Sunday's match conveniently not far from home was the semi-final of the Grey Fox Trophy, a competition for club sides of over fifties from the county of Yorkshire. I remember seeing the first final which was played at Headingley a few years ago and won by a team known as the Bradford Buddhies.
Today the two semi-finals were played at New Rover Cricket Club, on the Leeds northern ring road.
Earlier in the day, with a 10.00 a.m. start, Horsforth Hall Park had beaten Bowling Old Lane from Bradford by 60 runs. The second semi-final, which I saw, started at 2 p.m., or at least would have done if the umpires had remembered to bring the new ball out with them.
Cayton, from the Scarborough Beckett League, who had beaten the Wetherby Wrinklies in the previous round, soon appeared to have a side drawn from several clubs in their league, whereas their opponents Hepworth/Idle from Bradford were all one club men.
The team from Scarborough batted first and I was interested to see that one of their opening bats was none other than Brian Heywood, co-author with his parents of two marvellous books on the history of Todmorden cricket club. Brian is also deeply involved in cricket and rugby league heritage programmes and it was a pleasure to meet up with him again.
The rules of this competition provide that a batsman should retire when he reaches 30 and after a brisk start Brian's partner was dismissed. Brian himself had to retire with a pulled hamstring just one run short of the 30 maximum. Fortunately it did not seem too serious and he was able to field later.
Runs continued to come quickly against some understandable problems in the field for some of the not too mobile fielders, although it must be said one direct hit from the boundary edge brought an unlikely run out.. Several players reached the thirty figure and had to retire and in total four wickets fell in a final figure of 216 -4 in thirty overs.
This was a daunting task for the men from Bradford but they gave it their best shot and although falling well short they went for the runs right to the end with a respectable total of 157-8. So Cayton, plus guests, go through to the final which will almost be played on home ground for them at North Marine Road, Scarborough on Sunday 10th September when they face last years winners Horsforth Hall Park. Last year's final, also at Scarborough, saw Hall Park win by one wicket off the very last ball of the match. So hopefully another close contest is in prospect.