Friday, 24 June 2016

Riverside peters out

posted by John Winn

A side missing five England players and two senior bowlers might feel that 11 points from a visit to The Riverside and an undefeated Durham not a bad return but at one point yesterday afternoon the game seemed to have swung back Yorkshire's way to a where a white rose victory seemed the most likely outcome. Given the excellent forecast and Wednesday's overnight position I had driven to Chester le Street thinking that all four results might be possible but favouring the draw and was somewhat surprised when a Yorkshire supporter  next to me in the coffee queue expressed his opinion that Durham would win.

Durham batted circumspectly when play began in glorious sunshine with Jennings proceeding carefully to his double hundred ably supported by Rushworth who too was more cautious than usual. That Durham did not begin in more spectacular fashion suggested that they felt the need to take up some time as well as extend their lead before inviting Yorkshire to bat again and almost an hour had elapsed before Collingwood called the ninth wicket pair back to the dressing room. The Durham skipper did not take the field due to a finger injury sustained in the field on Tuesday, passing  the captain's armband to Mark Stoneman. Colly's place in the field was taken by Ben Stokes, by kind permission of the ECB.

Lunch was taken at 38 for 0 and in a rare moment of inspiration I recalled that only four wickets had fallen in the last four sessions of play. After lunch Lyth and Lees proceeded at a rate close to that required, enjoying some tasty morsels from Borthwick whose first ten overs went for 50, to the point where in mid afternoon Yorkshire required 245 from 49 overs with all ten in hand. Game on? Then a moment of controversy when Lyth was taken at slip by Stokes off McCarthy and the opener was very reluctant to leave the crease. Possible bump ball we thought but he had to go and when next ball Williamson was lbw the character of the game changed with Lees in particular becoming more chary and it seemed to both home and away supporters in the south west corner that even if the shop was not exactly shut the staff were looking at their watches and counting the takings.

Balance was accounted for just before tea by Onions, and when two wickets fell in quick succession to Pringle, there was just a chink of light for Durham but Leaning and Bresnan put together an unbroken stand of 59 and when Stoneman wasted about £60 of Durham's meagre resources by taking the new ball with just two overs left the tin hat was firmly in place. The expected had happened for no better reason than it is what usually happens and why I told the man in the coffee queue I favoured the draw. After all almost two thirds of matches in the county championship this season have ended in stalemate so why should yesterday have been any different.

This morning's Div 1 table shows Lancashire and Yorkshire tied on 99 with Durham four points away. All three sides are back in championship action on Sunday week when Hampshire are at The Riverside, Yorkshire host Middlesex at Scarborough and Lancashire visit the underperforming Notts.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016


By Brian Sanderson,

After hearing Tuesday cricket at Scarborough was off due to a wet outfield, I emailed Tony Hutton in Scarborough who confirmed that the Wednesday cricket would be on.So After picking up Bob Procter we set off up the A64. In spite off  two tractors we arrived at the ground in about one hour twenty minutes.

Worcester batted first which gave me a chance again to see Rhodes bat for Worcester after seeing him at Marske on Monday.Again he did not disappoint and scored a excellent fifty. Photograph above of him coming off the field.

Yorkshire best bowler at this stage was James Wainman who bowls left arm quick.Up to lunch time he took the three wickets that fell and he another dropped.

So at lunch time Worcester were 105 for 3 .There was a excellent over rate by Yorkshire due to Azeem Rafiq with his off spinners.

The afternoon session was dominated by Alex Hepburn,nickname Audrey.He was born in Perth Australia and is 20 years old and looks a good prospect. I first saw him at Darlington last year were he scored 112.
Today he scored 121 with 17 fours and two 6's . Just before lunch Rafiq was certain he was caught behind by Reed but Paul Pollard turn him down . It was Hepworth lucky day as he confirmed to Rafiq he did hit the ball.

So at tea time the score was 250 for 5. Thirty minutes we left the ground to head back on the A64. Looking at total scorer Worcester went on to score 373 and Yorkshire were 20 for 1 with Ryan Gibson scoring all the runs.

Two days off watching cricket and then back to Hull were I was last Saturday.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016


By Brian Sanderson

I picked up Bob Procter this morning originally planning to go to Scarborough were Yorkshire seconds were playing Worcester. However on a impulse we decided to go to see Yorkshire play Durham at Chester-le-Street on the second day.When I sat down opposite Lumley Castle I noticed a new stand under the name of Newcastle Airport Stand.

Yorkshire were batting but lost four wickets in the morning session to give Durham hope of limiting the damage. The top scorer was Gary Ballance with 78 At lunch the score was 236 for 8.

I expected the innings to close very quickly however Tim Bresnan  shown a good cricketing brain to enable Yorkshire to reach 323 all out. The two debutants Josh Shaw and Ben Coad scored 41 unexpected runs between them.

Chris Rushworth  trapped Hodd to complete a five wicket haul but Durham were 151 runs behind after h two first innings.

During tea time I heard that there had been no play at Scarborough due to wet outfield.After tea Durham lost three wickets for 98 runs.So it looks like a three day match.

The  ground look excellent in the sunshine and the great view of Lumley Castle. The best view in County cricket.

Monday, 20 June 2016


By Brian Sanderson,

After picking my sister up in Ripon we set out in the rain to see Yorkshire seconds play Worcester seconds in two 20/20 at Maske by the sea.However we did not venture down to the seashore but in stead stayed in the pleasant cricket ground.

The play was delayed due to drizzle then Yorkshire were put into bat.Ryan Gibson and Callum Geldart put on a opening partnership of 57 in 6.4 this time the sun had come out and a reasonable crowd were pleased to warm and dry for a change,

However Yorkshire wickets fell quickly to George Rhodes , son of Stephen ex Yorkshire and Worcester wicket keeper.his figures were 4-0-19-4. The Worcester fielding was excellent but the star catch was by Twohig who caught Jordon Thompson on the boundary after a Worcester player threw the ball back from over the boundary.Yorkshire finished on 136 which I thought was under par.

Rhodes opening the batting and was top scorer with 33.He looks a good cricketer.Jack Shutt had him caught on the boundary edge under instruction from Rafiq who captain the side well today.Worcester wanted nine of the last over and Jordan Thompson came on to bowl his only over. I saw  him bowl last at Trent College were he had to stop bowling as he bowled two head high beamers .However today he kept his nerve and Yorkshire won by 5 runs. This was their first win in this competition this season.

We stayed to see Yorkshire bat in the second match.The highlight of this innings was the 66 run partnership between Matthew Waite and Mo Hussain.This time it was Benjamin Twohig who had figures of 4-0-12-3.Yorkshire scored 131  which again I thought was under par. However when I arrived home they won by one run. Shutt and Rafiq been the best bowlers again.

Great day in the sun watching a under strength Yorkshire side win two matches.

Sunday, 19 June 2016


By Brian Sanderson,

There was a number of options to watch local cup cricket so it was a difficult chose. I choose the match between the Champions of the Yorkshire League and Champions of the Central Yorkshire League ie York against Methley at Methley.The forecast again was rain later so the toss was vital. Methley won it and decided to bowl on a damp wicket. York were missing four first teamers including the two main spin bowlers.

The opening pair of Ashdown and Snell put on a steady opening partnership of 57 in 14.3 overs.before Ashdown was caught by Raz off Marcus Warmsley. Photographed above coming off the pitch.

So after twenty five overs York were 105 for 3 but two two batsmen in. Then the two Warmsley brothers bowled twenty overs for sixty nine runs and five wickets.None of the rest of the batsman were confident on a wicket which helped the bowlers.

It is vital in fifty overs cricket to bat your overs out but York were bowled out for 157 with six overs still to bowl.At this stage Methley were favourites to win the match against a weaken York attack.

However Leadham who bowls left arm medium produced figures of 7-1-12-4. This reduced Methley to 49 for 4 when the umpires called it a day with heavy rain falling.The Bradford League website does not yet say if York will go through. On the total cricket scorer site it says the match was abandon.We will have to wait and see, again. The winners play Yorkshire Academy or Scholes. Again we will have to see later who plays who. Good game.

Busy week at Maske , Scarborough  Egton and High Farndale. More photographs for the blog.

Tidying up Teesside

posted by John Winn

Not infrequently I have reported on visits to cricket in the Cleveland area of North Yorkshire and the changes to the game in that area. Below the level of the NYSD there were until 2015 two leagues competing for players with the Langbaurgh coming out on top with a number of clubs transferring to it from the Cleveland League which was reduced to just three clubs putting out five teams before finally admitting defeat last year.

Smith's Dock CC clung to the sinking ship to the bitter end and this season like others before them have found refuge in the Langbaurgh and their ground in the Normanby area of Middlesbrough was my first port of call yesterday. The ground in Skipper's Lane has a large playing area, large square and the most fortified dressing rooms I have seen.

Yesterday's visitors in Div 2  game were Skelton Castle from the mining area of East Cleveland. The call of play was delayed by ten  minutes by a sight screen that was reluctant to move to behind the bowler's arm and the reluctance of most of  the home team to shift it. When play did get underway things began disastrously for 'The Dockers' and when I left after about 45 minutes play they were 18 for 7. Things did not improve for they were dismissed for 33 with Lovell and Khandalgonkar bowling unchanged and only Lewis Beaumont reaching double figures. Skelton ran out winners by 8 wickets, a result that leaves them sixth in the table and Smith's ninth of eleven teams.

From Normanby it was just a seven mile journey to my next ground, the Bassleton Lane, Thornaby HQ of Stafford Place. I had been told two things about the ground, it was hard to find but worth the visit, right on both counts for if you miss this sign then you are in trouble

but if you see it and follow the narrow lane leading from it then you can enjoy this view.

Within the pavilion there is a small bar which was not short of customers taking a mid-afternoon sharpener and in the kitchen a sign to the effect that here were served the best teas in the league. Alas I was too early to put the claim to test. On the field New Marske were batting and at drinks were 52 for 3 off 22. A Stafford source (third man) informed me that the club had played here since 1946. The club was founded in 1903 as Stafford Place Wesleyan Chapel and played behind the Royal George pub which, presumably, as Methodists they never went in. Let's hope so for it was closed in 2014 after complaints about anti-social behaviour and plans have been submitted  to convert it to student accommodation which will of course cure the problem.

After I left the game turned into a nail biter with Stafford getting home by one wicket, a win that sees them top of the table. A name for the future, a young bowler called M Gaunt who took 2 for 2 off five overs and scored 13 runs in his team's total of 92 for 9. This area of Thornaby is close to RAF Thornaby which closed in 1957 but which during at times  WW II housed bomber planes and it is appropriate that the winning runs were scored by somebody who on the card appeared as Bomber Smith.

From Thornaby I went next door to the Borough of Stockton and a ground which Tony visited in 2009 and like him I was under impressed for Wass Way, the home of Yarm RUFC, Preston on Tees CC and Oxbridge CC, is at the dead end of an industrial estate and is one of those grounds where just when you think your route can't be right cricketers appear. At home yesterday were Oxbridge, formed in 2010 and named after an hotel in Stockton. They began league cricket in the Cleveland League, playing at Norton but after two seasons switched to Darlington and District gaining promotion to Div B in their first season, Their visitors yesterday were Barningham II, from near Barnard Castle who when I arrived at tea had been bowled out for 69. 'The Ox' set about their task enthusiastically and won by 8 wickets. The club house is very much the home of Yarm RUFC and it is not a ground where I would have enjoyed playing but one should not decry the efforts of those who play the game in these less fashionable surroundings. 'Ox' were a friendly bunch and were enjoying their cricket and victory always helps. Barningham however will probably be pleased to get back to their picturesque ground in the Pennines where next week they will entertain Spennymoor.

Preston on Tees CC

Last over finish at Harrogate

Posted by Tony Hutton

Yesterday's Yorkshire League North game between Harrogate and the Yorkshire Academy at St George's Road promised to be a close encounter with both sides joint top of the league table. So it proved with the game going right to the last over with the Harrogate last pair together.

The Academy batted first, but without both regular opening batsmen Harry Brook and Ben Ainsley. Brook, we discovered later, was playing for his school at Sedbergh and scored a record 198 the highest innings in the school's history. The Academy certainly missed him as they struggled for runs on a pitch which seemed to help the spinners.

Yorkshire Academy batting at Harrogate

Mosun Hussain played a dogged innings to make top score of 47 and captain Jared Warner weighed in with 39 near the end to give the score some respectability at 185-9 in 50 overs. Off spinner Taylor was the best bowler from Harrogate, having opened the bowling and taken two early wickets, he finished with splendid figures of 5-45.

During the interval it was possible to see Harrogate Strays (the third XI) taking on Markington on the junior ground behind the pavilion. Runs were coming freely for the home side in contrast to the events on the main ground. In fact opening batsman J. Marshall was on his way to 132 and a Harrogate total of 286-8 in 45 overs, not bad going even on a smallish ground.

Harrogate Strays piling up the runs

However back to the main event and Yorkshire were quick to introduced slow left armer James Logan into the attack. He soon dismissed the two openers, both lbw and Harrogate were struggling at 39-2. The two main men, both former Academy players, Tattersall and skipper George Ross then had a good partnership which began to turn the game back Harrogate's way. They put on 52 before Ross was caught and bowled by Barnes for 33.
Building up to an exciting finish

Tattersall, who has being doing well recently for both Derbyshire seconds and Lincolnshire in the Minor Counties, was still there but finding it hard to score runs against some tight bowling, particularly from Logan. After three more wickets fell to make it 135-6 Tattersall seemed to get bogged down in the forties and was eventually
caught low down by Brown at mid wicket again off Barnes for 49, which was top score of the match.

Tattersall was suitably distraught and it seemed as if Harrogate's chance of victory had gone with him. When wicketkeeper Litvin and Taylor soon followed with Logan completing another five wicket haul it was 164-9 with the game almost over in favour of the Academy. Importantly though Logan now completed his allocation of sixteen overs and was removed from the attack. The last wicket pair of Geeson-Brown and Stowe needed another twenty two runs to win and enjoyed a major bit of luck when the ball eluded wicketkeeper Read and struck the helmet lying on the ground behind him. Five penalty runs to Harrogate!

The pair rode their luck, pushing singles and running well between the wickets, but taking their time until the game went into it's last over bowled by Warner. Off the third ball number eleven Harry Stow became the hero of the hour with a perfect cover drive to the boundary for the winning hit. A real cliff hanger and full praise to both teams for a fascinating game which could have gone either way.

While all this was going on further excitement on the junior ground where Markington progressed at some pace to an unlikely victory by scoring 289-5 in 43.3 overs to win by five wickets. Two more century makers into the bargain with 101 for Dennis and 112 not out for R. Thompson. A most entertaining day all round.

More action on the junior ground