Richmondshire on brink of special season

Victory in two cup competitions, a regional T20 final and a National Club Championship semi-final means Richmondshire’s season is becoming something special.

Last week, Richmondshire 1sts were involved in the semi-final and final of the Premier 100. On Tuesday they played Barnard Castle for the fifth time, having won all four previous encounters. Barnard Castle won the toss and chose to bat only to lose a wicket from the third ball to Shaun Charlton (two for 10).

More wickets followed regularly with Josh Dowson taking two for 24, Harvey Websdale one for 26, Connor Blaxall-Hill one for 20 and Sam Wood one for 11. With the innings ending at 93 for eight after the 100 balls. The Richmondshire openers Gary Pratt (37*) and Dan Hodgson (54*) were untroubled in knocking off the runs after 80 balls.

This took Richmondshire through to a final at Stokesley on Friday. Richmondshire put them in to bat and then set a demanding target of 161 for five mainly thanks to 54 from James Weighell, the former Durham, Leicestershire and Glamorgan county player, as well as a fifth wicket stand of 65. Harvey Websdale taking three for 23 and Joe White two for 25.

Gary Pratt and Dan Hodgson carried on from where they left off on Tuesday with an opening stand of 51. Dan was out for 25 to be replaced by Mike Layfield who hit 25 from 15 and then Connor Blaxall-Hill 17 from 6. Gary ended with a superb 94 not out from 55 balls with 14 fours and three sixes. The winning total of 165 for two was reached after 90 balls.

Richmondshire and Stokesley met again on Saturday at Richmond in a league fixture. Stokesley were put into bat and lost a wicket in the first over to Harvey Websdale (two for 26). The innings was interrupted by brief rain showers several times and it was six o’clock when the Stokesley innings was closed at 177 for 9.

A revised Duckworth/Lewis target was set of 141 from 31 overs. Richmondshire had reached 85 for three before a stand between Dan Hodgson (44*) and Connor Blaxall-Hill (31*) got them to the target after 22.3 overs.

20 points moving them to 260, still 47 behind Saltburn who lead despite losing at Darlington RA. They are however within striking distance of Hartlepool (who they play next Saturday) and Middlesbrough, having a game in hand on both.

The 2nds went down to another big defeat by 170 runs at Normanby Hall in the absence of the Percival family, who normally make up a quarter of the team. As Normanby made 226 for declared Jordan Moss took seven for 47.

In Richmondshire’s reply only Jordan Moss (16) and Jack Platt (10) made double figures. With only five points from the game relegation looks almost certain.

The 4th team eased their relegation fears with 25 points at Stokesley 2nds. Batting first Richmondshire made 182 for seven with 85 from Jamie Stead and 39 from Griffin Bewell. Andy Dade then too seven for 49 as Stokesley were all out for 153.

The 5ths also had a good win against Cockerton 2nds, who chose to bat first and being 141 for six in the 40 overs. With two for 23 from Eddy Player and two for 17 for Will Fudali. Mike White (33) and Nigel Winter (31*) topped the batting in Richmondshire’s total of 152 for five.

The 3rds, also weakened by the absence of the Percival boys, suffered a rare defeat at Marton 3rds. Put into bat Jack Platt made 65 and Shaun Charlton (enjoying a rare opportunity to bat) 43 not out in a total of 172 for 8.

Marton managed to overhaul the total with four balls to spare. Jack Platt completing an outstanding performance with three for 17. 7 points gained leaves them 18 points behind second place Wolviston and 26 points behind leaders Norton (on whom they have a game in hand).