The first team travelled to Ripon needing to restrict the opposition in their quest to gain last minute ground in the promotion chase.
With a number of regulars away, ill or unavailable we went with an element of hope rather than total confidence.
After a warm up captain George Gibson who had driven down from working in Newcastle to for fill his obligations to the cause won the toss and elected to bowl. Niti and Eshaan were badly held up in Leeds by an anti Brexit protest and therefore missed the first 13 overs of play. Thanks David Cameron!
With only 9 men it was tough going. Fair play to Guy (who had enjoyed half a shandy the night before) for stepping up to the plate and opening up, bowling 12 consecutive overs. Simon Marriott bowled at the other end and despite their best efforts the batsmen had a relatively easy time finding the gaps. Rob Williams bowled well and was very unfortunate not to get a run out off his fingertips which wasn’t given and a very close stumping shout from the skipper.
Once Niti and Eshaan entered the field of play they had to wait until the 26 over to bowl. The ball had gone a bit by now but then the score was 170-0 and we were in trouble. A chance went begging to Gibson senior at shortish square leg which didn’t help. Both openers hit a hundred prior to Eshaan grabbing a wicket courtesy of a sharp stumping by George. Another followed with a decent catch from Rowan, which meant we had a point at least. In the last couple of overs Eshaan again came to the fore with a good throw in to nab a run out prior to Niti taking the final wicket. Two points which was a start. A massive 268 to chase which we had no intent on doing with promoting in mind.
After tea we resumed play. Guy Whatmore and Dale Gibson – who hadn’t batted for TABS since 8th June due to a revised order.
Ripon opening up sharply and giving nothing away. Guy was cleaned up by a good moving ball for 1, a poor start. Gibson dug in and moved the score along slowly with Niti. It proved slow going but both players defended well and ran quickly where needed. A change of bowling brought the next wicket as Niti slightly miss judged the off spinner and was bowled. Enter George to join his Dad at the crease. Sensible batting ensued and with senior fending off a succession of bouncers including off off his head for four the bowlers became frustrated. Significant banter and chirping ensued from the opposition which didn’t bother either batsmen.
Drinks came the scoreboard to ticked over with a couple of well run twos and a couple of sparkling boundaries from senior. Dale the next wicket to go, miss judging a rare slow delivery after he had judged the body line stuff so well. Out for an excellent 41. Enter Eshaan who was told in no uncertain terms to stay in by everyone, and that he did. Both he and George played well before George fished at one outside off to go for a well executed 41. Equal bragging rights with his Dad.
Rowan came in and played well prior to getting a tough LBW decision. Sam Smith needed to play sensible cricket for a couple of overs to see out the draw. Only reaching 124/5 but as points saved against prominent rivals it meant we were going up to division one!
Absolutely tremendous effort from everyone at the club. Thanks to Bo for scoring, Steve for umpiring and Darren Young for helping to pick up the lads from the bus station. To think in 2013 how close we were to being bankrupt and devoid of players and support this meant so much to those involved from those dark days. Several of them playing today had been the core behind that fighting spirit. So many people to thank – managers, parents, players, captains, Secretaries and Treasurers but most of all our hard working Chairman Adam Gough and head grass cutter Andrew Jones, who dashed off to run in the Great North Run!
We had a quick drink prior to either going back to Boston Spa or Newcastle ( some effort again from George)
The last game for the firsts is at home to Malton.
Let’s get the party started!