on to 50 from just 30 balls.
The North Leeds bowling changes couldn’t halt Morley and when he hit the winning four he had added a further 41 from just 15 balls finishing with a magnificent 91 not out as OCC rubbed off the total in just 14.3 overs.
The 1st team picking up 20 points and gaining vital momentum for the following day’s semi-final against Burley.
1st XI Collingham (A)
The first game of the second half of the season, saw the 1st XI entertain Collingham at Cross Green. Once again the rain featured and as the 1pm start time came round, the covers were still in place. Some team mopping took place and as soon as the rain abated the covers were off and play was underway with a 43 overs a side contest.
Skipper James Davies had won the toss and elected to bowl on what looked like a helpful surface and the overhead conditions would certainly assist.
It was an indication of things to come as both openers bowled with good discipline and batsmen found it hard to score, Davies eventually found the edge as Josh Atkinson laid some demons to rest with a fine catch at third slip. Chris Thompson also found an edge at the other end and an even better catch from Paul Nicholson saw the visitors struggling on 15-2 from 10 overs.
The second set of 10 overs brought an immediate wicket as Davies clean bowled the number 4 with a quick, straight delivery before Thompson trapped Collingham’s danger man LBW for no score.
Nicholson picked up his second catch as Davies continued to bowl with control and sideways movement and when he picked up 2 wickets in 4 balls, OCC were really turning the screw at 51-7. Some late blows from the middle order saw the visitors add to their total, but Davies finished his spell with another sharp catch by Atkinson, ending with fine figures of 6-30 from 12 overs.
Even in the outfield Atkinson was in the game as he finished with 4 catches.
Thompson picked up the final wicket, finishing with 3-25, as Collingham were all out for 82 in 26 overs.
A change at the top of the order saw Jamie Pickering with a new opening partner in the returning Ben Morley. The change didn't seem to affect Pickering as he despatched his first ball for four, but in trying to repeat next ball, he was caught at midwicket.
Morley was joined by in form Dave Hester and they cautiously set about the target as they worked the gaps and pounced on the odd bad ball, after 7 overs they had moved to just 26-1.
At this point both batters cut loose, Hester played shots square of the wicket, whilst Morley was much classier, as he struck down the ground both in the air and on the floor. Morley passed fifty with his 11th boundary, his half cenutry coming from just 32 balls with 9 fours and 2 huge sixes . When OCC passed the target just 11.4 overs had been bowled and the final 56 runs had come in just 28 balls, as Morley showed just how vital he will be to the side through the second half of the season. Hester continued his good run of form as he finished 24 not out and played solidly allowing Morley to tuck in.
OCC had beaten the rain and picked up 20 points in the process.
A big week follows next week as two away fixtures see them take on North Leeds in the league on Saturday, before a trip to old rivals Burley in the Waddilove Cup semi-final on Sunday.
Black Sheep Trophy
The re-arranged tie in the first round of the Black Sheep Champions Trophy saw OCC travel to south Sheffield to take on Aston Hall
OCC won the toss and skipper James Davies elected to bat first. Jamie Pickering was soon in to his stride and he scored freely as the bowlers struggled on a warm day.
Pickering had made 51 and looked set for much more before he was caught behind.
Dave Hester and Chris Thompson consolidated as OCC looked set for a big target, but Hester departed for 34. A collapse followed and Thompson was ninth out for 43, as OCC had stumbled to 174 all out.
Aston Hall batted with control in pursuit of the total, as OCC bowled well but without any real luck. James Davies picked up an early wicket, and although the run rate was only steady throughout OCC couldn’t find a cluster of wickets to get them going.
John Brough picked up a wicket late on but it was all but over as the hosts got home with 6 overs to spare.
1st XI Pool (A)
The 1st XI continued their league campaign with a local derby fixture away at Pool.
On a day when the weather looked set to play a part, skipper James Davies had no hesitation in bowling first when he won the toss.
Two balls was all it took before the first wicket fell as Davies removed Pool’s opener for zero.
A rain break followed as Otley had the hosts at 15-1 from 5 overs.
The rain persisted for some time and an early tea was taken to reduce the number of overs lost, when the rain finally abated, the game had lost 30 overs.
The 1st XI were unusually sloppy after the restart and allowed the hosts to gain some momentum, which they would need for the declaration with 15 overs remaining to keep the game alive and force a result.
A run out got OCC back on track and John Brough (2-50) picked up a wicket soon after, as he had the overseas player smartly caught behind by Paul Nicholson.
Another small partnership followed before Brough had his man caught in the deep and when Nicky Bulcock (2-58) picked up a caught and bowled OCC had recovered well to reduce Pool to 126-5.
With around 10 overs to the declaration the hosts began to cut loose and picked up the rate.
It was the 2 senior players from Pool who got them in to a strong position and when the declaration point came Pool were 174-5 (248 as a comparable 50 over score), as they began to walk off they were inexplicably told to carry on batting.
It seemed clear at this stage that bonus points were the only interest, as the free scoring stopped and any intent to get to 225 quickly, evaporated.
OCC had the chance in these overs to pick up some bonus points of their own and Chris Thompson (3-44) picked up 3 wickets with a mixture of slower balls.
Even as Pool passed the 225 mark the declaration did not come, it was only when Bulcock picked up the ninth wicket that, unbelievably, Pool declared, preventing OCC from picking up full bonus points and in doing so set the 1st XI 228 from 23 overs.
Opener Jamie Pickering had been severely injured in the first innings as he made a valiant attempt of a diving catch, he bravely still agreed to open the innings and he flayed the ball to all areas of the ground as OCC set about chasing down the mammoth target immediately with Pickering smashing 16 off the first over.
James Davies was dismissed with the first ball of the second over before two more quick wickets saw OCC, who were up with the 10 an over required, on 44-3 from 4 overs.
The brave Pickering was single handedly chasing the target down and he found an ally in Nicky Bulcock (27) as the pair added 64 before Pickering was well caught in the deep for 69. His brave 69 had come from just 38 balls with 4 fours and 5 sixes. At this stage OCC were 108 for 4 around the 12 over halfway mark and still well on course to knock the runs off, but it looked like the dismissal of the brave Pickering would hamper this.
Josh Atkinson added 21 in quick time before being caught and at this point the chase appeared to be over and picking up bonus points would be the main aim.
OCC lost a few cheap wickets in pursuit of additional bonus points and it was left to final pair of Brough and Nicholson to see out the final over as the game finished in a draw with OCC picking up 9 points.
A quarter final visit to arch rivals Beckwithshaw in the cup followed the previous week’s league encounter.With all eyes on another poor weather forecast and the new cup rules seriously favoured the team batting second, the toss was more important than ever. Skipper James Davies keen to start the day well, lost the toss and OCC would bat first.
Josh Atkinson again opened up with Davies and they faced some hostile and quality bowling from the Beckwithshaw attack, before Atkinson finally succumbed caught behind for 5. Dave Hester was enjoying his promotion up the order and he took a liking to the bowling as he cut loose on what was a fantastic cricket surface.
Davies was unusually subdued at the other end and he moved on serenely with little drama, whilst Hester showed his prowess all around the wicket, as the scoring rate increased and OCC reached drinks well placed at 100-1. The partnership was worth 93 when Hester was run out in suicidal fashion trying to pick up a single, only to be sent back by Davies and he found himself plenty short of his ground. His 66 came at almost a run a ball and he was mightily unlucky not to go on to a big score.
Still handily placed, OCC need to pick up the rate through the last 15 overs to ensure a competitive total in the event of a shortened run chase.
Wickets were lost at key times as Davies was dismissed for 47 after adding a brisk 43 with Matthew O’Grady (18).
Beckwithshaw restricted the scoring opportunities and as the overs ticked by OCC found runs hard to come by, Chris Thompson cut loose with 27 from 21 but was dismissed trying to push the rate up. George Huntley added a brutal 23 but the final 5 overs yielded just 22 runs and OCC finished on 207 for 6 in their 45 overs, they key figure was the run rate of 4.6.
The rules state that 5 overs chasing allows a comparative run chase at the net rate, meaning after 5 overs Beckwithshaw would need to be on 24 to win the game. It was elementary though as the heavens opened during the tea interval and both teams waited for a break in the rain but it didn't come. At 7pm as chance of a chase disappeared a bowl out was arranged and the game was to be decided by the cricket equivalent of a Penalty Shoot-out.
OCC were to go first and it was top paceman Ricky Halloran who ripped out middle stump. 0-1
Ricky missed with second and hosts hit with both. 2-1
James Davies was next up he missed with first delivery and hit with second. Beckwithshaw missed both. 2-2
1st team debutant George Hanson stepped up for the third set and ripped out middle stump with both deliveries. Beckwithshaw missed one. 3-4
Chris Thompson missed both as Beckwithshaw pulled one back. 4-4
John Brough hit with his first attempt.4-5
Beckwithshaw missed with theirs, meaning Brough had a bowl for the match but missed meaning a Beckwithshaw hit would force sudden death, they missed and OCC won the bowl out 5-4
OCC will face Burley in the semi-final, as they look to maintain a fight for silverware in both league and cup this season.
1st XI Ilkley (A)
The weather put a halt to OCC 1st XI winning streak as they had to settle for a rain affected draw in a game where only 37 overs were possible.
Ilkley won the toss and elected to bowl, looking to dismiss OCC early, and with main man Jamie Pickering absent they would be hopeful of picking up some early bonus points. James Davies (14) was dismissed playing across the line and Josh Atkinson (21) fell victim to some good bowling.
Dave Hester was the only shining light on a dismal day as he made a hard fought 57 not out from 96 balls adding 55 for the 4th wicket with Chris Thompson (20).
The rain had the final say as OCC finished 3 shy of a second batting point on 147-5 and so had to settle for 4 points from the day.
1st XI Beckwithshaw (H)
A top of the table clash saw the 1st XI take on Beckwithshaw, with Beckwithshaw looking for revenge after last year’s final league game where OCC pipped them to the title.
A wet build up through the week had the deck looking damp and it was hard to see how it would play, but when Beckwithshaw won the toss they had no hesitation in asking OCC to bat first.
Skipper James Davies was the first to go as he nibbled at one outside the off stump and it was clear that batting was going to be much more difficult than in weeks gone by.
Nobody told Jamie Pickering this, as he carried on his excellent form mixing attack and defence in good measure, as he pulled OCC back in to the game and kept the scoring rate well above par. Josh Atkinson (14) shared in a stand of 85 for the 2nd wicket, as he played superbly in the anchor role for Pickering, allowing him to play his natural game. Atkinson departed at 95-2 and Pickering fell soon after for 75 from just 84 balls (6 fours, 3 sixes), which, in the context, was possibly one of his best knocks of the year.
A crucial part of the game followed, with the visitors switching the bowling around and pulling the run rate down, as Dave Hester (21) and Chris Thompson (21) struggled to find fluency on a wicket which was beginning to worsen. They added a well fought fifty partnership before they were both dismissed in quick succession.
Some late blows from Ricky Halloran (17) contributed greatly as the 1st XI passed the 200 mark but they couldn’t find that final bonus point as they were dismissed for 213 off the final ball of the innings. OCC would have been more than happy with that having seen the difficulty with which there was to score and the 39 extras had certainly helped there cause.
The bowling and fielding of the 1st XI had been vastly improved in recent weeks and it would prove vital again, against a batting line-up with strength in depth.
The roller told in the opening stages, as it had in the first innings, with only the odd ball moving off the pitch as the visitors moved on to 48 without loss. OCC had numerous appeals turned down and spurned a couple of chances in this opening passage, but when Chris Thompson finally made the breakthrough they looked to re-group.
Ricky Halloran produced a top delivery to dismiss the other opener and the score soon became 53-2. The introduction of John Brough slowed the scoring and his miserly 10 over spell saw him concede just 22 runs, and that pressure told, as Halloran picked up 2 wickets in an over to reduce Beckwithshaw to 86-4.
OCC began to sense that it could be their day with the momentum swinging in their favour, but the visitors had other ideas as they began to pick up the pace adding 59 for the fifth wicket
The re-introduction of Thompson and a change of ends for Halloran, saw the latter pick up his fourth wicket as he removed the top scorer at a key time.
When Thompson bowled the other set man in the very next over, the growing crowd down at Cross Green were really enjoying the cricket on offer and still looked set to be in for a close finish.
Thompson didn’t fancy that, as he picked up 2 in 2 balls with the wicket deteriorating and the sideways movement returning. A third clean bowled dismissal gave Thompson his first 5 wicket haul for OCC and it was fitting that his direct hit run-out for the 10th wicket finished the game, as the victory was celebrated by the OCC crowd and players alike.
Thompson and Halloran’s second spells undoubtedly changed the game, as the visitors slumped from 145-4 to 175 all out, Thompson finishing with figures of 5-57 and Halloran with 4-49.
A fantastic 19 point win saw the 1st XI go top of the league by a solitary point. They face the same opposition next weekend in the quarter final of the Waddilove Cup in what is sure to be another absorbing encounter.
1st XI Kirkstall Educational CC (A)
The 1st XI were returning to Kirkstall for back to back fixtures following the cup victory on Sunday, as they looked to carry on their good league form.
The absence of youngsters Nicky Bulcock and Sam Kellett (both with school commitments) saw George Huntley and Kieran Shields step up to the 1st XI, where James Davies lost the toss and surprisingly OCC were asked to field first.
Playing on the same wicket as Sunday and with overhead conditions favouring the bowlers, Davies wouldn’t have been overly disappointed with that decision and, when he struck with the 4th ball of the match smartly caught in the gully by Chris Thompson, so it proved.
At the other end, Thompson was getting movement through the air and off the pitch, as he found good areas, picking up wickets in consecutive overs both caught by Paul Nicholson behind the stumps.
Davies found some additional bounce when he picked up the fourth wicket as Kirkstall slumped to 9-4.
Ricky Halloran picked up a wicket in his first over for the umpteenth time this season as OCC’s catching in the cordon continued to impress, as Kirkstall found themselves 30-6
Some lower order resistance held up the 1st XI charge, before Thompson picked up his fourth wicket with a peach of a delivery.
The Kirkstall skipper hung around picking off the bad balls, but some more impressive catching saw him on his way, well caught in the deep by Halloran.
It was Halloran who brought proceedings to a close as he took 2 in 2 balls, both clean bowled as Kirkstall were dismissed for 113 in just 27.4 overs
A super bowling display was reflected in the figures, Thompson 4-29 from 10, Halloran 3-38 from 5.4 and Davies 2-17 from 10 and Andrew Rhodes picking up a solitary wicket for 22 runs from 2 overs.
Chasing a small total can pose problems, but with the league’s most in-form batsman in Jamie Pickering, OCC could rest easy.
After a moderate start, he raced to 59 in just 29 balls hitting 9 fours and 3 sixes as the Kirkstall bowling had no answer to his barrage. He was dismissed with the score on 82 but the damage had been done, in what was a fantastic display of clean hitting and shot selection
Skipper Davies had played second fiddle whilst Pickering was at the crease but he picked up his scoring rate, with some classy shots of his own, finishing with 44 not out from 32 balls (7 fours, 2 sixes).
Dave Hester blocked the last ball for four as OCC got home with 8 wickets to spare in just 12.3 overs, the only blemish being the loss of 1 bonus point in the chase, as the 1st XI picked up 19 points.
The 2nd round of the Waddilove Cup pitted OCC away against Kirkstall on what was to be one of the warmest days of the year.
A large Otley contingent had gathered on the banking to settle in and watch 1st XI opening pair James Davies and Jamie Pickering make hay in the sun, but unfortunately 4 balls in Davies was back in the hut, followed 12 balls later by Pickering. 16-2 soon became 35-4 and Otley found themselves in real trouble as Kirkstall bowlers found movement through the air and off the surface.
Chris Thompson and Nicky Bulcock looked to steady things and did so well, both scoring quickly whilst maintaining control as they moved on to 65-4 at drinks. The scoring rate pushed on as Bulcock impressed with classy shots against the spinners, as Thompson provided a bit more brute force at the other end. Moving in to the last 15 overs the pair had taken the score over a hundred and were looking comfortable as they set a foundation to score quickly from in the final overs, Bulcock passed a half century registering his second 1st XI fifty in as many weeks, Thompson wasn’t far behind as he made his first fifty for OCC. The partnership was finally ended for 119 in 25 overs as Thompson failed to connect cleanly and skied a chance which was easily taken, the pair crossed in the process and this saw Bulcock dismissed the very next ball, both players making 54.
Some late blows from Andrew Rhodes (28 from 18 balls) and Paul Nicholson (19) pushed OCC over the 200 mark, as they eventually finished 228 all out from their 45 overs.
Otley would be confident of defending the total even on a small ground and flat wicket, Davies got the 1st wicket as Otley looked to extract the same movement as the opposition and when he picked up his 2nd wicket 4 overs later Kirkstall found themselves 39-4, Ricky Halloran and Thompson picking up the others.
With Kirkstall’s two key men at the crease, OCC knew that breaking this partnership would be crucial and it was that man Bulcock, bowling superbly, who got his reward as he took a smart catch off his own bowling. He tied down the incoming batters with a patient line and length and one dot too many eventually forced a false shot as he picked up another wicket in his next over.
A fifty partnership gave Kirkstall some hope as they moved on to 148-6 with 13 overs remaining but Bulcock again found the right ball at the right time and looked to have sealed the game.
However with Kirkstall’s set batsman still remaining it was to be an amazing piece of fielding from Rhodes, who with a full length diving catch from Halloran’s bowling saw the game put to bed. Some entertainment from the number 11 added a few more to the total but it wasn’t to be as OCC picked up the final wicket and dismissed the hosts for 195.
The draw sees the 1st XI face title rivals Beckwithshaw in the next round.
1st XI Horsforth (A)
Consecutive double weekends saw the 1sts kick off against Horsforth in a crucial match at the top end of the table.
OCC won the toss and elected to bat, even with some cloud cover, the deck looked good and so it proved as in-form opening pair of James Davies and Jamie Pickering continued in the same vain as the previous week.
They raced to 98 inside 15 overs before Pickering fell one short of his half century as he was caught behind for 49. Davies was finding his flow and scoring with consummate ease, however incoming batters were finding the going a little tougher against the spinners. Davies added 32 with Josh Atkinson (10 from 39 balls) and then a 50 partnership with Dave Hester (17) with Davies playing the dominant role in both. A crazy run out saw Atkinson on his way and when Hester and Davies both fell with the score around 190, Otley had 16 overs to kick on and post a challenging total. Davies had played a magnificent innings scoring 105 from just 107 balls.
It was a mix of young and old, as youngster Nicky Bulcock and the elder Chris Thompson picked up the pace; Thompson hitting 3 fours and 2 sixes in his 33 from 20 balls, and Bulcock forcing some lusty blows but neither could go on to capitalise. Otley finished with a formidable 288-9 which could have been more but was certainly a defendable total.
However, Horsforth were a side full of batting and had only failed to take maximum batting points twice this season, so OCC would need to bowl with discipline and take their chances.
Once again the quick introduction of Ricky Halloran saw him pick up a wicket straight away and then 2 balls later Horsforth’s number 3 saw his middle stump up-rooted. Thompson at the other end was finding some swing and assistance from the slope and when he had the Overseas caught behind for 0; Horsforth had slipped from 38-0 to 39-3. Runs were hard to come by and Thompson picked up another wicket with a similar delivery as OCC put the squeeze on and at this stage it looked like the game was done. Some partnerships in the middle order posed some questions for skipper Davies as a few chances went awry, but he found the answer in Halloran and Bulcock. Bulcock removed the opener who had made a solid fifty, whilst Halloran came back in to the mix and picked up 3 further wickets and put the game beyond doubt. Halloran picking up another 5 wicket haul, finishing with 5-55, Bulcock (2-43) and Thompson (3-38) picked up the remainder.
OCC put in their best performance of the year with both bat and ball and took away 20 points.
1st XI Pool (H)
The 2nd fixture of the weekend and another local derby saw the 1sts take on Pool.
In almost identical fashion, Otley batted first and within 15 overs openers Jamie Pickering and James Davies had put on a century partnership. Davies was dismissed having just reached 50, adjudged LBW looking to sweep.
Josh Atkinson (28) picked up the pace quickly and with Pickering still motoring along they accelerated well and put OCC in a dominant position as they had been 48 hours earlier, however as in that game Atkinson departed and was followed 3 balls later by Pickering. Pickering had played a superb innings scoring 111 from just 100 balls as he took his tally over 200 runs for the weekend.
At 191-3 with 18 overs remaining, a mammoth total was looking likely and as the 1sts pushed on in the final overs it was young Nicky Bulcock who blazed a trail, hitting 56 not out from 41 balls, a maiden fifty for the young man and at a key time for the side. Six from the final ball pushed OCC over the 300 mark as they finished on an imposing 303-6.
Keen to pick up the full 20 points, the Otley would need to work hard to take 10 wickets, especially on a placid surface which offered little assistance to the bowlers in the first half. Chris Thompson (2-31) picked up 2 quick wickets dismissing Pool’s key man and overseas within 4 balls. Bowling changes a plenty saw Ricky Halloran (2-55), John Brough (3-44), Bulcock (1-40) and Andrew Rhodes (1-20) all pick up wickets as Pool never looked like challenging the total. Taking wickets was hard at times and some late interest was generated as OCC looked for full points, with Brough picking up 2 of his wickets with 4 overs remaining. At 220-9 Otley had 18 balls to pick up the final wicket but had to settle for 19 points as the tail held firm finishing on 241-9 losing by 62 runs.
A good performance finished a good weekend for the 1sts who picked up 39 points from a possible 40 over the two games.
1st XI Burley (H)
The 1st XI began the double weekend with the first of two local derby games against Burley.
Otley were asked to bat first and got off to a flying start with James Davies and Jamie Pickering sharing a stand of 53 for the first wicket. When Davies departed for 30, Pickering was just starting to kick through the gears and with Josh Atkinson (31) took the score on with ease to 154. At this stage with 20 overs remaining Otley would have been looking at a score around 300 but when Atkinson was dismissed followed by Pickering for a marvellous 91, the run rate slowed as the visitors bowled with more discipline.
Dave Hester started slowly but eventually fell just one short of a run a ball 50 when he was bowled for 49 and some late blows from Ricky Halloran meant Otley finished with an excellent total of 258-8.
The total looking to be well above par on a tricky deck but probably short of where they should have been after the excellent base provided by Pickering.
An early bowling change in the second innings got the action going as the introduction of Halloran immediately brought two wickets in his first over. His persistent, probing length caused problems for all the Burley batsmen and a couple of smart catches in the slips were suitable reward for his bowling, as he reduced the visitors to 79-5 taking all top 5 batsmen.
It looked like the game was done and dusted at this stage but a partnership of 66 put the game back in the balance before a smart catch in the deep from Andrew Rhodes provided some impetus and, along with some tight bowling in the later overs, put the total out of reach.
It was fitting that Halloran took the final wicket and topped off a fine performance finishing with figures of 6-51 from 12 overs, as Burly were dismissed for 192.
1st XI Bilton (A)
In a repeat of Sunday’s cup game, the 1st XI once again headed to Bilton for a highly important league fixture.
With the weather set to be indifferent, skipper James Davies returned to his usual ways as Bilton won the toss and elected to bat first.
Two early rain breaks disrupted the opening stages with Chris Thompson (3-58) picking up an early wicket in between delays, but as the weather turned fairer Bilton picked up the rate and moved untroubled to 75-1.
Davies returned to bowl for a second spell, demonstrating great control and discipline and was duly rewarded with 2 wickets in quick succession, as he completed his full 15 overs with figures of 2 for 37.
Bilton’s skipper was well set at this stage as they looked to accelerate through the later overs, but after Thompson had him caught at mid-off, the hosts couldn’t find the big scoring final overs as they finished 201-7. The declaration coming after 47 overs to ensure the game remained even due to the earlier rain breaks.
This set OCC a target of 202 in 48 overs. The returning Jamie Pickering formed the 4th different opening partnership of the season as he and Davies looked to make headway in the run chase. Pickering departed early caught in the slips, but Davies made good progress and along with Josh Atkinson added 59 for the 2nd wicket.
The introduction of the spinners slowed the rate to some extent and Atkinson was stumped for 26, after surviving an earlier shout for caught behind.
Davies was starting to look increasingly confident and he passed 50 for the first time this season, in doing so he had added 59 for the 3rd wicket with Dave Hester (14 not out)
With the weather closing in OCC were handily placed with 8 wickets remaining and requiring just 84 from 107 balls, but the weather had the final say as an evening deluge prevented any further play.
Davies was left rueing what might have been as he finished 59 not out and the 1st XI picked up 6 points from the game.
The first round of the Waddilove Cup saw a repeat of last years semi final in which the 1st XI were soundly beaten by today's opponents Bilton.
Bilton who look strong on paper had lost the day before so would certainly be looking to bounce back, unusually skipper James Davies won the toss and on a smart looking deck chose to bat first.
Saturdays opening pair of Davies and Josh Atkinson once again faced up and against some good early bowling managed to score freely before Atkinson was caught for 11. The returning Nicky Bulcock, fresh from a School century the day before stepped up to 3 and he too looked comfortable before falling second victim to Bilton's opening bowler.
Within 10 overs OCC found themselves 41-3 as Davies unfortunately managed to pick out a man in the deep and at this point it was imperative that somebody stick around. Chris Thompson dug in and finding support from George Huntley (26) and Andrew Rhodes (27), with partnerships of 51 & 47 respectively, looked to have put Otley in to a commanding position. Yet having done some of the hard work and getting Otley in to a position to accelerate Thompson was caught in the deep trying to pass 50, as he departed for 49. Rhodes followed soon after and OCC struggled to add runs quickly as they finished on a defendable 194-9
Otley knew that wickets would be imperative in defending their total and an early bowling change from the skipper saw Ricky Halloran pick up both Bilton openers in the same over. A 3rd wicket for Halloran saw Bilton reduced to 46-3, but some useful partnerships from the hosts meant they were always ahead of the scoring rate. John Brough stuck well to his task and picked up a wicket at a key time and Sam Kellett kept things tight conceding just 11 runs from his 6 overs. However, the turning point came as Huntley executed a fantastic piece of fielding, where after a diving stop he had the coolness to throw the ball to the non-strikers end to run out Biltons top scorer and give a huge injection of intensity to the innings. Halloran returned and picked up a further wicket as well as keeping things tight as he finished with excellent figures of 4-29 from 9. At this stage the game was in the balance, Brough took 2 more wickets, his 3-50 meant Bilton required 36 runs with 1 wicket remaining, however some lusty blows from Bilton's remaining batsman were in vain as Thompson picked up last wicket and Bilton were dismissed for 177.
3rd choice wicket-keeper Josh Atkinson who deputised for Paul Nicholson picked up 3 victims whilst conceding no byes in what was a good all round performance from the 1st XI, who will face Kirkstall in the next round.
1st XI Steeton (H)
The 1sts hosted Steeton in their first home match of the season and were looking to get back to winning ways.
As is customary, OCC lost the toss and once again were asked to bowl first.
Chris Thompson struck with just the second ball of his spell, as some movement through the air assisted the bowlers early on. Thompson picked up the first four wickets, picking up 4-32, as Steeton crumbled to 48-4. The introduction of John Brough (3-24) brought quick wickets and along side some much improved fielding, including a Matthew O'Grady run-out, Steeton never looked like posting a decent total as they finished 105 all out inside 38 overs.
The new rule change means that sides bowling first are no longer penalised for dismissing sides for low totals as they can pick up the balance of bonus points by knocking off scores without losing wickets.
With this in mind, skipper James Davies promoted himself to the top of the order to ensure that he would see the job through. It wasn't to be as an early loose shot saw Davies dismissed with just 18 on the board. Dave Hester (19) added 46 with opener Josh Atkinson, who was looking assured against some good bowling, but when Hester was dismissed OCC lost the first of their bonus points and the second wicket in as many overs saw 64-1 soon become 65-3. Trying not to lose a further bonus point, Atkinson played with great maturity as he stuck around whittling the total down and along with Thompson (33no) saw the side home by 7 wickets. Atkinson finishing with a vital 40 not out
A 19 point victory was much needed following last weeks defeat.
1st XI Rawdon (A)
The 1st XI picked up after the Tour de Yorkshire break with a tasty looking fixture against Rawdon.
Losing the toss OCC were duly asked to bowl first on a dry looking deck with a sunny forecast ahead.
A poor start with the ball and a dropped chance allowed the hosts to get off to a brisk start and it was only the introduction of Ricky Halloran that saw the 1st wicket fall. Young Sam Kellett also picked up a wicket as the score quickly became 54-2 before 2 consecutive 50 partnerships saw Rawdon well placed to capitalise at 159-3. Halloran had other ideas as he took 3 wickets for just 5 runs and reduced Rawdon to 164-6, Halloran once again showing his potency finishing with figures of 4-36 from 10.
Rawdon's overseas had been present throughout and he accelerated, ably supported by the lower order and assisted by some sloppy fielding as Rawdon posted a final total of 259.
The 1st XI batting lineup looked strong with the return of Ben Morley and Josh Atkinson, with the total appearing to be very chase-able. Within 10 balls things were looking less so, as Jamie Pickering, Atkinson & Morley all in the hut before the end of the 2nd over. At 2-3 the game looked as good as dead and with the Rawdon spinners finding some extra purchase runs were hard to come by.
James Davies (32) and Chris Thompson (23) added a valuable 50 partnership before 3 quick wickets saw Otley stumble to 83-6.
Dave Hester coming in at 7 seemed intent on chasing the runs down as he and Kellett (43) put together a vital 100 stand which gave OCC some hope of chasing down the total but when Hester was out for 59 it seemed that the game would fall Rawdons way and so it proved. The 1sts finished 214 all out picking up 7 bonus points.
A disappointing result but plenty of time in the season to bounce back
1st XI Collingham (A)
The 1st XI got their title defence underway with a 113 run victory against Collingham.
With key players Ben Morley and Josh Atkinson unavailable through injury, when Otley were asked to bat first it was George Huntley who stepped up to the top of the order alongside Jamie Pickering.
Huntley was dismissed early after scoring a couple of decent boundaries
New recruit Chris Thompson overcame an early dropped chance to make a quick fire 43 before carelessly throwing his wicket away after adding 74 for the 3rd wicket with Pickering
Captain James Davies soon came and went, run out in calamitous fashion after a mix up, as Otley found themselves 141-4
It was Pickering who played a solid role throughout the innings, making the most of a placid surface to register his first half century of the season. When he was dismissed for 75, the innings could have gone either way but an impressive knock from Andrew Rhodes, who batted with great control, ensured the full compliment of overs were used and his valuable 62no saw Otley pick up the first maximum batting points of the year as they finished 237-9
That total always looked to be a tough ask with the vast Otley bowling unit, even on an uneventful surface, however some early wayward bowling from experienced pair of Davies and Thompson saw Collingham race to 61 without loss.
It was the introduction of Ricky Halloran that changed the Otley fortunes as he struck twice in 2 balls, removing Collinghams opener who had made a brisk 43.
A change at the other end saw John Brough returning to the 1st XI, this also paid dividends straight away as he picked up the first of his 4 wickets with a regulation LBW.
Halloran bowled superbly and he added a 3rd wicket as he finished with figures of 3-21 from 9.
4 wickets fell in consecutive overs as Brough carried on Hallorans good work, with fellow spinner Huntley picking up a classy wicket on the brink of the drinks interval.
Brough showed his worth to the side as he finished with excellent figures if 4-37 from 11 overs.
Pickering picked up some cheap wickets late on as he finished his all round good day with 2-7.
A good start for the reigning champions who picked up maximum 20 points