Richmondshire escape the rain to stay top of the table

A couple of weeks ago we noted that normally it is the Teesside clubs that get the rub of the green with the weather, only for the more westerly clubs to benefit again on Saturday.

Only Richmondshire, Barnard Castle and Great Ayton being able to complete their fixtures.

Richmondshire were fortunate to have a home fixture against early season league leaders Hartlepool.

Having got back to winning ways last Saturday, Hartlepool were talking up their chances of making a comeback with a win.

Disappointingly for them their talented young opener Harry Crawshaw was forced to sit out the game ahead of a possible county game with Durham.

Put into bat Richmondshire made a better start than in recent games as Bob Carr (76) and Tom Dowson (28) put on 44 for the first wicket.

Mike Layfield, Gary Pratt and Ajay Mandal all made valuable contributions before Owen Kelly scored a quickfire 32 from 25 balls for Richmondshire to end on 218.

Richmondshire were happy to see Hartlepool’s two most dangerous batsmen back in the pavilion at 18 for 2.

The threatened rain then arrived with Hartlepool 58 for 4 and lengthy stoppage brought a revised Duckworth Lewis target, a challenging 203 with another 21 overs.

Play resumed in a steady drizzle, making life difficult for Richmondshire’ spin bowlers.

Another two wickets fell before Hartlepool’s innings closed on 128 for 6 after 31.2 overs and giving Richmondshire 25 points.

Barnard Castle also had a home fixture and recorded an easy 114 run victory also for 25 points. Richmondshire now have an average points score of 17.8 to Barnard Castle’s 16.4.

With six fixtures remaining and third and fourth placed clubs Hartlepool and Marton now three points back, it looks to be between Richmondshire and Barney who play each other on Bank Holiday Monday.

The 2nds teams game at Guisborough was a victim of the weather, having bowled out Guisborough for just 116 with Jonny Carr five for 23.

They had made just 6 for 0 when the rain arrived and take 11 points from the game,

The 4th team were somewhat relieved when their game at Billingham was brought to an early end.

With a depleted team due to call ups to the 2nds they had managed a total of just 108 for nine from 35 overs when the rain arrived.

Second placed Stockton 2nds had amassed a rather more impressive 219 for three, only to be frustrated by the rain. Richmondshire still lead Stockton with an average of 18.36 points to 17.79 with the two meeting on Saturday.

The 5th team were able to complete their home game against Eryholme, losing by six wickets.

In Sunday’s much pleasanter weather the 3rd team recorded a rare victory against Norton which moves them up out of the relegation places.

Having put Norton into bat they restricted them to 173 for five, Mark Walker taking two for 26.

The highlight of the Richmondshire reply was a maiden NYSD century for John Clark who scored 111 from 71 balls.

Supported by 40 not out from Finlay Clarke the runs were knocked off in 24.1 overs for an invaluable 20 points.