A loss of early wickets has been an unfortunate feature of recent games for Richmondshire’s first team.
Fortunately, the damage has previously been limited due to strong recoveries, but sadly in Saturday’s game against Marton the recovery didn’t come.
Having won the toss and electing to bat, Richmondshire went for their typical fast start with Tom Dowson hitting a rapid 48 in 35 balls.
Unfortunately five wickets were falling at the other end as Richmondshire fell to 68 for five and then 78 for seven.
Gary Pratt, so often the architect of the recoveries, fell leg before for one and it was left to Ajay Mandal to put some respectability on the score with 38 as the Richmondshire innings closed on 127 after just 32.2 overs.
With a depleted bowling attack with Josh Dowson and Owen Kelly still out injured it was always going to be a tall order to bowl Marton out.
Richmondshire made a good start to have Marton 14 for two but with little time pressure Marton were able to build their innings slowly.
Despite three for 25 from Ajay Mandal, Marton completed the victory in 42.2 overs with Liam Coates 50 not out.
Richmondshire took only two batting and two bowling points from the game while Marton’s 20 brings them to within eight points of Richmondshire.
For the second week running Barnard Castle ended with nine wickets down, this time chasing a possible victory against Marske but ending four run short.
They did take 12 points so close up to within two points of Richmondshire.
League leaders Hartlepool also ended nine down to narrowly avoid defeat at Saltburn, also taking 12 points there lead over Richmondshire extended to 17 points.
On Thursday evening Hartlepool had been forced to concede a Collingwood 100 quarter final due a Covid issue.
This puts Richmondshire through to a semi-final against Seaton Carew, with Thornaby facing Stokesley in the other semi.
The 2nds played Wolviston 1sts who won the toss and opted to bat and put on 258 for eight declared.
Despite having first team regulars Mike Layfield (57) and Matty Price (59) dropping down in search of some crease time they could only make 171 with no other batsmen reaching double figures.
The 4th team took 25 points at Maltby 2nds 157 for seven with Andy Dade top scoring with 39. In reply Maltby were bowled out for 117 after 38.3 overs.
Mark Walker taking four for 32 and Adam Heseltine three for 23. With Stockton having a 20 point win they close to within 13 points. The 5ths game was conceded by Barton.
On Sunday the 3rds had a much needed 25 point win against Hartlepool 3rds.
Batting first they made 171 for eight with Alex Percival (43), Clive Layfield (35) and Jonny Baines (33).
A strong bowling performance with the wickets shared between five bowlers dismissed Hartlepool for 84.
Despite the 25 points they stay bottom of the table and will need some similar performances to avoid relegation.