Richmondshire beat rivals Barnard Castle to close in on leaders

Games between Richmondshire and Barnard Castle are always big events with the two sides regularly competing for top spot in the NYSD competitions. Saturday’s game was no exception with the two teams sitting second and third in the league.

What was unusual was that the game wasn’t  closely contested and as in the Macmillan Cup game earlier in the season Richmondshire came out well on top.

Winning the toss and taking the opportunity to bat first and set a target Richmondshire scored 254 for seven. There was an opening partnership of 70 between Bob Carr (22) and Tom Dowson (46) when both were out with only two more runs added.

This brought together Mike Layfield (63) and Gary Pratt (86 not out) for a 111 third wicket partnership. When Mike Layfield was out with the score at 183 for three Richmondshire went on the attack looking for quick runs Shafiq adding 14 in 10 balls and four more wickets falling in reaching 254.

This looked a good score but with the number of runs being scored at Richmondshire in recent games nothing was certain. Barnard Castle had reached 43 when the first wicket fell to Tom Brooks and they were still in the game when Shafiq had professional Smart Seth caught in the slips.

Wickets then fell steadily, all to Richmondshire’s spinners, Shafiq taking six for 51 and Tom Brooks three for 71. Gary Pratt then wrapped things up taking the last wicket with his third ball.

Richmondshire are now 17 points behind top team Middlesbrough but with a game in hand. Barnard Castle now lie 16 points behind their local rivals in third.

It wasn’t a good day for the other Richmondshire sides. The 2nds fell to defeat at Seaton Carew. Seaton totalling 203, though James Kelly (5-66) and Alex Percival (3-48) kept Richmondshire in the game.

But they then crashed to 57/8. Brad Elsworth (66) and Harvey Websdale (45 not out) mounted a brave recovery with a stand of 87 for the 9th wicket, but the last wicket fell in the 35th over with Seaton still 35 runs ahead.

Richmondshire 4ths couldn’t compete with Redcar collapsing from 87/2 to 108 all out, of which opener Dan Baines made 53. Redcar lost four wickets in passing this total in 27 overs.

On Sunday the 3rds held league leaders Darlington to a draw. Choosing to bat first Darlington made 238 for eight with Alex Percival taking six for 55.

Dan Baines (52) then scored his second half century of the weekend and Alex Percival followed up topping the bowling figures with a top batting score of 59. As the lower order crumbled Richmondshire were left hanging on for a draw at 166 for nine.