BEN Rhydding’s hopes of escaping relegation from Aire-Wharfe League Division One could hinge on what happens at Pool tomorrow.
Currently bottom of the table with only two wins to their name, Rhydding are eight points behind their opponents, who are third from bottom.
Defeat would widen that gap and undermine confidence going into the season’s home straight.
But there is hope. Pool have the worst batting bonus points total in the division, averaging only just over one per match, and they have been dismissed for 86 and 118 in their last two games. Indeed when the sides met earlier in the season, Charlie Swallow (4-23) and Brad Ranford (4-21) skittled them out for 61.
But that was followed by a batting performance from Ben Rhydding that was more shaky than the Brazilian defence. They were dismissed for 56, with Dave Amos picking up the first of the four five-wicket hauls he has to his name this season. Better batting tomorrow could see the Ben Rhydding season start to turn round.
Rawdon fill the second relegation spot and take their effort to escape the drop to Kirkstall, a side that at one time looked a contender to win the championship but who have won only one of their last four.
Steeton have slipped to just 16 points above the drop zone and face a tough afternoon with the visit of joint leaders Burley, who are looking for a fifth straight win.
Otley are the other top side and they entertain Guiseley, whose own challenge has been hampered by defeats by struggling teams but who are capable of beating the best.
Ilkley will be trying to stop the renewed Beckwithshaw juggernaut that has found some form after a disastrous start to the defence of their title and leapt from second from bottom to fourth.
Green Lane have also recovered from a shaky start and victory over Skipton would keep them in the pack chasing Division Two leaders Follifoot.
At the other end of the table, the dogfight is hotting up. Bottom two Thackley and Bolton Villas face massive tasks against top- three sides Adel and North Leeds respectively.
Harden travel to Knaresborough, who bowled them out for 89 last time they met, while Tong Park Esholt and Upper Wharfedale, both hovering just above the drop zone, scrap it out.
With the quality of their squad, Division Three leaders Horsforth should not have too many problems in their home game against Alwoodley and, on paper, second-placed Illingworth look too strong for Addingham but the visitors’ cup form showed they are capable of better than their league position suggests.
Third-placed Calverley travel to Hall Park, a team whose abject lapses have left them in mid-table when a promotion challenge at times looked possible.
Silsden can keep in touch with the front runners if they complete the double over struggling Bardsey, while Menston will look to avenge their earlier defeat by Olicanian when Syed Hashmi (4-10) and Will Pearson (3-41) sent them crashing for 82.