Richmondshire suffer league setback but progress in cup

Josh Dowson in action.

Richmondshire suffered a severe setback in their defence of the Premier League title when they suffered a five wicket defeat by Middlesbrough on Saturday.

They started the day in third place just five points behind the leaders and having defeated Middlesbrough comfortably in the cup a couple of weeks earlier had high hopes of victory.

Overnight rain delayed the start, reducing it to forty four overs per side. Middlesbrough put Richmondshire in to bat and their opening bowlers soon had Richmondshire in trouble. Both openers, Rob Carr and Gary Pratt, were out with only five on the board and with two more wickets falling quickly Richmondshire were reduced to 21 for 4. Only a fine innings of forty two from Matty Price added some respectability to the score which ended on one hundred and seven all out after thirty three overs.

Richmondshire’s opening bowlers failed to have the same impact and although hopes were briefly raised when Steve Reeves took two wickets in two balls,  Middlesbrough progressed comfortably to a five wicket win. This puts Richmondshire back down to forth in the table, twenty one points behind Middlesbrough.

Things went better when they returned to action in the Kerridge Cup quarter final at Billingham Synthonia on Sunday. Winning the toss and putting Billingaham in Josh Dowson took two early wickets to reduce Billingham to 4 for 2. Billingham then made a good recovery to progress to 66 for 2 before, as so often happens, the introduction of Gary Pratt to the attack produced two wickets in his first over, both stumped. More wickets from spinners, including 3 for 10 from James Kelly completed Billingham’s innings on 127 for 9.

Richmondshire started with an unfamiliar opening partnership of Tom Dowson and Steve Mather (currently unavailable for Saturday fixtures due to work commitments). Both departed with the score on nineteen and when Steve Reeves was out second ball Richmondshire looked in trouble on 19 for 3.

The arrival of Sam Wood (34 not out) and Gary Pratt (58 not out)  then changed the course of the innings and with no further wickets lost, it took just twenty seven overs to wrap up the tie. Putting Richmondshire through to a semi-final at old rivals Barnard Castle on Sunday 6th September.

The 2nds poor run of form continued at Wolviston on Saturday, when electing to bat only Mark Walker with twenty two was able to reach double figures in a total of ninety two. Wolviston took only nineteen overs to complete a victory with four wickets down.

The more experienced 4th team had no such problems at Guisborough 2nds, playing on a wicket described as “a pudding” after the covers were left off overnight. They dismissed Guisborough for sixty eight, Michael Platt adding to his wicket haul with 4 for 13 and Alex Percival 3 for 20.

It took Clive Layfield (30 not out) and Julius Glasgow (35 not out) just nine overs to knock off the required runs without a wicket lost. A win which keeps them second in the table but twenty three points behind leaders Stockton 2nds.

The 3rds game on Sunday game against Darlington 3rds had a delayed start due to rain and the captains agreed that there would be a declaration to produce a competitive game. Batting first Richmondshire made 141 for 6 declared with Jake Percival fifty one not out and Dan Osborne thirty eight.  In reply Darlington made 117 for 3 to leave the game drawn.