Brian Jackson is definitely a bonus for Guiseley

Ilkley Gazette: Guiseley's Brian Jackson is scoring at almost a run a ball Guiseley's Brian Jackson is scoring at almost a run a ball

South African Brian Jackson could have strolled the last couple of runs to give Guiseley victory over Rawdon in the Aire-Wharfe League on Monday - instead he smashed his seventh six in a sparkling unbeaten 109.

Partly it was the nature of the man – he is already well on his way towards 400 runs at almost a run a ball – but it was also important because it took his side past the 150 mark and earned them a second batting point.

Under the new scoring system introduced this year, batting bonus points are proving harder to earn than bowling - only Steeton have achieved more with the bat than with the ball.

This is not entirely a reflection on the performances of batsmen. It can have as much to do with the toss of a coin because if you bowl first and dismiss your opponents for less than 125, you have little chance of any batting bonuses.

Opting to bat first, as Steeton have done on four occasions, gives a side a much better chance of picking up all five points for batting.

Even if they can bat first on Saturday at Kirkstall, Guiseley will need to find some support for Jackson because second-placed Eddys have bowled out all their opponents in completed games.

But Guiseley, too, have Nasir Jamal and Marcus Brown in consistent bowling form, and they could upset a sometimes fragile Kirkstall batting line-up in what should be a tight match.

Steeton’s batting success owes much to Andrew Foulds and Neil Spragg, who regularly weigh in with at least a half-century, and they should be far too strong for struggling Pool.

And it would be a major shock if leaders Otley lost their unbeaten record at Ben Rhydding.

Ilkley can shake off the disappointment of two successive defeats with a win against rock-bottom Collingham, while Burley will fancy their chances against a Beckwithshaw team that is a shadow of the side that won the championship last season.

In Division Two, Skipton need to regain their early-season form when they travel to Tong Park Esholt, who will be confident after a comfortable win over Bolton Villas.

Villas face the daunting task of trying to end Follifoot’s unbeaten run, and bottom side Harden will do well to beat Colton, who are on something of a charge in recent weeks.

Having climbed out of the bottom two with their first victory, Thackley will hope to build on that at home to Green Lane, who have dropped into the relegation zone.

Horsforth’s impressive recruiting has taken them to the top of Division Three, but they face their toughest test to date when they travel to second-placed Silsden, for whom bowler Iqbal Khan has picked up four wickets in four games so far.

Having twice been bowled out cheaply by Horsforth, Hall Park can repair their battered pride with what should be a comfortable win over struggling Woodhouse, and Olicanian will fancy their chances against a New Rover outfit that is not yet firing on all cylinders.

Calverley should prove too strong for Alwoodley and continue their pursuit of the three sides above them, hoping that Menston can do them a favour by denting Illingworth’s progress.

And all of the will have one eye on the bonus points that could prove so vital by the end of the season.

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