York V Harrogate – Black Sheep Semi Final

A stunning display by opening batsman Duncan Snell secured York’s place in the final of the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy with victory over Yorkshire League North title holders Harrogate in a rain curtailed match at Shipton Road. The home side who qualify this year as the existing cup holders received a bye in the first round of the competition open exclusively to the previous year’s champions of the six leading league’s from around the county, will now face either Wakefield Thornes or Pudsey St Lawrence as they bid to retain the trophy.
With rain forecast for later in the afternoon opposing captains Daniel Woods and George Ross agreed to reduce the contest down from 50 to 45 overs a side, and in the end even that proved to be optimistic with barely sufficient time available to fulfil sufficient overs in the second innings to provide a result using the Duckworth/Lewis method. The home side lost their opening wicket just four overs into the contest when Tom Friend who had just hit Jonathan MacGregor for six attempted to repeat the stroke but instead failed to clear the leaping figure of the Eitan Litvin at mid on. A stand of 90 between Duncan Snell and Adam McAuley put the home side in the ascendancy and from that point on they were always in control. Snell had just passed 50 when his partner played back to a ball from Jonathan Tattersall, was struck on the pad and departed lbw for 40, with the total on 110. The spinner picked up a second wicket when Chris Booth, who made a run a ball 25, was deceived having come down the pitch, Edward Wilson completing a straight-forward stumping with the score on 152. Snell brought up his century with a six which clattered into the top of the pavilion, and it signalled the start of a blistering assault by the left hander whose third fifty came off just 17 balls including two fours and a further five sixes. Tom Brooks contributed 35 to a stand of worth 102 from 66 balls before he was bowled by Harry Stothard whose only over cost 26 runs. Snell was eventually caught at backward point by Will Topham for 161 off 122 balls in the penultimate over which had already seen Kyle Brockley run out when George Ross fielded the ball off his own bowling. Jonathan MacGregor picked up the wicket of Charlie Elliot caught at long off to finish with 2 for 57 but then conceded a six off Tom Pringle to push the final score up to 306, the third hundred of which came from the final eight overs.
The aggressive stroke play adopted by the visitors at the start of their reply failed to have the desired effect, costing wickets rather than providing runs. Three fell in the opening five overs including the prize scalp of the renowned big hitting George Ross, and overseas all-rounder Kallen Bond. Nick Taylor, was the first to go, presumably sent up the order in a “pinch-hitting” role he  struck two fours before edging a rising ball from Tom Friend at chest height to Duncan Snell at slip.  Tom Spearman had to wait an age under a high ball at mid on but kept his nerve to hold the catch which returned Ross to the pavilion.  Australian import Kyle Brockley picked up his second wicket that of fellow countryman Kallen Bond courtesy of an excellent catch taken over his shoulder on the run by Adam McAuley at mid-wicket, as the visitors stumbled to 19 for 3. Jonathan Tattersall and Edward Wilson looked to get the innings back on track with a stand of 50 from 32 balls, Wilson striking six boundaries in his 28 before being bowled by a full swinging delivery from Oliver Leedham. The young left arm seamer added the wicket of Tattersall in his next over caught by Elliot for 22 by which stage the score had reached 71 and the match was over as a contest. Tom Friend claimed a second wicket late on when Will Topham was trapped lbw by which stage the weather had begun to close in. When the rain arrived some 20 minutes later Harrogate were behind the asking rate by 114 runs on 96 for 6, and that was how the game ended when the umpires later determined there was no realistic prospect of a resumption in play.