York CC Vs Clifton Alliance CC – NKO Round 3
At Clifton Park, June 9. Clifton Alliance won by seven wickets. York played host to Yorkshire League North opponents for the third time in this season’s competition but were unable to repeat the level of performance that had seen off both Dunnington and Castleford in previous rounds, instead they were beaten in convincing fashion by their local rivals whose overseas player Matthew Montgomery produced a match-winning half-century on a day when several batsmen failed to go on after getting themselves in. David Friend and Samuel Grant kept York’s openers tied down. Accurate bowling focused on one side of the wicket allowed for a packed offside field, with a single fielder on the leg side at times there were just eight scoring shots in the opening ten overs, a period which also saw the crucial wicket of Duncan Snell fall, the opener stumped as he overstretched in defence to a ball from Friend. James Billington was beginning to show signs of his recent upturn in form but was bowled as he tried to clip Friend through the leg side for what would have been a third four in the over, and when Oliver Batchelor played down the wrong line to the next ball bowled by spinner Thomas Brown the home side were 51-3. Nick James and Matthew Bell’s fourth wicket partnership of 38 was the highest in a fractured innings punctuated by wickets at regular intervals, James was visibly annoyed with himself when a leading edge dropped into the hands of extra cover, and Tom Spearman was another caught on the edge of the inner circle having battled for 16 balls for a single. A disjointed batting performance was encapsulated when Bell was run out by a throw from third man coming back for what was always going to be an unlikely second as the home side scrambled to reach a competitive total. The final eight overs produced 51 runs and against a side which had struggled for runs since the start of the season a target of 172 should have represented an uncomfortable challenge. Guy Darwin found the edge of David Taylor’s bat with a lifting delivery in the fourth over but Greg Drewery and South African Montgomery were quick to seize on a number of wayward deliveries and the target was reduced to around 3.5 runs per over by Nick James ran in from deep square leg to catch Drewery of the bowling of Snell. The York captain was the most effective of a bowling attack going for less than three runs an over on a day when, with the exception of youngster Jack Charters, the rest all conceded a run a ball or worse. Montgomery added 75 for the third wicket with Andrew Simpson, and in doing so reached 50 off 74 balls, he remained unbeaten at the end on 67 alongside Samuel Grant who brought a swift end to proceedings striking four consecutive boundaries in an over then a six in the next as the visitors reached their target with more than six overs to spare.