Richmondshire win title after thrilling draw against rivals Marton

Richmondshire's 2019 championship winning side.

The 2019 season reached a fitting climax on Saturday with Richmondshire top of the table travelling to play second placed Marton, the only team to have defeated them this season.

Richmondshire started the day with a 14-point lead but with a whole range of permutations possible.

By winning the toss and choosing to bat Marton increased the pressure, as this meant that Richmondshire would need a win or draw. Batting and bowling points would no longer be enough — if Marton were to win they would be champions.

The Marton wicket has seen few high scores made this season but they made a steady start but when the first wicket fell on thirty two it sparked a batting collapse.

With two wickets from Craig Swainstion (2 for 21) and Steve Reeves (3 for 39) Marton were in trouble on 39 for 4.

This brought Pakistani professional Aamer Sajjad to the wicket, who after losing his first partner at 60 for 5 was the senior partner in a 65-run partnership with youngster Fez Hussain.

Hussain was caught and bowled by Steve Reeves and three runs later Sajjad was run out by a remarkable piece of fielding by Richmondshire captain Gary Pratt.

Reminiscent of Gary’s run out of Rickie Pontin in 2005 Ashes, picking up on the run and with a view of no more than one and a half stumps making direct hit from 25 yards. The Marton tail managed to add 28 before Sam Wood (3 for 49) wrapped up the innings.

The opinion at teas was that the game was delicately balanced with 156 being a challenging target on this wicket. None of the Richmondshire top order could get settled all being out soon after reaching double figures.

With three consecutive wickets going leg before to bowler Josh Brown, the mood among large Richmondshire following was sombre with the score on 102 for 7. This left fifty four needed to tie and over ten overs to survive.

Heroes of the hour were the eighth wicket pair Sam Wood and Josh Dowson. Sam has looked in good form with the bat recently but Josh services as a batsmen have rarely been required. So far this season in ten innings he had averaged 2.1 so to score 26 not out under this pressure was nothing short of remarkable.

So with Marton seeing the win and the championship, they must have thought was theirs slipping away, Sam and Josh hung on for a draw and making Richmondshire champions by 15 points.

As NYSD champions Richmondshire will now represent the league in the Yorkshire Premier Leagues Championships played between the champions of the Yorkshire ECB Premier Leagues.

In the semi-final they will play winners of the Yorkshire League North, Sheriff Hutton Bridge at home next Saturday (14th September) with an 11am start.

The winners will then play the winners of Doncaster (Yorkshire League South) v Woodlands (Bradford League) at Headingley on the 21st September.

There was disappointment for the other senior teams. Although the 2nds had a good win against Sedgefield, an easy win for Darlington 2nds meant Richmondshire relinquish the salver for top second team in the first division, which they have held for six years.

It was a bitter sweet day for Darlington as the first team were relegated from the Premiership meaning the second team now have to drop a division.

On Sunday the 3rds hopes of recording another Sunday Premiership title were dashed as they lost to third place Thornaby, while top of the table Wolviston added another twenty five points. So even with twenty five points from their game in hand next week they will still finish nineteen points down.

The fourth team went down to a strong Raby Castle side leaving the just four points ahead of East Cowton in the bottom two.