In previous seasons Richmondshire have often suffered from their location in the wetter west of the NYSD league area but on Saturday the weather gods did them a favour.
They were fortunate not to be playing at home, where both the 2nds and 4ths games were called off without a ball bowled and that Billingham was in the drier part of Teesside.
The start was delayed reducing the game to thirty three overs per side and batting first Billingham Synthonia struggled to 72 for 9, with Gary Pratt leading the bowling figures with 3 for 17.
It then took Richmondshire only 15 overs to complete a seven wicket win, Matty Price again top scoring with 31 not out.
The 20 points gained jumped Richmondshire up the table, leaders Middlesbrough been rained off with no play and the Marton Saltburn game rained off with Saltburn on 97 for 9.
Monday saw the traditional bank holiday derby game at Barnard Castle, this year given some extra spice by the presence of Richmondshire old boys James Clarkson and Rob West in the Barney side.
An early hamstring injury to Matty Platt saw Andy Kelly, along to support son James, take the field in Matty’s borrowed whites as substitute fielder.
Electing to bat first Barnard Castle threatened to set a formidable target with Karl Carver showing the strokes that had made him an England Under 19 and Yorkshire player.
He was looking well set when an attempted big hit offered Rob Carr a catch off Steve Reeves bowling. Partner James Quinn went on to score 68 in a final total of 182 all out, the final wicket coming in the last over.
Josh Dowson (3 for 54) and Steve Reeves (4 for 47) lead the bowling figures. With keeper Tom Dowson having two catches and a stumping to his name.
The Richmondshire innings started confidently with Tom Dowson (19) and Rob Carr (40) putting on 62 for the first wicket.
With Matty Price unable to bat except in emergency there was some concern as Richmondshire slipped to 123 for 4.
This proved unnecessary as Sam Wood gaining in confidence after a sticky few overs went on to score 51 not out and in partnership with Matty Cowling (30 not out) went on to complete the 20 point win with five overs to spare.
The other leading teams fared better with weather, with Middlesbrough and Marton both having 25 point wins. This leaves Richmondshire 12 points behind leaders Middlesbrough with three games remaining.
In Saturday’s other game the 5ths suffered a rare defeat at league leaders Spennymoor in a game reduced to 25 overs. Spennymoor set a target of 116 for 5 which was well beyond Richmondshire who ended on 75 for 6.
In the Sunday premiership Richmondshire 3rds held out for a draw at Saltburn 3rds. Put into bat Saltbutn made 164 for 7 and thanks to a stubborn innings of 20 not from Andy Dade Richmondshire saw out the overs at 126 for 5.
Unusually there was a full program for all teams on Monday. The 2nd team’s struggles continued when they played Darlington RA 1sts at home. Despite an excellent 6 for 30 from Harvey Websdale RA were able to put on 221 for 9.
In reply Richmondshire made 145 with Joe Shields top scoring on thirty four.
The 4ths travelled to Billingham Synthonia 2nds and choosing to bat first set a target of 147 with Marcus Griffith (53) and Clive Layfield (34) leading the way.
Frustratingly Billingham showed no ambition to go for a win and they were content to bat out the overs.
Despite 3 for 14 from Michael Platt and 3 for 5 from Julius Glasgow they couldn’t get the last three wickets as Billingham finished forty overs on 51 for 7.
The 5ths defeated Middleton St George 2nds, the highlight being the remarkable bowling figures of Tyler Spence who took 6 wickets for just 2 runs as Middleton slumped to 61 all out. Richmondshire taking just 14 overs to win with 62 for 4.