York CC Vs Sheriff Hutton Bridge CC – Match Report

The new season dawned belatedly under leaden skies and despite an assured half-century from first team debutant Alex Liley reigning Yorkshire League Champions Sheriff Hutton Bridge recorded their third consecutive victory in the league at Clifton Park, but this was the closest of them with a three wicket win coming with just three balls to spare.

Before play got underway players and officials from both sides gathered on the square to honour the memory of York cricket club captain Daniel Woods with a minutes silence, notable absentees from the scene were the trio of Simon Lambert, Ben Robinson and James Billington who all failed to return from a winter in Australia before travel sanctions were imposed. That led to the decision to move Guy Darwin up to open alongside skipper Duncan Snell and meant Alex Liley, who has progressed through the junior ranks at Clifton Park, joined new signing Harry Adair in making their debuts. Snell’s decision to bat first meant the visitors, who suffered several high-profile departures over the winter, had to contend with a wet ball throughout the innings as light showers became a feature of the early afternoon. Darwin lost both opening partner Snell and newcomer Adair inside the first 14 overs but a solid defence and a degree of patience was rewarded with a half-century off 74 balls including seven fours which was arrived at  just after the mid-point of the home sides 40 over innings. A third wicket partnership of 46 alongside Nick James was the most productive of the innings, and it was the departure of James for 24 that brought Liley to the crease. The debutant had scored 16 and the total had reached 127 when Tommy Hudson took a fine over the shoulder running catch at backward point to dismiss Darwin (59) and give ‘Bridge’s new signing Matthew Bird the second of what would quickly become three wickets as the hosts lost three wickets in the space of four overs just as they should have been looking to accelerate. Jonathan Moxon struck some much needed boundaries either side of a rain break which saw tea taken and coupled with the intent from Liley, whose game looked well suited to the demands of the situation, 38 were added to the total in the space of four overs. Liley was dismissed for 52 off the first ball of the final over, an innings of 48 balls including four fours ended by a full delivery from Freddie Collins who struck again with the final ball of the innings to claim figures of 4-34 as the home side closed on 195-9.

York began well in the field Oliver Leedham rewarded for a tight new ball spell with the early wicket of Louis Foxton and when a slip from Adam Fisher left Arthur Campion stranded mid-pitch resulting in a run out the visitors found themselves 26-2 after 10 overs. The next 18 overs however belonged to the batting visiting skipper Fisher and Tommy Hudson taking full advantage as the change bowlers offered scoring opportunities on both sides of the wicket. The total moved on to 113 from 25 overs, with Hudson having passed 50 (off 52 balls) and his partner seemingly destined to do likewise, before Tom Forsdike was introduced to the attack. Holder of the club competition best 7-28, the spinners impact was almost immediate. Two wickets in his second overs removed the dual threat of both Fisher brothers, Adam miscued a sweep to short square leg four runs short of a half-century and younger brother Mark was caught and bowled without scoring. Fellow spinner Clarke Doughney had Freddie Collins caught in the deep and with six wickets down and a required rate exceeding a run a ball the hosts looked to be in the ascendency. Hudson continued to take the attack to the bowlers and in Toby Latham found a willing ally, the seventh wicket pair added 46 in only 36 balls but with victory in sight there was late drama when Leedham trapped Hudson lbw for 90 with seven still needed from nine balls, but Latham with just two previous 1st team appearances back in 2017 held his nerve to pick off the winning runs.