York Vs YCA – Match Report

York’s victory over Yorkshire Academy at Clifton Park coupled with Sheriff Hutton’s defeat to Woodhouse Grange means the defending champions have a 13 point advantage at the top as the Hunters ECB Yorkshire Premier League North season reaches the half-way point. A 72 runs partnership between Jack Leaning and Charlie Elliot was the key to the hosts reaching 222-8 on a challenging wicket, but the visitors looked on course for victory until a late order collapse saw them fall 55 runs short.
Six weeks since his last appearance for York Jack Leaning could only look on as he lost opening partner Duncan Snell and Nick James in the space of six balls at the end of the fifth over, both batsmen miss timing shots against the short pitched ball. Snell was caught at square leg off Edward Barnes and he was the catcher at mid on when Matthew Taylor dismissed James with the total on 17. Leaning was joined by Finlay Bean and the pair did well to take the momentum away from the bowling side, a stand of 46 from 18 overs somewhat quelling the mood of the fielding side who had to contend with sweltering conditions. A change of tack from the visitors saw the introduction of spin and it brought about the desired effect when Bean, having played patiently for more than an hour for 15, drove a ball from Joshua Sullivan into the hands of Barnes at mid-off. Charlie Elliot adopted a positive approach from the outset and it almost proved his downfall but having been dropped at point on seven he proceeded to punish anything off line. He caught and passed Leaning in a partnership worth 72 from 15 overs, and was a boundary away from a half-century when trapped lbw attempting to sweep Sullivan. Debutant Harrison Quarmby picked up the wicket of Tom Spearman who was caught behind as York lost two wickets in the space of seven balls to leave them 142-5 going into the final 10 overs. Leaning went to his second half-century of 2018 for the home side with just his fourth four, but it was the time spent at the wicket that was the more important factor on a pitch that lacked pace and made fluency difficult. The score was boosted by a stand of 53 in seven overs with Tom Brooks, and it was only ended when Matthew Taylor returned in the closing overs and bowled Leaning for 68. Brooks made 40 off 33 balls before losing his middle stump attempting an audacious reverse lap off Edward Barnes, and Taylor picked up his third wicket of the afternoon when Jonathan Moxon was caught of the final ball of the innings with the total on 222.
The visitors’ innings followed a similar pattern to that of the home side opener James Wharton reprising Leaning’s anchor role as wickets fell at the other end. The first of two catches by ‘keeper Tom Brooks gave Jonathan Moxon the wicket of opener Matthew Revis, then Guy Darwin struck twice removing Bilal Anjum caught at slip by Leaning for 5 and the Academy’s leading run scorer Tom Loten caught low down at mid-wicket by Moxon for 12 with the total on 58. Only a single had been added when Alex Rose had Billy Whitford caught behind, but that brought skipper Benjamin Birkhead to the wicket and it was he and Warton who provided the greatest threat to the hosts four match unbeaten run. The pair took the attack to the bowlers scoring 82 off 78 balls to swing the match in their favour. Wharton had reached 50 and the target had been reduced to 82 off 16 overs with six wickets in hand when Moxon was re-introduced to the attack and trapped Birkhead lbw for a run a ball 46, the tall seamer took a good catch low down in his follow through to dismiss Edward Barnes but more crucially it was his throw to Leaning to run out Wharton for 66 with the total on 160 that effectively ended the visitors hopes. Daniel Woods picked up two wickets in the 42nd over before Darwin returned to pick up the last with Academy on 167 having lost their last five wickets for nine runs.