In a rain-affected draw at Great Ayton on Saturday, Whitby Cricket Club 1st XI came close to forcing a victory after a fighting performance saw them struggle back from the brink of defeat.
An outstanding innings of 67 from skipper, Paul Buck, and yet another convincing bowling spell from youngster, Will Donald, who took 4-17, saw Whitby emerge from the contest the stronger of the two sides.
Great Ayton called upon the services of young fast bowler, Joe Marsay, who normally performs well for their Premier League side.
He showed his class by dismissing seven of the Whitby batsmen in two devastating spells of hostile quick bowling, mixing yorkers with lifting deliveries and ending with figures of 8-50.
His aggression was met by fierce resistance from Whitby’s batsmen, a number of whom applied themselves admirably to the task – Matt Towey (15), Ron Lyth (28) and Kai Morris (10).
However, the visitors found themselves staring into the abyss on 84/8.
At this point, Paul Buck came together with experienced campaigner, Steve Allen, in a vital 36-run partnership. All was not yet over when Allen fell stumped as young Jack Lyth was able to hold his end up in a further partnership of 39 runs that were to prove so important.
Whitby captain Buck mixed fine attacking shots (four fourss and four sixes) with determined defence as he farmed the bowling successfully, much to Ayton’s dismay.
Whitby’s innings only came to an end when Buck hit out in vain in the last over, leaving Ayton 160 to win.
The result of a rainstorm was that the home side lacked enough overs to do the job confidently. Their feelings of dismay were augmented when Will Donald dismissed four of their top five batsmen.
In addition, a brilliant throw from Jack Lyth brought about a run-out and the fall of the sixth wicket with still five overs remaining.
However, Great Ayton’s batsmen showed no desire to chance their arm at all, blocking the deliveries that remained without giving a chance.
This draw leaves the Whitby side without a win in three league games but still on the fringes of the promotion race in third place.