AFTER a week’s delay but still ahead of most leagues, the Aire-Wharfe will try to make a start tomorrow and Horsforth will be keen to put down a marker against, Beckwithshaw who are going for their third successive title.

There is no doubt that the champions, who have been first or second in the league for five years in a row, will again be one of the favourites.

But they are without some significant players and Horsforth will want to put them under early pressure to test their mettle.

Beckwithshaw have lost Eugene Burzler and James Lilley who have retired, while their former skipper, Alex Lilley, who scored more than 600 runs and took 64 wickets last season, has stepped up to the Bradford League with New Farnley.

Horsforth have also lost some familiar names in Leon Harber, Michael Lambert and Charlie Swallow but welcome back Ryan Sharrocks from Pool and have made two good signings in Sajad Ali from Bilton and Jibrael Malik from Ilkley.

Having been bridesmaid to Beckwithshaw for the past two seasons, Otley will be determined to get back the crown they last won in 2015.

They welcome back Ricky Halloran after a year out travelling. Also returning is Jonathan Hughes, who immediately goes head to head with the side he played for last season, Ilkley, who have a new overseas player in Australian Oscar Forster.

Burley’s captain Ed Brown has also moved into the Bradford League, joining Bradford & Bingley and Jason Wright takes over the role as they entertain promoted Follifoot.

Burley have also signed Lewis Bolton from Ben Rhydding and West Indian paceman, Joshua Challenger, while Charley Davy hopes to return after a long spell out injured.

George Myers, another player to leave Beckwithshaw, returns to Rawdon who keep faith with last season’s successful overseas player, Marcus Berryman. They take on Guiseley, captained this year by James Thistlethwaite.

Pool, who start at North Leeds, have had a quiet winter, preferring mainly to rely on their young, home-grown players.

Ben Rhydding, who missed out on promotion from Division Two by just five points, start the new season at home against Saltaire, who came up from the third tier in their first Aire Wharfe campaign.

Ben Rhydding will be boosted by the return from Adel of all-rounder Nick Smith while Saltaire are captained by Usman Munir in the absence through illness of Michael Eglin.

Tong Park Esholt, fourth last year, travel to Steeton whose overseas player is William Forster, twin brother of Ilkley’s new signing.

Hall Park look to build on a promising season having signed Sam Wilkinson from Pool and made a six-player raid on Menston. They are at Olicanian who keep faith with the players who won them promotion as Division Three champions.

Chris Coates takes over the captaincy of Calverley, who entertain relegated Colton, while the other club who suffered the drop, Collingham, are at Addingham who will be boosted by Australian Alex Hentschke.

There is a mouth-watering clash in Division Three between relegated Skipton, skippered this year by Gary Owens, and Green Lane, who just missed out on promotion last season.

Thackley are in the third tier for the first time in ten years and face a tough baptism against a Bardsey side that fancy their chances this season.

Andy Wear, who has spent the winter playing in Australia, returns to the Harden side who travel to New Rover while Menston face league newcomers Shadwell, who will include Zarshad Khan against his former club.

There is sure to be plenty of determination on show when Bolton Villas play host to Alwoodley, the two bottom sides last season, both determined to improve markedly this time round