Richmondshire’s league challenge hit by rain

Having closed to within eleven points of top placed Great Ayton, Richmondshire’s challenge ground to a halt on Saturday thanks to a waterlogged pitch.

This was a bitter disappointment as they had worked themselves into a good position, thanks to victories against Darlington and then a critical five wicket victory at Ayton last week.

Richmondshire bowled out Ayton for 93 with Craig Marshall (4 for 36) doing the early damage and Craig Swainston (5 for 23) mopping up the tail.

The Richmondshire innings had a couple of early setbacks with Andy Fleming and Gary Pratt both going for a duck but Mike Layfield (53 not out) and Alston Bob (32) ensured revenge for the early season home defeat by Ayton.

Saturday’s abandoned game meant Richmondshire only getting six points from the home game against Stokesley, while Ayton just managed a two-wicket victory against a rejuvenated Seaton Carew to gain twenty points.

This opens the gap to 25 points again and Marton have crept up to just 3 points behind in third place.

The 2nds mixed form continues, having registered a ten-wicket victory at Middlebrough and then having their home fixture against Great Ayton washed out, Saturday saw a disappointing defeat at Saltburn.

Having made a strong start through Mike Fleming (48), Owen Kelly (62) and Joe Shields (24) they suffered a collapse with the last seven wickets going down for just fifteen to end on 163. Despite trying eight bowlers they couldn’t shake Saltburn and lost by seven wickets.

The 3rds progress at the top of Sunday League one also came to a sudden halt on Sunday against Darlington R.A. 2nds. A rare batting failure saw them all out for 110 and despite the bowling efforts of the Kelly family, son James (4 for 41) and dad Andy (3 for 20), they went down to a two-wicket defeat.

However, thanks to a victory against Thornaby and an abandonment at nearest rivals Barnard Castle they stay thirty-three points clear at the top of the table.

The 4th teams game against Haughton on Saturday was also a victim of a waterlogged pitch and having lost the previous week against Cockerton drop back into mid table.

The 5ths had no fixture this weekend when they would have hoped to build on their victory against Barton the previous Saturday.

This saw a return to form for Mike Irving who posted 119 not out, well supported by Nigel Winter with 65 to total 231 for 1. Barton nearly held out for a draw but were then bowled out for 129 in the thirtieth over thanks to another father and son combination in John, 3 for 21 and Griffin Bewell, 3 for 9.

Meanwhile in the Junior Section the trophies continue to flow in. In the youngest age group, the Under 9s won the The Hambleton League’s Phil Fisher Cup in the Finals Day play off.

Having suffered their only defeat of the season against North Stainley girls (who under Hambleton League rules can play girls up to 11) they gained ample revenge winning the return match and having beaten Thirsk by 100 runs in the semi, came up against them again in the final.

In a tight, hard fought game North Stainley won the toss and chose to field first. The opening pair of Raam Raj and Isaac Bortomley got them off to a good start with 20 runs off the first four overs without the loss of a wicket.

In this format where five runs are lost for each wicket not conceding wickets is as vital as scoring runs and the Richmondshire innings ended on 76 for 6, a net score of 236 (teams start on 200 runs).

North Stainley were scoring more runs but losing wickets and needed 10 runs to win in the last over. The pressure of bowling the last over rested on Max Percival’s shoulders. With North Stainley needing 4 runs off the last ball. Max held his nerve and with some calm fielding only 1 run was scored to give Richmondshire a win by 2 runs. A perfect end to a great season.

At the third attempt the Under 17s managed to play their North V South League play off against Saltburn. Despite some unusually low scoring from the top of the order the team’s strength in depth saw them through with James Kelly scoring 32 and Tom Spensley 44 in a total of 110 all out.

Saltburn could make no progress against tight Richmondshire bowling, three of James Kelly’s 4 overs were maidens and with Harvey Websdale at the other end taking 2 for 10 they were well behind the needed run rate. Sam Winter then took 3 for 12 and Johnny Carr 4 for 8 to end the Saltburn innings on 59.

This was followed by another comprehensive victory by ten wickets in the cup quarter finals at Wolviston on Friday. Sam Winte (34) and Tom Dowson (39) overhauling the Wolvison score of 80 for 5, without loss.