TWO sides who are expected to be the frontrunners for the HPH York Vale Cricket League title clash on Saturday’s opening day.

Burn host Ovington at Linnet Park in the standout fixture in division one.

With last season’s champions Bishopthorpe and the 2014 and 2015 winners North Cave now both operating in the York & District Senior League, the door is open for Ovington to recapture the crown they last won in 2013.

The Knavesmire-based side were runners-up last season but were pushed hard by Burn, whose strong batting line-up enabled them to finish third.

The encounter is a repeat of last year’s opening game of the season when Ovington won by 33 runs after openers Tom Cookson and Craig Nicoll rattled up 83 from 11 overs.

In the return fixture in York in July, Ovington won by 53 runs and completed a hat-trick of victories against the villagers by knocking them out of the HPH Cup the following day thanks to a century by Cookson.

Ironically, the two sides have also been paired together in the first round of this year’s competition. The tie will be played on Saturday, May 20 when Ovington will start their quest to retain the trophy they have held for the last two years.

Elsewhere in division one, it will be a red letter day at Westow, whose newly-constructed pavilion at the Badger Bank Road ground will be in full use for the first time for the visit of Stockton & Hopgrove. The development also includes a new electronic scoreboard.

Melbourne, whose preparations have been hampered by the loss of players, entertain promoted Clifton Alliance, while last season’s second division champions, Askham Bryan, open their campaign against Ben Johnson. The first division programme is completed with Kelfield’s trip to Wheldrake.

Stamford Bridge II will make their Vale League debut with a short trip to Burnby Lane to take on Pocklington.

Divisions one and two will have 10 teams each, with division three operating with 12 teams.

From Saturday, July 22, the top six in division three will play off for the championship and the bottom six will feature in a play-off for the President’s Trophy.