Stamford Bridge CC – Vs York CC – Match Report

At Low Catton Road, 10 August. York won by 28 runs (DLS method).

Stamford Bridge 0pts, York 10pts. Toss: York.

York battled both their hosts and the elements to emerge with a victory which keeps alive the possibility of retaining the league title going into the closing few weeks of the season. Ben Robinson became an unlikely hero with the ball, his off-spin on show for the first time in the competition securing key wickets as the match ebbed and flowed amidst strong winds and ever darkening skies. The youngster has been quick to establish a place in the side with his batting since moving up from the second team at the end of June, and a growth in confidence was evidenced in an opening partnership with Duncan Snell worth 49. Dominic Rhodes, one of the League’s all-time leading seam bowlers, with a strong wind at his back from the football ground end, made the breakthrough for the hosts when Snell, on 24, was well caught by ‘keeper Kyle Waite diving at shoulder height  in front of first slip in the twelfth over. The in-form James Billington joined Robinson at the crease and the pair had almost doubled the total by the drinks break. Perhaps that short stoppage broke Robinson’s concentration because two balls into the resumption an uncharacteristic slog against spinner James Keast resulted in a simple catch to mid-on, departing for 40 the opener had plenty of time to reflect on the shot as heavy rain descended on the ground causing an hour and a half delay. Play got back under way with the match reduced to 46 over a side and the hosts’ decision to employ an all spin attack proved successful. After a couple of wayward overs at the start former York favourite Ryan McKendry had Chris Booth caught at slip for 10 and followed that up in his next over with a double strike removing Billington lbw one short of a half-century and Charlie Elliot two balls later without scoring. That left the visitors on 139-5 with 11 overs remaining but brought together Nick James and Tom Brooks, after a cautious start which resulted in just five runs from their first three overs the pair accelerated making good use of both the short boundary on the pavilion side and the wide expanses stretching away towards the tennis courts and road on the other. Two sixes from James were amongst the highlights in the closing overs as the pair added 80 to the total before he was run out off the final ball having just posted the second half-century of his Yorkshire League North career, the previous one coming in the corresponding fixture last year. Brooks finished unbeaten on 31 as the visitors closed on 219-6 which was increased to a victory target of 227 by the DLS calculations. The first half of the hosts’ innings followed an almost identical pattern to that of the visitors’ opener Ben Pearson was trapped lbw by Guy Darwin with the score on 46 and the second wicket fell around the half way point with the total at 98. The key for the fielding side was what happened in the immediate aftermath of Zac Kuene’s departure, caught by Billington at point off Nick Kay for 39. Kyle Waite (33) was bowled by a full delivery from Jack Charters before Kay, whose last game at this level was more than two years ago, trapped James Keast lbw, as three wickets in the space of 15 balls reduced the home side from 98-1 to 108-4. Dominic Rhodes and Ryan McKendry got the chase back on track and some powerful blows especially from the former threatened to take the game away with the score ahead of the required rate and the ever present darkening skies threatening further rain. Skipper Snell’s decision to throw the ball to Robinson for the first time proved inspired and the results dramatic. Five balls into his spell Rhodes, having already struck the spinner twice through the same area, picked out Guy Darwin at extra cover. A couple of overs later it looked as though McKendry would clear the boundary for the third time in his innings but Kay had time to settle himself just inside the rope at deep square leg taking the catch above his head to secure the vital wicket. Jonny Rawsthorne served up a few lusty blows, 20 of his 23 runs coming from boundaries, but lacked support from the lower order the visitors able to control the closing stages with Robinson picking up a third wicket and Clarke Doughney a couple including that of Rawsthorne who was last out with the score on 198, York collecting maximum points from their fifth away win of 2019.