Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Studley take the cup.

posted by John Winn

After a frustrating weekend when I saw only thirty minutes cricket the weather and the York Senior League Cup Final came to my rescue and provided me with an excellent afternoon's entertainment at Clifton Alliance CC yesterday. . Some of the credit should also go to Twitter for it was through social media that I was alerted to the fixture in plenty of time to make my way this lovely ground (above) for the 1:00 start.

The sides involved yesterday were Easingwold, beaten finalists in 2013 and Studley Royal, winners in 2014. Studley, thought to be weak in bowling batted first and after the loss of an early wicket posted a total that, judging by their body language, Easingwold felt was beyond their reach.. The damage was done by a second wicket stand between Rob Mackle, 108, and James Clarkson 83 and the frequent boundaries were enjoyed by most of the good sized crowd that had gathered in the sunshine. 277 for 4 was the forty over total.

If Easingwold were to have any hope of getting near such a target they needed a good start but the loss of early wickets and a run rate that stuck at about two an over did not fit the bill. The idea that Studley's attack might not be up to scratch was not supported by the evidence and although a couple of difficult chances were spilled the fielding generally was good. Easingwold had some hope while Paul Skilbeck was at the crease but when he went for 52 the end was nigh and I set off for home. 170 all out suggests there was some tail end resistance but a winning margin of 107 runs, the widest in recent years,  accurately decribes Studley's superiority. Charlie Scatchard was Royal's hero with the ball taking 6 for 32.

Thanks to Clifton Alliance for hosting the game and providing such a lovely spread at tea. They currently stand top of the York League Premier Division with two matches left to play and with a good advantage over Sessay who are third. If promoted to Yorkshire Premier (North) then their local derby will be against York CC, two grounds separated by the width of a rugby pitch, doesn't get much more local than that.

Throughout the afternoon I enjoyed the company of Stephen from Starbeck, a fount of knowledge of league cricket in this part of North Yorkshire, and who next Sunday will travel with Sessay CC to Lord's for the village cup final. Enjoy.

Monday, 29 August 2016

A maiden sends Swardeston to Northampton

posted by John Winn

The semi finals of the ECB National Club Championship were decided yesterday and the final at Wantage Road, Northampton on Sunday 18th September will be between South Northumberland and Swardeston.

South Northumberland had what appears to have been a comfortable win over Ormskirk. South North won the toss and chose to bat in a rain affected game reduced to 36 overs. They were all out for 181 but Ormskirk lost wickets at regular intervals and were dismissed for 109.

The drama of the day however was played out in Norfolk where Swardeston took on Weybridge. Swardeston batted first and thanks in large part to Joe Gatting who made 91 their innings finished on 245 for 9. Weybridge made a good start in reply and an eigth wicket stand of 63 between Phillip Mann and Brent Kay left them needing just 12 to win when Gatting broke the partnership. The visitors began the last over needing just one to win with two wickets still to fall but remarkably Matthew Taylor bowled a wicket maiden to leave Weybridge one run short at the close. Cue manic celebrations which can be seen on Twitter @SwardestonCC.

Wantage Road

Harrogate beat the weather and stay top

Posted by Tony Hutton

Saturday 27th August and back to Yorkshire premier league north action at St Georges Road, Harrogate. The home side hold a narrow lead at the top of the table and are being hotly persued by the Yorkshire Academy and York.

Harrogate put the visitors Sheriff Hutton Bridge in to bat and the game started in similar fashion to last week's game at Weetwood with wickets falling quickly. Harrogate were able to play Yorkshire second XI bowler Ben Coad, but it was his opening partner Geeson-Brown who did the early damage, dismissing the two Fisher brothers and wicket keeper Gill very rapidly. The first wicket had been an unfortunate run out and when Coad clean bowled Collins it was 34-5 and the game seemed over.

However some resistance from Pinder with 28 and some late hitting by Ibbotson, who had earlier retired hurt after being hit on the head by Coad, brought the visitors back in with a chance. Ibbotson made top score of 41 before being bowled by the spin of Tattersall and with 27 from Croft the Bridge made a respectable total of 143 all out.

By this time the weather had taken a turn for the worse, the earlier sunshine disappeared and it got colder and then started to drizzle with rain. A long rain delay meant the paltry attendance, already decimated by people going home to watch the Rugby League cup final or even Harrogate Town FC, got even smaller. When the rain eventually stopped the dreaded Duckworth/Lewis formula took effect.

Gate's reduced target was 114 which they managed to knock off in only 17.2 overs thus claiming the full ten points. Good made 45 and Aussie Sanson 25 not out. They did have another scare when rain took them off with only seven runs required but managed to get back on between the showers.

As both York and the Academy had abandoned games Harrogate have extended their lead at the top and cemented their position as favourites to win the inaugural league title.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Scarborough Cricket Festival - part two

Posted by Tony Hutton

A large crowd assembled at North Marine Road for the County Championship game between Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire on Tuesday 23rd August. The Yorkshire side, still challenging for a hat-trick of championship wins, were without five England players and also captain Andrew Gale due to injury. Nottinghamshire struggling at the bottom of the table and desperate to avoid relegation were also without Alex Hales and Jake Ball.

Before the start the Yorkshire President John Hampshire was asked to re-present county caps to Jack Leaning and Azeem Rafiq, who along with the absent Willey had been strangely awarded them at Old Trafford before the recent Roses match. Many Yorkshire members were annoyed with this break with tradition and the club tried to rectify matters with the re-run this morning.

John Hampshire with Jack Leaning and Azeem Rafiq

No toss was made and Notts invited Yorkshire to bat first. Lyth and Lees progressed steadily to 21-0 without due alarm and then the fun started. Lyth was run out by Mullaney, who then had Lees caught and suddenly it was 26-2. The latecomers, and there were plenty of them, were not pleased. Things soon got worse as the Australian newcomer Jake Lehmann was caught by Patel off Mullaney again and Ballance was lbw to Fletcher with the score unchanged at 36-4.

There must have been some movement for the bowlers particularly the gentle medium pace of Mullaney who took his third wicket getting Bresnan lbw for 10. Leaning went soon after and it was 51-6 and Yorkshire reeling. Fortunately help was at hand and Azeem Rafiq trying to show he was worthy of his county cap joined Andrew Hodd in the rescue mission. This they did in fine style putting on a partnership of 132 before Rafiq was out for a valuable 74 during a much happier afternoon session for the home supporters.
Rafiq and Hodd prosper in the afternoon sun

Jack Brooks then came to the party until he fell just short of a deserved fifty, playing some good shots including seven fours and one six in his 48. Hodd was still there and into the nineties when joined by last man Ryan Sidebottom, who failed to survive long enough to leave Hodd not out 96 and just short of his first ever Yorkshire century.

Notts lost two wickets before the close and the following morning they collapsed completely against the pace of Sidebottom, Brooks and Bresnan who each finished with three wickets in an all out total of 94. Now came the big decision of the match should acting captain Gary Ballance enforce the follow on or not. The vast majority in the crowd wanted the follow on to be applied and Notts to be finished off, possibly in two days, especially with a poor weather forecast for day three.

The bowlers could not possibly have been tired but Yorkshire took the now fashionable course of not enforcing the follow on. Whether financial considerations were involved it is hard to see, but the possibilty of a two day finish would certainly affected the takings at the gate as well as the many local hotels. The rain did arrive during Thursday afternoon and became more torrential overnight particularly unfortunate for those of us returning from the Spa Theatre at around 10 p.m.

Full house at Scarborough

Before all that, after a swift start by Lyth and Lees, the Yorkshire batsman struggled, particular Ballance who looked really out of form and could hardly get the ball off the square. However he persevered and eventually completed a hard earned century just before the declaration came leaving Notts the impossible task of chasing 450. They were 61-3 when play ended on day three.

Fortunately the sun shone again the following morning and Yorkshire had taken the wise step of sending for the super sopper machine from Headingley to dry the soaked outfield. Apparently this operation started about 4 a.m. and enabled play to start on time. Tim Moores, son of coach Peter, made a stubborn 41 on debut but when Taylor was dismissed by Brooks and Luke Fletcher clean bowled next ball it was nearly all over. Imran Tahir survived the hat trick but not for long. Bresnan had career best figures of 5-36 as well as holding a stunning slip catch in the first innings and making 35 not out in the second.

All in all a superb all round performance by Yorkshire's understrength side which, with warm sunshine for most of the game, attracted huge crowds and surely Scarborough should not loose a championship match next season. Notts look certain to go down. They looked a team without fight and no doubt some heads will roll before next season.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Scarborough Cricket Festival - part one

Posted by Tony Hutton

Unknown to many cricket lovers the Scarborough cricket festival actually started on Sunday 21st August, two days before the important county championship match between Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire started. The first game had little publicity and gave the handful of spectators an opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere and the good weather long before the huge crowds appeared.

The game was an inter league match between the Yorkshire Premier League North and the North Yorkshire and South Durham League with two very strong looking sides taking the field. Three from each side involved in the game yesterday at Weetwood, together with three from York, appeared for the home side. Whereas the visitors fielded quite a gathering of overseas professionals as well as a name still remembered as a Yorkshire hopeful from some years ago now in Chris Allinson.

The visitors batted and started strongly piling up the runs in good batting conditions.
The innings fell away a little towards the end but a healthy total of 262-9 was achieved in fifty overs. The two top scorers were Arshad from Seaton Carew who made 77 and Sajjad from Normanby Hall with 79. Best bowling came from George Ross of Harrogate with 4-46.

George Ross leads off the Yorkshire league north side

One of the late replacements for the Yorkshire League side was Harry Brook, who of course was out for a duck in the first over yesterday. He replaced the Castleford all rounder David Wainwright, who we later learned had joined Hampshire to play against Somerset later in the week. Well this time John Abrahams should have been here as young Harry, still only seventeen, dominated proceedings with a master class of batting. Apart from one or two rather wild swings, he played some beautiful shots keeping the ball on the ground, finding the gaps in the field and collecting a succession of boundaries. Brook finished the game on 130 not out and was well supported by Duncan Snell, Johnny Tattersall, Liam McKendry and George Ross who all made decent scores.
Harry Brook brings up his century in front of the modest popular side crowd
Harry Brook acknowledges the applause at the end of a great innings

The NYSD league bowling was not really of the best but still a very interesting game greatly enjoyed by all who were there and a shame really that it did not get much publicity and no reports or scorecard appeared anywhere to my knowledge. Still a nice appetizer for the more important things to come on Tuesday and nice to enjoy the facilities and the memorabilia in the pavilion before it is packed to capacity.

Wickets tumble at Weetwood.

Posted by Tony Hutton

A week ago on Saturday 20th August the Yorkshire Academy achieved a famous victory over Yorkshire league north leaders Harrogate at the Leeds University ground at Weetwood. The weather, although dry, kept the number of hardy spectators to a minimum with almost gale force winds blowing throughout the game. Perhaps this had a bearing on the game in which wickets fell with great regularity.

The Academy won the toss and batted and lost the first four batsmen in no time for only 16 runs. Indeed John Abrahams, the England Under 19 team manager, who had come to watch Harry Brook bat, appeared from the car park just as Harry was out lbw to the fifth ball of the first over. Harrogate's Geeson-Brown took three of these wickets in an unplayable opening spell.

Wickets continued to fall and only Ainsley and Read, both with 10, had reached double figures when the ninth wicket fell for only 60. However a gallant last wicket partnership of 25 between the two spin bowlers, Logan and Shutt, did improve the total somewhat to a final figure of 85 all out. Logan 15 and Shutt 16 not out with Geeson-Brown finishing withe figures of 4-33 in twelve overs.

Most people thought Harrogate would knock off this modest total in no time, but Matthew Fisher, recently returned from a long standing injury, had other ideas and immediately clean bowled Aussie Sanson and the prolific Johnny Tattersall for ducks with balls which swung in to demolish the stumps. Matthew Taylor, fresh from a century batting at number 11 for Yorkshire under 19s last week, joined in by bowling the other opener Good for 5 and amazingly Harrogate were 7-3.

Harrogate's unhappy scoreboard

Things settled down for a while with the biggest partnership of the match between skipper George Ross and Foster who put on 43 to take the score to 50-3 and the visitors seemed to be coasting. Off spinner Shutt entered the fray and immediately dismissed Foster and Ellaby to make it 50-5.  The turning point then came when George Ross on 31, by far the highest score of the match was controversially given out caught behind by Read off Shutt. Obviously the batsman did not agree with the decision.
Another concerted appeal during Fisher's opening spell - this time not out

After that the Harrogate innings turned into a shambles and Logan joined in with two wickets, Taylor was run out by Imtiaz,  before Fisher, bowling with considerable pace, returned to clean bowl number eleven Harry Stow and Harrogate were all out for just 73. A memorable victory for the young Academy side due in full measure to that last wicket stand. This opened up the title race with both sides, together with York, fighting for top spot.
The Academy celebrate victory as the umpire retrieves the middle stump

September Fixtures

August 31st

Durham v Notts day one of four
Hants v Yorkshire day one of four
Derbyshire II v Notts II: Denby day one of three
Derbyshire U19 v Durham U19: Marehay day one of two

September 3rd

Yorkshire Premier League North: Yorkshire Academy v York (Weetwood) 12 noon

September 4th

Yorkshire Premier League Cup Final: Yorkshire Academy v Sheriff Hutton Bridge (Stamford Bridge) 12 noon
Village Cup Final: Sessay v Sibton Park Lord's 11:00 am
Atkinson Swires Final: Spofforth v Darley, Ouseburn CC 1:30 pm
Minor Counties Playoff Final: Berks v Lincs  (Wormsley) day one of four
WYACC Cup Final: Aire Wharfe League v York League at Drighlington
North East Under 21 Final: NYSD v NEPL Whitburn
Jack Lee Under 17 Final: Aire Wharfe v Doncaster at New Rover 12 noon

September 6th

All county and second XI games start 10:30

Yorkshire v Durham Headingley day one of four
Yorkshire II v Scotland Harrogate day one of three
SEC Final: Durham II v  Middlesex II Riverside day one of four
Derbyshire II v Glamorgan II: Belper Meadows day one of three
National Club T20 finals day at Derby

September 10th

Harrogate v  Stamford Bridge (last day for most league cricket)

September 11th

North East Senior Final:: NYSD v NTSL Marske
Black Sheep Cup Final Pudsey SL v York Sheriff Hutton Bridge 11:00
Start of Arthington Festival, games each Saturday and Sunday until 9th October, fixtures not known yet

September 12th

Durham v Surrey day one four
Yorkshire v Somerset day one of four
Yorkshire II v Notts II: Scarborough day one of three

September 17th

Royal London Cup Final Lord's
Yorkshire Premier League Semi Finals

September 18th
Royal London Club Championship: Northampton

September 20th

Hants v Durham day one of four
Middlesex v Yorkshire day one of four