Another outstanding performance by Richmondshire put them through to the quarter finals of the competition when they defeated Doncaster Town at Doncaster’s Town Moor ground.
The return of Matty McKiernan, available to play after turning out for Derbyshire against Lancashire in their T20 game on Saturday, was a major bonus.
On the downside was the loss of the another member of the spin attack in Craig Marshall, who looks likely to be out for the rest of the season after twisting his knee in the penultimate over of Saturday’s game. With Dale Marshall also out injured for a long spell Rob West was recalled from the seconds to bolster the attack.
Put into bat Richmondshire got off to an excellent start, punishing a loose first over for fourteen runs.
After that the Doncaster attack tightened up and in the third over Gary Pratt was out for 13, soon to be followed by fellow opener Rob Carr for seven.
Mike Layfield looked to be just getting going when he was also bowled leaving Richmondshire on 45 for 3. Wickets continued to fall steadily and a very tight spell by Doncaster’s spinner, bowling his eight overs for just eighteen and some excellent Doncaster fielding kept the run rate down.
Throughout this Matty McKieran was patiently accumulating runs with well placed singles but at 116 for 9 it looked as if he could run out of partners.
At that point Matty went on the attack and two fours and a six in succession in the thirty eight over and fourteen more in the last two overs mainly the result of excellent running between Matty and partner Rob West raised the score to a much healthier 165 for 9. Matty ending on an outstanding eighty one not out.
The first part of the Doncaster innings followed a similar pattern to the Richmondshire innings with wickets for Sam Wood (3 for 31) and Josh Dowson (1 for 29).
They then started to fall behind the required rate with tight spells from Rob West (3 for 32), James Kelly (2 for 24) and Matty McKiernan (1 for 7). James Ward, the Doncaster number four playing a similarly patient innings to Matty McKiernan’s looked the main threat.
Sam Wood then returned to the attack to have him caught attempting to go for a big hit and then took the final wicket to complete an excellent bowling and fielding performance by Richmondshire. The victory by 41 runs giving them a home tie in the quarter finals against Ormskirk on Sunday, August 5.
The 1sts suffered a much more frustrating day on Saturday when their home game against Marton ended in a draw. Put in to bat Richmondshire made a good start with Rob Carr making thirty before being out on 48 for 1, Mike Layfield and Steve Mather soon followed.
An excellent partnership between Gary Pratt and Matty Cowling (31) then took the score to 142 for 4. Another partnership between Gary and Sam Winter (24) took the score to 208 for 6 and with only a couple more runs added Gary was frustratingly out one short of his century. The innings ending at 229 for 8.
In reply Marton made a good start, the first wicket falling at 83 for 1 and looked well placed for a win but when James Kelly (3 for 68) had the Marton pro superbly caught by Matty Cowling the challenge faded.
Sam Wood (4 for 49) returned to the attack to take four wickets but when Marton decided to play for the draw there wasn’t time to take the final two wickets. With a few chances going down and edges and mishits falling just short of fielders it was a tale of what might have been.
The draw gave Richmondshire 14 points but with Barnard Castle and Great Ayton also only able to draw for sixteen points they only lost ground by two points but a great chance to close the gap had been lost.
The 2nds recorded a relatively simple ten wicket win at Norton, after Rob West (3 for 32), Ywal Williams (3 for 37), Harvey Websdale (2 for 25) and Clive Layfield (2 for 13) shared the wickets then Andy Fleming (67 not out) and Mike Fleming (41 not out) knocked off the runs.
The 4ths had a much tougher time at Nunthorpe, with only Dave Moffat (28) and Mark Layfield (22 not out) contributing much to the total of seventy six. Nunthorpe were able to knock these off with just the loss of one wicket.
On Sunday the 3rds defeated Darlington 3rds at Feethams to stay top of the Sunday Premier League thanks to a good all round bowling performance, three dismissals behind the stumps for George Spink and runs from Clive Layfield (45 not out), George Spink (20), Tom Spensley (27) and Andy Dade (34 not out).
On Monday, to round off a good weekend, the Under 17s had a resounding victory against their main rivals Barnard Castle. For the past few seasons Barney have been the only team to challenge the all-conquering Under 17 team and games have usually been close.
This looked as if it could go either way when Richmond, having batted first, posted what is for them a relatively modest 114 for 5. The highlight of the innings been a seventy run partnership between Sam Winter (42) and Harvey Websdale (27 not out).
Barney’s confidence was quickly dented with early wickets for Mark Walker (2 for 10) and Harvey Websdale (1 for 9) reduced them to 5 for 3. There was a brief revival with a partnership of eighteen between Fin Usher and Daniel Watson, at which point the spin of James Kelly reduced the batsmen to quivering wrecks.
James, fresh from his triumph with the 1sts on Sunday, ended with the staggering figures of 6 for 8 in four overs and Barney were all out for 37. Minutes later the thunderstorm arrived and the parched pitch was soon under water.