Final wicket evades Whitby 1sts in close finale

Whitby 1sts take on Richmondshire 1nds on Saturday'picture: Alan Wastell

Whitby 1sts take on Richmondshire 1nds on Saturday'picture: Alan Wastell

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Whitby Cricket Club 1st XI piled on the runs against their promotion rivals, Thornaby, at the Turnbull Ground on Saturday but just failed to take maximum points from the encounter.

Batting first, Whitby notched up a massive total of 303/7 in their 50 overs.

In reply, Thornaby were 227/9, managing to avoid defeat by the skin of their teeth.

Matt Towey returned to the openers’ position with Theo Clarke and the two of them put on 54 for the first wicket against good Thornaby bowling. Towey then fell for 28.

This was quickly followed by two further wickets, leaving the home side on 74-3.

However, an excellent century partnership then struck up between Arron Leeman and Richard Howe, taking the score to 181 when Leeman was out for a good, hard-hitting 41.

Howe continued to plunder runs from the hapless Thornaby bowlers who had no answer as sixes galore were despatched towards the football ground stand.

Paul Buck hit a quick 37.

Andrew Marshall continued the attack with his 29 but all the time, Howe was scoring freely at the other end.

A sizeable crowd were richly entertained by the Whitby men, in particular by the Australian as he passed three figures to finish on 115.

It was a superb innings played by a batsman in peak form and admired by all.

Whitby’s final total was an impressive 303/7.

The Thornaby batsmen also showed they could help themselves to runs on this excellent pitch as balls flew to the boundary over the fast outfield.

However, Whitby’s bowlers, if not quite on top form showed enough variety and resilience to whittle away at the Thornaby innings.

Wickets soon fell, including one run out thanks to an excellent throw from Howe.

James Hall came on with his brand of off-spin and took three wickets.

Matt Towey was able to swing the ball prodigiously, causing problems for the visiting batsmen and taking two wickets, raising Whitby’s hopes of victory.

However, the Thornaby tail batted well, showing stout resistance.

Despite aggressive, attacking bowling from Howe, Whitby were unable to make the final breakthrough and the visitors escaped with a draw.

On a beautiful day on Redcar seafront, Whitby 2nds came away with 25 valuable points which moved them into third place in the North Yorkshire and South Durham League second division table.

After losing the toss and being asked to bat, Whitby were in early trouble as Ellwood took three early wickets to leave the visitors 29/3 with both Morris brothers and Steyert all back in the pavilion early.

This brought the in-form skipper Andrew Wood to the crease to join the determined Joe Crowther as the pair tried to repair the early damage.

Scoring was tough on a dusty, turning pitch which caused problems for both batsmen. Crowther played well for his 28 before losing patience and returning a catch to the accurate Corps.

Wood continued on his way and brought up a well-made half-century with a six over long on.

Wickets continued to tumble around him as it was hard to get in on a difficult pitch and Whitby slumped to 127/7.

But in Andrew Menzies, Wood found the perfect partner to stick around with, which enabled the latter to move the score on.

As Wood moved into the 90s, he lost Menzies and with only the last man left, the skipper went for one too many big shots and was last man out for 91 in a total of 176 all out.

Redcar started positively in the reply and with some wayward bowling and poor fielding, they raced to 103/ 3 off just 15 overs and only required another 74 for victory.

Wood turned to spinner Jackson and veteran Crowther who began to swing the game back Whitby’s way.

The Redcar middle order had no answer to Crowther’s (5-39) accuracy and Jackson’s (4-28) spin as wickets tumbled regularly.

At 123/9 the home side had lost six wickets for 20 runs and Whitby sensed victory.

Despite some late hitting from the Redcar number 11, Whitby wrapped up victory by 29 runs to claim 25 valuable points.

Wood said: “This was a great performance on a very difficult pitch. Joe Crowther batted extremely well as wickets fell around him and Steve Crowther and Mark Jackson bowled accurately and took some vital wickets at vital times.”

Whitby entertain Yarm 1sts tomorrow at home in the hope of continuing their recent excellent run.

Whitby Co-operative man of the match: Andrew Wood – a patient and important knock in difficult conditions.

Whitby 3rds and Marske shared the spoils on Sunday in the NYSD Sunday League’s second division.

Whitby batted first and amassed an impressive 247/9 with Ryan Braithwaite scoring 80 and skipper Rikki Lawrence 52 in an overall run-rate of more than six an over.

While Marske never came close to match that rate of scoring, they crucially avoided losing all their wickets, finishing on 178/9. Kieran Purvis took three wickets for Whitby, while Braithwaite, Lawrence and Mark McCarthy all took two. Marske had Jack English to thank for a knock of 77.

Whitby under 17s fell to a 51-run defeat at the hands of Saltburn on Friday night. Responding to 141/6, Whitby mustered 90/6 from their 20 overs with Liam Calvert unbeaten on 29.