WHITBY Cricket Club 2nds reignited their promotion hopes with a tense one-wicket win over current division three leaders Barnard Castle on Saturday at the Turnbull Ground.
Electing to field first, the home side looked like they would be chasing a huge total with 80 on the board within the first 10 overs, mainly due to a savage 50 from 24 balls from hard-hitting opener Parkinson.
Young paceman Tom Steyert took the brunt of the early punishment, but gained a modicum of revenge by trapping the dangerman in front for 54.
Fellow opener Dixon made a more cultured 50 and keeper Murray a chancy 35, but other than that, the medium pace of James Fawcett (3-52) and Andrew Menzies kept the middle order in check, taking useful wickets and pegging back the run-rate.
And when skipper Ricky Hall (3-14) and the returning Steyert (3-57) then spun and blasted out the lower order, the visitors were back in the pavilion for 197 after only 38 overs, giving Whitby 62 overs to chase the total down.
The home side lost Fawcett with the score on 29, but Kai Morris - one of a batch of promising teenagers at the club - showed great determination and concentration, to play the anchor role while another of the young guns, Luke Harrison (35 with eight fours), Andrew Marshall and Mike Brown took the attack to the opposition.
Unfortunately the home side suffered a mid-innings wobble as four wickets fell for 24, but some lovely flowing strokeplay from the left-handed Steyert, ably supported by his skipper, wrested the initiative back, as the eighth wicket pair added 50.
Then in another twist, Steyert (38 with a six and three fours) and Russell fell in quick succession, leaving 24 runs to win with only one wicket intact.
However, last man Menzies, another youngster, showed no sign of nerves and gave brilliant support to Hall, who played a superb captain’s innings of 30 not out - and it was only fitting he took Whitby across the winning line with a blistering square cut for four.
The 2nds will be hoping to take this momentum into Saturday’s game, which is another vital one away to second placed Thornaby 2nds.
Main club sponsor: Passage to India