WITH arch-rivals and defending champions Beckwithshaw looking destined for a shock relegation, Otley appeared set for a relatively comfortable passage to their third Aire-Wharfe Division One title in five years.

A strong Burley side looked to have blown their chance when they lost twice in June, but two successive defeats have seen Otley slip behind them into second place.

They are now two points adrift of Burley and both know that victories and maximum bonus points are vital over the last three games, as the latter could be the difference between being champions or runners-up.

Tomorrow should see Otley win at Beckwithshaw, who have managed just three wins all season, but Burley have a tougher job against Adel, who have won three of their last four.

David Foster is an all-rounder capable of swinging a match their way, as he showed with a 5-26 spell when Adel beat Burley earlier in the season.

But Burley are capable of digging out a result from challenging positions and have their own match winners, including Josh Challenger, whose sparkling century was decisive against Rawdon last week.

At the bottom, Pool need 18 points from their last three games, starting against Rawdon tomorrow, to be sure of staying up. That may not be necessary if Guiseley fail to take maximum points at Horsforth though.

Ilkley entertain Bilton hoping for better luck than the last time they met. They only needed one more wicket for victory when play was abandoned.

Collingham look certain to return to the top flight after one season in Division Two and should have no problem despatching relegation-threatened Leeds Modernians.

Calverley need a miracle to avoid relegation and will find it tough against Saltaire, who worked their way into the promotion scrap before last week's costly defeat against Collingham.

A top-two spot is probably beyond them now, but the three sides above are locked in a tense struggle. Tong Park Esholt are currently second and they travel to Ben Rhydding, who will be confident after registering a season-best 319-5 last week.

Meanwhile the other two challengers, Hall Park and Addingham, go head to head in what could be a make or break encounter.

Finally, having virtually secured their safety by beating Calverley last week, Steeton can reinforce that with victory over Olicanian.

In Division Three, leaders Bardsey entertain second-placed Green Lane. The latter won their first encounter by 47 runs but Bardsey have been more consistent since then.

Third-placed New Rover, just a point behind Lane, should have no problem beating Old Leodiensians while Bolton Villas will look to keep their promotion hopes alive against Menston.

Harden have been battling against an early season 19-point penalty for fielding an ineligible player, but can keep in the hunt against Alwoodley.

Thackley face an intriguing battle against St Chads, the most improved side in the league, while Skipton’s Ben Holderness, who needs just 130 runs for 1,000 this season, will hope to take apart a fragile Shadwell attack.