Londesborough Park’s 2014 season in the York & District Senior Cricket League started with the proverbial damp squib as both the first and second XI fixtures against Hornsea and Stillington respectively fell victim to pre-match rain on the last weekend of April.
However last weekend’s more conducive weather conditions saw the Britcom sponsored first XI in action at the wonderful surroundings of Acomb.
Acomb 2nd XI 178-9 (C Rook 79, S Dawson 45; A Topham 3-19, J Byford 3-28)
Londesborough Park 1st XI 208-5 (A Topham 53, A Burton 46, M Williamson 31*)
Debutant skipper Darren Moody’s season started early when he received a 4am call off, resulting in youngster Harry Gamble being elevated to the first XI for his debut behind the stumps.
The sunshone brightly as the skipper won the toss and decided to insert the opposition on a hard and used surface. Keeper Gamble’s safe hands produced the first wicket of the season for Moody, dismissing Hemingway for 13. Opener Darley progressed to 20 before first change bowler, the evergreen and ever fit Rich Foster, took a return catch to send him back to the hutch. A dominant partnership between Topham and Burton, aided by five dropped catches, took the score to 132 before Greg Drewery held the catch to end Burton’s innings of 46, giving Foster his second wicket. Topham posted a half century before Tom Medley’s catch gave Nathan Saltmer his first victim of the season.
Grant and Burton continued the scoring for Acomb until debutant Ryan Curtis held on off Drewery’s bowling to dismiss Grant for 16.
Curtis bowled well on debut and Saltmer kept the scoring down at the death but a generous extras tally helped Acomb close on 208-5
The Park’s innings didn’t really get off to a flier as disciplined line and length bowling led to Greg Drewery missing a straight one and departing early for six. Fellow opener Ben Lewis scored well off the bad balls but suffered the same fate having accumulated 17. Nathan Saltmer (12) lost his middle stump and Tom Medley was caught for three, leaving the Park’s response precariouslyhanging at 45-4.
However, a patient and solid partnership of 91 between Steve Dawson and the limping Charlie Rook improved the scoreboard before Dawson departed for 45 from just 62 balls, swiftly followed by Michael Drewery. Harry Gamble accompanied Rook to 168 but fell victim to a run out and, when Charlie’s fine innings, which proved he is back to his best with foursixes, was curtailed on 79, the Park needed to hang on for a draw.
Despite the loss of the skipper, Curtis and Foster held firm in the final over as the innings closed on 178-9.
A little more application could have resulted in victory which will be the aim this weekend when Thorpe Arch & Boston Spa visit the Park.
The first match ball of the season was kindly sponsored by the Bengal Brasserie.
Londesborough Park 2nd XI 177-8 (E Smith 56, J Beevers 48, N Stephenson 25; G MacFall 5-24)
York 4th XI 88-9 (C Brooke 3-12)
Londesborough Park’s second XI, sponsored by The Red Lion, got its season up and running, hosting York’s fourth string.
The year may have changed but the skipper’s inability to win the toss remains constant as the Park was invited to bat on a new track.
Openers Neil Stephenson and Ben Shingles built a solid foundation, seeing off the new ball, until the former was bowled just prior to the drinks break for 25. With wickets in hand, the hosts looked to increase the scoring rate and, following the departure of Shingles and Sam Dodd, Ed Smith joined James Beevers to put on 82 for the fourth wicket. Smith was eventually bowled for a run a ball 56.
A target of 200 looked achievable but a good spell of bowling from Graham MacFall put the brakes on. Beevers fell two short of a deserved half-century and the Park lost cheap wickets at the death but posted a competitive score of 177.
The York reply started with a bang as opener Kevin Mendham played the only way he knows and looked to attack from the off. However, Joe Shingles proved too good, bowling him with an inswinging delivery for 21. Beevers removed number three Swaddle thanks to a good catch by Ciaran Brooke who then got himself in on the act by taking the wicket of Ahmed. The visitors lacked strength in depth and when skipper Tom Williamson removed opener Jones for 21 the scoreboard showed 66-4 and the Park sensed victory.
Ciaran then took two wickets in consecutive balls and narrowly missed the outside edge for a hat trick, leaving York with a uphill task on 70-6 with 20 overs remaining.
Those overs will not go down in history as the most entertaining passage of cricket as the visitors only managed to muster another 18 runs.
Wickets were taken by new recruit Rhys Duerden and 14 year-old Jake Hemsworth whose first ball in senior cricket bowled York’s number 11 However the visiting skipper Tony Hall returned to the crease after previously retiring hurt and batted out the last nine overs with Matthew Scurry to earn a draw.
A satisfying start to the season with Ed Smith earning the man of the match fish supper courtesy of Harpers. The match ball was generously sponsored by MW Windows.