Richmondshire had a remarkable weekend even by their recent high standards.
It started with a tricky visit to Great Ayton which started on time but was then hit by a lengthy weather delay.
The mopping up operation meant that the second innings was reduced to its minimum length of 20 overs and a Duckworth Lewis target for a weather shortened game came into force.
Upon resumption, Richmondshire set about making as many as they could to set the DL target as high as possible for the home side.
Rob Carr led the way for his side with 72, aided by Gary Pratt (46), Steve Reeves (47) and Tom Dowson (36), and a final total of 250-6 was achieved. The statistics produced a 20-over target of 142 to win for Great Ayton.
After 11 of those overs, Ayton were in a strong position at 78/2, with a stand of 71 in 56 balls. Over 12 from Steve Reeves changed everything, as he struck three times in 4 balls to remove three key Ayton batsmen.
With another wicket falling to a run out in the following over, Ayton’s ambitions were well and truly extinguished. Reeves went on to claim 4-25 from his six overs, and when he was replaced by Gary Pratt, Ayton had three overs to see out with two wickets in hand.
Pratt claimed those last two wickets as the home side searched for the 75 per cent target of 105.
This secured what had seemed an unlikely 25 points, Richmondshire having captured eight wickets for just 15 runs in 49 balls.
Meanwhile second placed Marton were also winning but have batting second gained only 20 points, now putting them ten behind at the top of the table.
On Sunday, Richmondshire went through to the quarter-finals of the National Club Championships with a convincing ten-wicket success over Bolton League side Horwich RMI.
After a bright confident start of 62/0 from the openers it was Rob West who struck three times in quick succession to start off the Horwich collapse, West recording figures of 3-26 from 4 overs.
Wickets falling in clumps was a characteristic of the Horwich innings, Sam Wood (2-13) took the next two, followed by a pair for Gary Pratt (2-21) and then a brace for Steve Reeves (2-18). From 101/9 the last pair did well to raise the total to 122 before being parted.
All things being equal, such a total never seems anywhere near par at Hurgill Rd, and so it was to prove, Rob Carr and Gary Pratt never looked troubled, taking just 20.4 overs to achieve victory.
Gary was the first to reach his fifty, the waited for Bob to complete his before confidently striking a four and a six to seal the victory. He hit ten fours and a six in his 67 not out whilst while Bob’s 50 not out contained seven fours.
This sets up a 2018 rematch against Ormskirk at Hurgill Rd on August 11th, who will be keen for revenge for their defeat in last year’s quarter final. Memorable for being a ten-over thrash in poor conditions when Matty McKiernan made a remarkable hundred.
Let’s hope the weather is kinder in three weeks’ time for one of the biggest games in the region in 2019.
The 2nd team were frustrated by the rain playing at home against Blackhall 1sts. Having had Blackhall 12 for 3 either side of a lengthy rain break they managed a recovery to199 for 8 from 50 overs.
With only 27 overs to bat, the home side launched a bid for an unlikely victory, Sam Winter (43) and Matthew Price (45) set a platform, but when both fell chance of a victory receded and they settled for a creditable 156-4 for 13 points to the visitors’ 12.
On Sunday the 3rds found themselves making a rare visit to Richmond School as the 1sts had use of Hurgill Road. They didn’t allow this to interfere with their progress, beating Redcar by thirty runs. Batting first ninety not out from Jordan Moss was the main contribution as they were bowled out for 171 in 35 overs.
They then bowled out Redcar with one ball to spare. Harvey Websdale taking 4 for 30. Twenty five points keeps the ten points Wolviston with a game in hand.
The 4ths remain in the relegation places after losing to league leaders Haughton 1sts. They had given themselves a chance by bowling out Haughton for 154 in 37.2.Harevey Websdale taking 3 for 37 and Michael Platt 4 for 30.
With all the first six getting out after reaching double figures the Richmondshire innings peters out forty eight runs short of the target.
The 5th team fared better against Haughton 2nds and moved up to forth in the table with a tight seven run victory.
The Under 19s had two convincing victories during the week which should see them progress comfortably to a playoff against the South Group winners in the ECB Vitality Blast. On Monday they set Hartlepool a target of 237 for 5 with 55 retired from Tom Dowson. The on Thursday they beat Seaton Carew by eight wickets from, with fifty retried from Matty Price.
On Sunday the Under 11s sealed their top place in the Northern Division with a victory at Blackhall and the Under 15s finished level with Hartlepool at the top of the table, also with a victory against Blackhall.