STEETON beat third-placed Colton by nine wickets to climb out of the Aire-Wharfe League Division Two relegation zone as the season reached its halfway point.

Visitors Colton won the toss and, not surprisingly, batted but the hosts took wickets at regular intervals so that no partnerships passed 50 and their top score was 37 – by both Jake Wilson and skipper Andrew Scholes.

The bowling of Stephen Pearson (5-34) and Aatif Modak (3-50) helped to dismiss Colton for 200 in the 50th over, with Pearson's 11.3 overs including a nice slip catch by Bradley Akrigg and a decent catch in the covers by Australian Will Forster.

Modak's excellent 15 overs of off-spin brought two catches behind by Jake Starkey, while Akrigg and Pearson took the fielding points.

The other two wickets fell to the pace of Joe Stead at a cost of 46 runs, and gave Starkey a third catch.

Forster, buoyed by the arrival of his family, then shared a fine 52-run opening partnership with Modak (13), and completed his first half-century of the season.

Freddie Pearson soon joined him in getting to that landmark, and they put on 139 before the latter was forced to limp from the field, having scored 67 not out off 68 deliveries, including a six and 10 fours.

Only nine were needed for victory with 11 overs left and Forster was 92no.

Starkey then contrived not to score, allowing Forster time to reach three figures, ending up on 102no off 136 balls – an innings which contained three sixes and 15 fours.

All told the second-wicket stand totalled 149 as Steeton collected a maximum haul.

Leaders Tong Park Esholt were in a hurry to pass second-placed Addingham’s 165, which included 61 from Ben Brearley.

However, only skipper Ted Haggas (28), Alex Hentschke (26) and Dan Ellis (19) also reached double figures as James Boyd took 4-48, Fawad Maqsood 3-32 and Mahir Ali 3-47.

Waleed Akhtar (35) and Maqsood (35) then set the platform for Tong Park, and Christopher Oliver (42no) and Muhammad Khan (39no) finished the job early.

That allowed Collingham to move into second place after they beat Kirkstall, while Hall Park climbed to third with a comfortable win at bottom club Calverley.

Four wickets each from Mark McEneaney and Sam Wilkinson dismissed the home side for 116 before skipper Gary Walton clinched the seven-wicket win with 45no.

Ben Rhydding raced to 279-5 with contributions from Benjamin Steyn (57), Forrest Hamilton (64), Sam Housam (66) and Nick Smith (48), and even though Leeds Modernians put up a gutsy reply, they fell 15 runs short, with Smith picking up 5-80.

Despite a 5-52 spell from Sajjad Ijaz, Saltaire recovered from 54-6 to post 200, thanks to 51 from number seven Mussawar Shah and 48 from No 10 Aftab Khan.

Olicanian had 62 overs to get the runs, but with Adeel Ashraf (4-35) and Shah (3-35) pegging away, they were dismissed for 186.

It was also a good day for Harden in Division Three as they moved up to second behind New Rover after defeating Bardsey.

Dan Giblin (52) was the main contributor in Harden’s 264-9, with Josh Brooksbank (39), Tom Cummins (39), mark Portlock (38) and 'Mr Extras' (32) also chipping in as Amjad Ali (4-62) and Henry Wainman (3-80) proved the main threats.

Promotion hopefuls Bardsey replied with 228, with Mohammed Altaf scoring 81 but no-one was able to support him as Matthew Hogg (3-51) and Scott Hartley (3-69) helped to restrict them.

Otley continue to dominate Division One, cruising to a 10-wicket win at Horsforth.

Oliver Hardaker (62) was top scorer in the home side’s 176, which included three run outs, before Otley openers James Pickering (68no) and Ben Morley (99no) knocked them off in 22.2 overs.

Burley remain the chief challengers, Dan Revis (41no) and Nicky Bulcock (48no) steering them past Guiseley’s 145 in which Jason Wright took 6-35.

And Rawdon are still in the hunt, Marcus Berryman hitting 75 and teaming up with Andrew Duckworth (41) and Ryan Gladwin (64) to post 293-9.

The Australian then took 4-60 as Bilton fell 104 runs short.

Ilkley dented Follifoot’s challenge.

Nick Cockroft led the way with 52 and Will Lennard took 4-42, with Henry Wilson weighing in with two run outs in an 83-run victory.

James Rosewarne (5-21) seemed to have put Pool on the way to victory when Adel were dismissed for 160, but the visitors’ batting came up 39 runs short.

Green Lane crashed to their second successive defeat and are out of the Division Three promotion spots.

Joe Lawrence fell one run short of his century as Bolton Villas set a target of 265-9 and, with Junaid Jamshed (5-57) doing the damage, Lane were bowled out for 204, Michael Abbott top-scoring with a half-century.

Gary Owens had a day to remember, top scoring with 44 and then taking 8-31 as Skipton crushed Old Leodiensians.

Mohammed Shoaib took 6-62 and top-scored with 23 but found little support as Thackley went down by 60 runs at Shadwell, while Menston had a miserable afternoon at St Chad’s, being beaten by 119 runs.

Among the second teams, Steeton were indebted to opener John Akrigg (104no) and Harris Rowlett (59no), with Chris Luxton (33) also contributing to their 221-3 at Guiseley in Division Four.

The hosts replied with 200-7, with Steve Dickinson making 40 and Jonny Baines 38 as Josh Robinson (2-26) and Gary Boulton (2-44) bowled economically.

Harden also triumphed in Division Five, dismissing Ben Rhydding to 139 (Tom Holmes 70, Martin Falkingham 3-8) before knocking the runs off in 22.3 overs in an eight-wicket victory, opener Neil Kettle being unbeaten on 62 and wicket-keeper Steve Gardner making 38.