Richmondshire fourths avoid relegation with win over Billingham

With the Premier League fixtures completed, the focus switched to the lower divisions.

With relegation already certain for the seconds, selection favoured the fourths who needed points to be sure of avoiding relegation from the third division.

They played at second bottom Billingham Synthonia, who had also strengthened their team which included Mark Davies an ex-Durham county player with over 300 first class wickets to his name.

Winning the toss, Richmondshire put Billingham in and with three for 16 from captain Michael Platt, two for 18 from Raam Raj and two for 21 from Tom Stockton, restricted Billingham to 138 for nine.

After losing a couple of early wickets, 22 from Alex Percival and 31 from Tom Stockton took the score to over 100 but three wickets on 109 left the last wicket partnership between Michael Platt and Raam Raj needing to score 31 to win. With 13 from Raam and 10 from Michael they held on to gain the 20 points which guaranteed third division survival with one game left.

The 3rd team have high hopes of winning the Sunday Premier league and improved their position with a 25-point win at Great Ayton. Seven for 12 from Jake Percival and two for one from Joe White raced Ayton out for just 56. With 25 each from John Clerk and Alex Percival the runs were knocked off in 5.1 overs.

Top of the table Wolviston were facing defeat against Marton when rain cut the game short leaving them with nine points. Having completed their fixtures, they are on 284 with Richmondshire 279, so six points from next week’s home game against Yarm will give them the championship.

The 2nds went down to an 84 run defeat against Sedgefield 2nds. Max Percival was the best of the bowlers with four for 25 as Sedgefield put on 235 for eight. Max then led the batting with 29 but Richmondshire could only manage 151.

In the past Richmondshire 2nds have regularly won the Second Team Salver, awarded to the leading second team in Division 1. With Richmondshire the only second team in the division, this year it is to be played next week between Richmondshire and Darlington 2nds as the top second team in Division 1.

With their fixtures completed the 1st team players were left to reflect on where they might have been. At Lords Cuckney, who had defeated Richmondshire in the semi-final, went on to win the National Club Cup. They defeated Bexley in a thrilling game, where both teams finished on 209 but Cuckney won having lost only five wickets to Bexley’s nine.

Meanwhile Saltburn as NYSD Premier league winners were playing in the semi-final of the Yorkshire play offs. They were well beaten by Woodlands of the Bradford League who Richmondshire had already beaten twice earlier in the season.