Richmondshire lose to Great Ayton in top of table clash

Two of the last three champions of the NYSD, and the top two in the league prior to Saturday, met at Great Ayton’s Leven Road ground and it was a match-winning performance from Joe Marsay that gave Great Ayton a huge win over Richmondshire.

Two early Josh Dowson strikes had Ayton at 30-2 having been put into bat, but Phil Holdsworth continued his good recent form with a patient 71 and Sammy Jeewantha’s undefeated 57 plus a late burst of hitting from Andrew Liddle saw the home side post 213/5.

After tea Marsay produced a spell that simply blew Richmondshire away. He removed Gary Pratt for a rare duck in his first over and continued to wreak havoc amongst the visitors’ batting line up, bowling unchanged for a return of 7-35 from his 15 overs, a Premier Division best for 2018.

Richmondshire could only muster 98 all out, giving Ayton 25 points to their rivals’ 4, and increasing Ayton’s lead to 17 points at the head of the table. Victory for Barnard Castle over Middlesbrough moved them up to second, eleven points ahead of Richmondshire. Thornaby also suffered defeat against Darlington but stay just a point behind Richmondshire.

With games against Barnard Castle this Saturday and Thornaby in a fortnights time, Richmondshire will want to quickly put this set back behind them.

The seconds also suffered defeat to Great Ayton’s seconds at Hurgill Road. Having won the toss and decided to bat, Richmondshire set what looked to be a challenging target scoring 253 for 4 with 88 from Owen Kelly and 66 not out from Clive Layfield.

By declaring on 42 overs Great Ayton were given an extra eight overs to make the runs and used every one of these overs to finally finish on 254 for 4. In a busy week the seconds also suffered a heavy defeat to Darlington RA in the Haigh Cup on Tuesday and will hope for a better performance against Middlesbrough in the Robinson cup at Hurgill Road on Wednesday evening.

In a bad day all round for Richmondshire the fourth and fifth teams suffered double defeat to local rivals Barton. The fourths lost by 114 runs at Barton, only young Sam Potter making any impression with the bat, ending 30 not out. The fifths managed a closer game at home to Barton seconds, losing by just 18 with an excellent 58 from Mike White.

The only bright spot of the weekend was the third team extending their winning run with a victory by eight wickets at Redcar. Again, Clive Layfield was in the runs with 72, this time supported by the younger of the Kelly brothers, James (58 not out).