A BENIGN headmaster, marking Rawdon’s report as the Aire-Wharfe League season passes the quarter-way point, would probably reflect their mid-table spot is ‘better than might have been expected'.

Not only did they lose four of their key players before the campaign in Ben Heritage, George Myers, Nathan Goldthorp and the prolific Kuda Samunderu, but the fixture computer threw them a tough start to the season.

Their trip to Guiseley on Saturday means they will have faced four of the top five sides in the first six weeks, with the fifth - Burley - coming up next week.

But as they showed last week in a battling performance against Beckwithshaw, and in their opening-day defeat of Pool, there are plenty of fighting qualities that could give Guiseley problems.

But Guiseley will start as favourites, especially as their batting looks particularly strong at the moment.

Gavin Hamilton, signed from East Bierley, and another new signing, James Thistlethwaite, already have centuries under their belt and have helped Guiseley top the rankings in terms of batting bonus points.

But Rawdon will point to the form of bowlers Bradley Reeve and George Powell and be up for the challenge.

With the top two, Beckwithshaw and Bilton, slugging it out, third-placed Burley have an opportunity to take advantage when they entertain Ilkley, while Pool’s visit to Otley should produce one of the most competitive matches of the day.

After three consecutive years of high-flying success, Horsforth find themselves struggling just above the relegation zone and badly need an injection of form when they visit Colton.

Ben Rhydding take on Division Two strugglers Thackley and will be expected to pick up maximum points, and so keep in touch with the leading pack.

Steeton and Tong Park Esholt, separated by just a point in mid-table, will battle it out to try and make up ground on the promotion hopefuls.

Calverley and Hall Park face tough tests against two of the division’s front-runners, Kirkstall and Leeds Modernians, while Skipton entertain Addingham, with both sides needing to climb away from the lower reaches of the table.

Saltaire will be expected to hold on to top spot in Division Three with victory over Bolton Villas, whose only win is over surprise bottom club New Rover.

With Tom Smallwood and Tom Watson filling two of the division’s top three batting spots and Sajjad Ijaz second in the bowling, second-placed Olicanian won’t lack firepower against a Menston side looking for a third win on the trot.

Harden, who have improved considerably since Olicanian bowled them out for 59 on the opening day of the season, travel to Green Lane, who are only a point behind them in the table.