York Vs Harrogate – Match Report

York kept up the pressure on their championship rivals and at the same time dealt a blow to Harrogate’s chances of retaining the title with a comprehensive victory over the reigning champions at Shipton Road. Tom Friend captured his first ever five wicket haul for the home side as they brushed aside the challenge from a side which had beaten them in each of the last three League meetings.
It was somewhat surprising given the amount of rain which had fallen over the previous few days leaving the outfield heavy, and thick cloud cover overhead that George Ross chose to bat first, and the visiting skipper had plenty of time to contemplate that decision after he was trapped lbw, in the first over, playing back to a ball from Tom Friend. Fellow opener Josh Atkinson and Jonathan Tattersall were each given a reprieve when Friend, unplayable at times in his opening spell, had both dropped in the slips. Atkinson’s good fortune did not last as shortly after he played down the wrong line and was bowled by Friend for 16. Oliver Leedham took over bowling from the City end and the move paid off almost immediately as he picked up the wicket of Jonathan Tattersall in his second over, wicket-keeper Tom Brooks diving across in front of first slip to take the catch as the batsman slashed at a wide delivery. His departure for 27 with the score on 61 signalled the start of a frenetic half hour in which a further five wickets would fall as the visitors middle order capitulated adding only 22 to the total. Daniel Woods struck in consecutive overs removing first Harry Stothard who was trapped on the crease and given out lbw, and then David Foster who fell to a catch taken down around his ankles at second slip by Alex Collins. Friend returned and took wickets in the second and third overs of his spell. Will Topham swung across the line but missed the ball and was rapped on the pad giving the umpire an easy lbw decision and two balls later Eitan Litvin shouldered arms to a delivery which knocked out his off stump. Tom Geeson-Brown, often a thorn in York’s side with both bat and ball failed on this occasion playing over the top of the ball which bowled him as Friend picked up three wickets for three runs in the space of six deliveries. Throughout that chaotic period of eight overs Australian Kallen Bond, who came in at the fall of Atkinson’s wicket faced just nine deliveries, and it was he and Nick Taylor who ensured their side would at least reach three figures taking the score on from 83-8 to 103-9, a stand of 20 from nine overs either side of the drinks break giving the scoreboard a slightly more respectable look. The pair saw off the remainder of Friend’s spell as he finished with figures of 5-45 from the maximum permissible 13 overs. Woods was in the final over of his allocation when the ninth wicket came, Bond having made 31, pushing forward to a delivery which took the outside edge and was caught low down by Friend at slip, as the host’s skipper ended up with 3-28. Tom Spearman closed out the innings by bowling Taylor with the total on 112, a first Premier League wicket for the young leg-spinner.
Tom Geeson-Brown picked up an early wicket when Tom Friend pushed forward to a ball which took the outside edge presenting Eitan Litvin with a straight forward catch behind the stumps. The score at that stage was 13-1 from 4.1 overs but with conditions having improved steadily throughout the afternoon batting became easier and the visitors were unable to make any further inroads. Matthew Waite, still recovering from an ankle injury and playing only as a batsman formed a formidable partnership with Duncan Snell who continues to make the most of an extended spell of excellent form. Waite was soon into his stride with three of his first five scoring shots reaching the boundary, but it was Snell who signalled real intent lofting a delivery from off spinner Ross on to the roof of the pavilion. That was the first of three sixes, the other two coming off David Foster, and Waite got in on the act striking Bond back over his head for a maximum as the home side raced towards their target scoring at a rate in excess of a run a ball. Waite, whose innings included six fours finished with 47 from 48 balls, whilst Snell faced 55 and struck the winning boundary go pass 50 for the fourth consecutive innings in the competition.