With the cup season in full swing Richmondshire 1sts faced four games in five days. They started with a Macmillan Cup game at Great Ayton which they won by five wickets.
Having chosen to bat first Ayton made 133 for 9 in their 20 overs with both Josh Dowson and Sam Wood taking three for 21. In reply 36 from Dan Hodgson and 38 from Connor Blaxall-Hill got Richmondshire home to 134 for 5 with a ball to spare.
Saturday’s league fixture was at Stokesley, who choosing to bat first got away to a strong start with a partnership between the Weighell brothers taking them to 84 before the first wicket fell. It wasn’t until 142 for two before Richmondshire made the next breakthrough and they managed to restrict Stokesley to 217 for 6 by the end of their innings.
Richmondshire made a disastrous start, losing their first three wickets for two runs. They then slipped to 39 for five before Connor Blaxall-Hill played an outstanding innings of 128 and raised hopes of an unlikely victory. Sadly they fell 19 runs short. The seven points gained leaves them ninth of 12 in the league.
Sunday took them to Harrogate for the Royal London National Club Cup. A thrilling game of cricket swung backwards and forwards during the day. Harrogate chose to bat first and got away to a quick start and reached 44 before Harvey Websdale had the opener caught behind. Harvey struck again to remove the other opener leg before seven runs later and ended with two for 33.
A couple of partnerships involving the Harrogate pro took the score to 126 for four before an outstanding catch by Sam Wood of Connor Blaxall-Hill’s bowling removed him. Sam Wood then took four for 47 and Josh Dowson returned to clear up the tail in a second spell to take two for 27.
Richmondshire openers Bob Carr and Mike Layfield made a confident start and looked untroubled by Harrogate’s opening bowlers, reaching 51 before both were run out going for quick singles. The loss of three more wickets had Richmondshire looking in trouble at 70 for five. A partnership of 93 between Connor Blaxall-Hill and Sam Wood then retrieved the situation to 163 for 6.
Harrogate then brought back the spinner Ishan for his final over to take two in two balls. Sensible play from Connor and Josh Dowson taking singles and keeping Connor on strike to hit the boundaries gave Richmondshire a win at 186 for 7 after 37.1 overs. Connor ended with 77 not out, rounding off an outstanding weekend from the Australian.
Richmondshire will now play Barnard Castle in the Group 2 final after they defeated Castleford in the other semi-final.
On Monday Richmondshire started their defence of the Kerridge Cup at Thornaby, in what turned out to be another cliffhanger. After winning the toss and choosing to bat the opening pair made a good start only to both fall with the score at 37. A partnership of 49 between Dan Hodgson and Connor Blaxall-Hill took the score to 86 for three before Dan was bowled. Connor went on to add a 50 to his impressive total for the week and Sam Wood also continued his good form with 49. Richmondshire were finally bowled out in the last over for 222.
Tight bowling from Josh Dowson (four for 34) and Harvey Websdale (two for 32) had Thornaby in trouble at 41 for five. They then decided attack was the best form of defence and 89 from 67 balls from their captain Lewis Harper swung the game in their favour. With only one run needed for victory the ninth wicket fell to a run out and in the last over trapped second top score Rahul Kumar leg before to leave the game tied.
The 2nds are facing a tough season in a league where every other side is a first team. On Saturday they had a home fixture against Normanby Hall 1sts and lost by seven wickets, picking up only four points. This left them only a point above bottom of the table Rockcliffe Park. Batting first they scored 173 all out, which Normanby Hall bettered in 33.2 overs.
The 4ths took thirteen points from their draw against Stokesley 2nds. After making 189 for eight thanks to 63 from Isaac Bottomley and 34 from John Clark, Sokesley batted out their overs for 156 for six.
The 5th team lost by 50 runs to top of the table Cockerton 2nds who made 231 for six. In Richmondshire’s reply an open stand by Mike White (53) and Jack Ford (47) put on 102 for 1 but a middle order collapse left them ending with 181 for nine.
On Sunday the 3rds defeated top of the table Norton who were all out for 111 after Richmondshire put them in. Jake Percival taking five for 21. 51 from Jamie Stead then got Richmondshire two 112 for two in just 222 overs.