Beginning last Saturday I spent five consecutive days on four different grounds all of which give much added pleasure to the joy of watching cricket. I started the month unable to resist the enthusiasm of Ouseburn Chairman Jim Rose who convinced me that I was the man to cover for the regular scorer, Tricia Bryant, who was on holiday and so I had the responsibility for the book in a top of the table Nidderdale league Division 1 clash between hosts Birstwith and Ouseburn. Birstwith is a pretty village a few miles north of Harrogate, situated on the River Nidd. The ground is approached by a track from the main village and is surrounded by trees, neatly kept and with an attractive pavilion. Despite the lack of mains electricity there is electronic scoring and a good cup of tea. Perfection.
Before the game the two teams were level on points but with the hosts shading top spot by virtue of a superior net run rate. Birstwith are a progressive club, running three teams, promoted to Div 1 in 2016 but who had suffered their first defeat the previous Saturday. Batting first they started slowly and although Ouseburn were short of two front line bowlers Birstwith were never really able to up the run rate finishing on 179/9 off their 45 overs. Top man with the ball for OCC was spinner Tom Parker who was never collared and finished with 4 for 37. Brother Sam got Ouseburn off to a flier, dealing almost exclusively in boundaries and although there was a slight stutter when the brothers were out to successive balls, Jamie Bryant, 49 off 50, had good support from skipper Fisher who hit three successive sixes and Chris Morrison and thankfully the scorebooks agreed on a five wicket win with almost 15 overs to spare. Much thanks to fellow scorer Sue who besides keeping me right also managed to score online and operate the board.
West Tanfield CC
On Sunday, with Trica safely returned from holiday, I made the thirty minute journey to West Tanfield a village between Ripon and Masham for an Atkinson Swires Quarter Final Match between Masham (whose ground was hosting another event) and Ouseburn. This is the senior cup competition in the Nidderdale League but I remarked in a previous posting that a number of clubs had not entered this year and Ouseburn's team sheet had only four names from the previous day. To find eleven skipper Fisher had had to dig into the third team's youngsters. Masham dominated the game with opener Nathan Kleinig batting through for 92 not out and Andy Caddick lookalike, Ben Fielding, blowing away Ouseburn's top order. 203 for 9 against 73 all out says it all. Masham's semi final opponents on August 6th will be Knaresborough Forest while Birstwith will take on Helperby.
Monday and one of those special days in the pcw calendar, county cricket at Scarborough with struggling Somerset the visitors. Yorkshire, short of their England trio, felt able to leave out Brooks and gave Kohler-Cadmore the nod over Leaning. Tony will no doubt give a full account of the game but most readers will be aware by now that Somerset won with time to spare on the fourth afternoon.
I returned to North Marine Road on Wednesday, a cool rather gloomy day which Somerset dominated and Yorkshire looked out of sorts in all departments, not helped by Plunkett joining Sidebottom on the injured list. Championship cricket, apart from the second match in the Cheltenham Festival which begins on Sunday, goes into hiding for a month with T20 taking centre stage from today. Yorkshire's next red ball action is back at Scarborough for the Festival when they will face current table toppers Essex. Last chance to challenge for the title? Sadly I think most of the excellent crowd who were at North Marine Road this week are looking the other way.
Sandwiched, and what a delicious filling it made, between my two days at Scarborough I spent Tuesday at Queen's Park Chesterfield where after morning rain which cost us half an hour's play, the sun joined in the fun to give a lovely afternoon and an enthralling dual between Derbyshire's spinners, sixteen year old Hamidullah Quadri and Imran Tahir, and a Durham line up missing Jennings and New Zealander Tom Latham. Tahir, histrionics and all, had the upper hand until Paul Coughlin led a fight back in the evening session. My friends John Gawthrope and Arthur Bartle were at Queen's Park yesterday to see Durham record their second win of the season and move off the bottom of the Second Divison, at least until the conclusion of Leicestershire's match at Hove tomorrow. Good to see Michael Richardson who has missed four matches this season having two good knocks in the unfamiliar position of opener.
Off to Lord's tomorrow for a prize in the bran tub of life, my first test at HQ. With our train leaving at 5:45 only half a sleep left.
Durham batting at Queen's Park