Posted by Tony Hutton
After their excellent away win at York cricket club last week the Academy side had another challenging contest at home to Harrogate on Saturday. With Stamford Bridge now in second place in the Yorkshire Premier League North, the top four are all very close and the Academy, subject to changes in their ranks on a regular basis, are still very much in contention. Harry Brook, happily restored to fitness after a nasty knock on the hand which was originally thought to have been broken, was back in action and opened the innings together with young Bilal Anjum from Sheffield.
Harrogate were pleased to have Ben Coad, the Yorkshire quick bowler, back in their ranks after his successful opening half of the season with the county side. He was not as effective today however with only one wicket, Anjum caught behind, during two spells. Foster, normally a left arm spinner bowled at medium pace to begin with and took wickets in this dual role, including the most valuable of top scorer Harry Brook with 62, made more slowly than usual. As so often Harrogate's top performer was skipper George Ross who demolished the tail with 5-52 with his off spinners.
Apart from Brook, skipper Jordan Thompson was again in the runs with 44 and had valuable support from Read with 21 and Logan, whose batting improves each week, with 18 not out. The final total was 222-9 in the 50 overs and Harrogate were unfortunate not to take the last wicket despite the efforts of numbers 10 and 11 who seemed unaware of the extra points available to Harrogate if they had bowled them all out.
Harrogate's innings started disastrously and all the top men were out with the score on 55-5 after a good opening burst by Ed Barnes which brought him the valuable wickets of Tattersall and Atkinson. The Australian, Kallen Bond, fell to a fine running catch by Harry Brook off Taylor's bowling and then the introduction of left arm spinner Logan saw off George Ross and Ed Wilson.
Harrogate's middle order did put up some resistance with 32 from Harry Stothard, a century maker recently, and 31 from David Foster, but after their fifty run partnership was broken when Stothard was caught and bowled by Fisher, Logan took the last two wickets to bring the Academy a well earned victory by 36 runs.
Stamford Bridge meanwhile were beating York to go top of the table, thanks to another fine innings by Will Rhodes and the Academy are now in second place in a very close group of four clubs at the top of Yorkshire League North.