Aire-Wharfe League: Defining period ahead for Follifoot’s league tilt

Follifoot's Nick Robinson.
Follifoot's Nick Robinson.
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Batsman Nick Robinson says Follifoot are backing themselves to stay in the Aire-Wharfe League title mix with the consistency of that mix set to become clearer in the next three weeks.

Follifoot were one of only two top-flight sides to record a victory on another wet weekend with the Pannal Road outfit thrashing visiting Follifoot by 118 runs to move third.

Follifoot's Josh Cutts celebrates.

Follifoot's Josh Cutts celebrates.

Leaders Otley saw their home clash against Bilton cancelled with Follifoot cutting the gap to the champions to 18 points with Ilkley second and four points ahead of Follifoot following an eight-wicket win at home to Pool.

Follifoot also enjoyed a fine start last season – winning seven of their first eight only to finish fourth-bottom – but Robinson says his side are an improved outfit in 2019 with three acid tests coming over the next three weeks.

“We have got a big three weeks coming up,” said Robinson.

“We have got Horsforth this week and then we play Ilkley and then Otley so that’s the top four playing each other over the next three weeks.

“Without being too much of a politician about it, I think we will know a lot more in about two or three weeks time when those games have been played.

“But we are enjoying our cricket, we are confident, we are backing ourselves and the team spirit is brilliant so I think on our day we can give anyone a game.

“It’s just about keeping the same XI out on the pitch every weekend and making sure everyone is fit and firing.

“We are just enjoying being in the mix at the moment and the next few weeks will really deal with how much in the mix we actually are.”

Reflecting on the changes to his side since last year, Robinson said: “We started strongly last year and we have arguably strengthened this year.

“We have got an Australian wicketkeeper Lachlan Brown who is opening the batting and we signed Natt Cutts from Knaresborough.

“We have had a university lad called Chris Becker playing for us as well, batting at no4 and one of the biggest differences has been Josh Cutts who opens the bowling for us.

“He only played a couple of games last year as he was at university but he is bowling really well and batting incredibly as well. Having him and Ishy (Istikhar Hussain) opening the bowling, that is a really good two-pronged attack and then Alex Fox is bowling nicely and backed up by Yasar Ali as well.

“The balance of the side is good and much better this year then it has been over the past year.”

Follifoot were put into bat by Rawdon who were left chasing a target of 190-6 with Josh Cutts unbeaten on 58.

Cutts then took 4-23 with Hussain returning 3-28 as Rawdon were knocked down for 72.

Follifoot then learned that only one other game survived with Pool all out for 93 as Ilkley’s Daniel Gill took 4-33.

Terry Pattinson (40no) and Jack Mullan (40) then saw Ilkley to 97-2.

Robinson said: “We were quite aware of the league positions going into the weekend and with the bit of weather around we knew it would give us a chance to claw a few points back on Otley.

“If we’d have got rained off on Saturday that would have been four out of eight games rained off for us so the weather has not been that kind to us so we were probably due a little bit of luck.

“Everyone was keen to play and actually the weather in Folllifoot seemed to be slightly better than maybe elsewhere.

“Although the conditions were wet they were perfectly safe and it was a good game of cricket in the end.”