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Bolton Villas need a winning run to avoid relegation
Bolton Villas need to recapture their mid-season form if they are to avoid being sucked into demotion, and they have to start at Bardsey on Saturday.
Villas are currently only eight points above the second Division Two relegation spot occupied by Bardsey, so defeat would leave them in a very precarious position.
When the teams met in June, half-centuries from Andrew Clarke and Lee Margerison helped Villas to 230-9, their best score of the season. And a five-wicket spell from Sam Lawrence clinched all six points.
That was the start of a run of three straight wins but since then they have managed only eight points from as many games, while, in the same period, Bardsey have picked up 17 points, including wins over promotion hopefuls Knaresborough and Tong Park Esholt.
Results like that have kept the promotion race wide open.
Knaresborough currently have a four-point lead over Ilkley, with four others within ten points.
And Saturday has all six in a head to head against one of their rivals.
Thackley inflicted Knaresborough’s first defeat earlier in the season and, having clawed their way back into contention by being one of only two games to beat the weather last week, completing the double would give them a major boost.
If Ilkley maintain recent form, in which Jonathan Hughes and Harry Nielsen have been leading the way, they should be good enough to beat Adel.
Perhaps the hardest of the matches to call is Rawdon’s trip to Tong Park Esholt.
Park are an unpredictable side – beaten by lowly Bardsey and Colton and dismissed for just 88 when they met Rawdon earlier, but capable of a dominating win over Ilkley.
Rawdon, too, have hit a sticky patch and slipped from first to third in the table.
Elsewhere in the division, Calverley travel to North Leeds, hoping to delay their inevitable relegation for one more week, while Green Lane are at Colton.
Following their extraordinary Waddilove Cup final win, when they successfully defended an 87-run total to inflict the only defeat of the season so far on Beckwithshaw, Burley can delay their rivals taking the Division One crown a little longer if they can prevent them picking up three or more points this weekend.
Even that won’t be enough to prevent the inevitable Beckwithshaw celebrations if Guiseley get the better of second-placed Bilton.
With a 14-point advantage at the top of Division Three, a win for Skipton over Hall Park could secure promotion a year after finishing rock bottom of the league if a couple of the chasing pack slip up.
Elsewhere, Olicanian travel to erratic Woodhouse and Silsden are at high-scoring New Rover.
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