Rain was again a big influence on Saturday’s league games.
Richmondshire playing at home to Darlington were delayed until 3pm to get their match underway.
As a result the game was reduced from fifty to thirty seven overs a side. Richmondshire were without opening bowler Josh Dowson who had decided to visit Madrid for some reason.
It was spinners Gary Pratt and Steve Reeves who made life tough for the Darlington batsmen, once again proving economical to restrict Darlington to 152 for 6.
Gary Pratt, bowling more regularly than usual in the absence of injured Craig Marshall, took 3-24 from 7 overs and finds himself leading wicket-taker in the Division, his 21 wickets coming at the remarkable average of 6.57.
In their innings none of the Richmondshire batsmen passed 30, but all contributed in a 5-wicket win secured with 20 balls to spare, ensuring the National Champions now head the NYSD table.
The other two league leaders were facing each other at Marton and it considerably aided Richmondshire’s cause that the game ended in a tie. In a game reduced to thirty five a side Barnard Castle made 166 for 7.
Marton arrived at the last over needing just five to win, but needing two to win from the last bowl the Marton batsmen was run out going for a second leg bye.
This meant Marton took thirteen points and Barnard Castle twelve, leaving Richmondshire top by just one point from Marton, with Barney another ten points back.
The 2nds had a tough day at Darlington, coming up against the evergreen Jonathan Barnes in top bowling form. He took 7 for 13 as Richmondshire slumped to seventy six all out. Darlington knocked these off in just fourteen overs.
The 4ths also had their game shortened to thirty overs but it was long enough for Clive Layfield to score yet another century. With Andy Dade scoring sixty, Richmondshire made 203 for 1. Barton could only manage 134 all out.
The 5ths were forced to concede their game against Cockerton due to lack of players.
On Sunday the 3rds had a closely contested game against local rivals Barnard Castle. Opting to bat first the openers Tom Ward and Clive Layfield put on 102 for the first wicket. The innings ended at 191 for 7, in reply Barnard Castle just manged to hang on for a draw at 145 for 9. Richmondshire’s fourteen points keeps the second in the table, eleven behind Thornaby.