The weekend got off to a good start on Saturday as the 1sts exploited the weakness of the opposition in bottom of the table Norton.
Batting first to target the twenty five points for a win batting first Richmondshire romped to 232 for 1 before declaring after 37 overs. Mike Layfield hammering 118 in 119 balls and Gary Pratt 87.
Norton were soon in trouble with two wickets to Sam Wood with only two runs on the board. Only a fighting 62 from Glyn Faulkner held up Richmondshire and Norton were all out for 114 on 34.1 overs, Alston Bobb taking 4 for 7. Meanwhile Great Ayton could only manage a losing draw against Marske for 7 points.
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This puts them just seven ahead at the top of the table, with Richmondshire second and next week’s opponents Marton coming up strongly eleven points behind Richmondshire.
Sunday saw the 1sts playing the Kerridge Cup Final against Stokesley at Marske. Richmondshire won the toss and put Stokesley in to bat tp score what looked a modest 130 all out, with spinners Craig Marshall, Alston Bobb and Ross Whelpdale doing the early damage and Craig Swainston weighing in to mop up the tail.
The Richmondshire innings didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, with the normally reliable Mike Layfield going for 5 and Alston Bobb for 6 to leave Richmondshire 17 for 2.
With Gary Pratt playing sheet anchor to score 53 not out and Bob Carr supporting with 33 they reached the target with ten overs to spare to win by six wickets. Despite winning many trophies over recent seasons this is the first time Richmondshire have bagged the Kerridge cup.
The 2nds had two home games over the weekend, starting with a 120-run victory over Whitby on Saturday (no details available at present). Then on Sunday having got into a strong position against Bishop Auckland were frustrated by the rain. Batting first they scored 191 all out and had Bishop on 95 for 5 when the rain came.
The 36 points achieved over the weekend putting them in third place just seven points behind Bishop Auckland. The 3rds game at Wolviston was also a victim of the rain but the eight points gained keeps them top by 24 from Darlington R.A.
The 4ths game at Nunthorpe brought a straightforward victory by 124 runs with a stong all round batting performance. The highlight of the Nunthorpe innings being a hat trick for young Harvey Websdale, who finished with figures of 4 for 23.
The 5ths home game against Haughton 2nds brought another defeat and relegation now looks a real possibility. Choosing to bat first Haughton began slowly but taking advantage of some erratic bowling pushed on mid innings.
Only the introduction of Peter While (3 for 12) stemmed the flow as they finished on 152 for 9.
This always looked too much of a challenge for Richmondshire’s thin batting line up and despite 56 from Mike Irving they fell well behind the needed rate.
Michael Platt (47 not out) provided some solidity but only some sensible support batting from Adam Heseltine got enough runs on the board to add two batting points to the four bowling points. This puts them just two points above Barton in the relegation battle.
On Friday evening the long running battle between Richmondshire and Barnard Castle U17s had another dramatic twist. Playing at Barnard Castle the two teams finished level on 149 runs after fifteen overs.
Barnard Castle losing eight wickets in the process and Richmondshire just four (Sam Winter 57), despite the difference in wickets lost, rather oddly the game was decided by the better run rate at ten overs. This went Richmondshire’s way for another a victory to put them through to the 15:15 final.