Rollercoaster weekend for Richmondshire

Richmondshire had a rollercoaster weekend with three games in four days bringing widely contrasting results.

Things started well with an outstanding victory against old rivals Barnard Castle in the Macmillan Cup T20 quarter final.

As finalists in the National Club T20 last season Barney, are formidable opponents in this format but Richmondshire dominated the game from the outset.

Openers Tom Dowson (41) and Gary Pratt (95) put on 70 for the first wicket with the run rate never falling below 10 an over. Bob Carr (24) and Mike Layfield (10) then added quick runs before an explosive 32 from 13 balls from Shafiq rounded things off at 218 for 4.

Against tight Richmondshire bowling the Barnard Castle batsmen never looked equal to the task and only Finn Usher with 59 made any impact. Tom Brooks topped the bowling figures with four for 14. The 67 run win takes Richmondshire through to a semifinal at Billingham on Thursday 9th June.

After such a strong performance the set back in the league at Marton on Saturday was totally unexpected. With Marton bottom of the league and without a win Richmondshire had every reason to be confident.

After putting Marton in to bat Richmondshire made a good start to have Marton at 11 for 2 but a stand of 123 between the two Marton professionals changed the complexion of the game. Rahul Dalal going on to make 126 after being dropped on three.

Marton eventually made 249 for seven and with Bob Carr out for a duck third ball Richmondshire were up against it. Tom Dowson added 43 in a second wicket partnership with Mike Layfield but as more wickets fell Richmondshire were left hanging on for a draw. 50 from Owen Kelly was enough to get to 194 for 8 but left Richmondshire with only 9 points.

None of the Premier League sides have yet to put together a consistent run. Middlesbrough remain top having gained 25 points but have played a game more than most others. Barnard Castle also gained 25 points and are best placed eight behind Boro but with the game in hand. Richmondshire are third but only six points cover third to seventh place.

Sunday saw Richmondshire take on Woodlands of the Bradford League in the Royal London Cup National Club Championship. Putting Saturday’s batting failures behind them they made a blistering start Bob Carr (123) and Tom Dowson (67) putting on 155 for the first wicket. Mike Layfield added 66 and a final push from Gary Pratt (12) and Shafiq (20 from 14) took the score on to 312 for 3.

Few imagined defeat after running up that total but Woodlands set about the run chase with total commitment and a talented batting line up proved equal to the task. New Zealander Brad Schmulian particularly impressing with 106 not out.

Woodlands completed the victory after 36 overs and progress to the last sixteen of the competition.

In other games the 2nds had a six wicket win against Marton 2nds. They bowled out Marton for 100, with Dale Marshall taking five for 48  but made a poor start in reply being two for one. Jamie Stead,ever reliable made 38, Joe Shields 23 and captain Brad Elsworth 20 to reach 104 for 4 in 20 overs. 20 points keeping the third in the league.

The 4th team also had a good win defeating Wolvisiton 2nds  by 7 wickets. Put into bat Wolviston made 129 for 8, with Gareth Wood topping the bowling figures with three for 31 and Micahael Platt and Alex Percival both taking two.

Alex then starred with the bat scoring 65 in a partnership with Finlay Clarke (41) which put them well on the road to victory which was finally completed at 130 for 3 after 23.5 overs.

The 5th team lost at Spennymoor by 41 runs, put in Spennymoor made 149 with Joe White taking three for 23 and Vittal Raj (playing his first game of the season) four for 11.

Unfortunately, the Richmondshire batting wasn’t up to the task. It was again Vittal Raj who made the main contribution with 24.

On Sunday the 3rds visited Saltburn and came away with 20 points from an eight-wicket win. Put into bat Saltburn were restricted to 148 for 5 with Jake Percival taking two for 15.

In the reply it was the batsmen in form Jamie Stead (39) and Alex Percival (75) who contributed most of the runs in the reply of 149 for 2 in 27.5 overs.