OTLEY, who were denied a third consecutive Aire-Wharfe League Division One championship on the final day of last season, start the new campaign on Saturday against Burley, one of their main title rivals.
Beckwithshaw took last year’s crown by three points, mainly thanks to their 100 bonus bowling points, and the fact that Otley suffered one more abandoned game than they did.
One thing is certain, there’s a determination at Cross Green to put things right.
They have strengthened an already impressive line-up with the signing of Stephen Brown, who scored more than 600 league runs in a struggling Kirkstall Educational side last year, and have also brought in Nathan Goldthorp from Rawdon and Sam Boyden from Menston.
But they could hardly ask for a tougher opener. Burley were hot on their heels last season and have also strengthened, with big-hitting Red Bolton joining from Ben Rhydding, while James Ford and Nicky Bulcock return to the fold, the latter from Otley.
Ed Brown, with more than 700 runs to his name last year and already a half- century in pre-season, takes over as Burley captain as they seek their first championship since 2010.
Elsewhere in Division One, Horsforth seek to build on last year’s excellent fourth-placed debut in the top flight. They entertain Ilkley, who are captained by Will Spivey.
Pool, who have decided to go without an overseas player, welcome a Rawdon side that have a few new faces under skipper Andrew Duckworth, including Australian all-rounder Marcus Berryman, who takes over the overseas slot from Kuda Samunderu, who has moved to Collingham.
Having bounced back to the top flight after only one season in Division Two, Guiseley will be seeking to consolidate under new captain Stewart Smith.
They have signed former Scotland and England international Gavin Hamilton from East Bierley ready for their opener at North Leeds.
Last season’s upheaval means there are five new sides in Division Two, three promoted and two relegated.
Division Three champions Hall Park have beefed up their squad and will get a good indication of their prospects at Kirkstall.
Addingham, with South African Jan-Harm Moolman filling their overseas slot, entertain the third promoted club, Leeds Modernians.
In Division Three, Olicanian are at newly-relegated Harden, with both sides having strengthened a lot.