Whitby 1sts still in title hunt

Whitby CC 1sts captain Paul Buck
Whitby CC 1sts captain Paul Buck

Whitby CC 1sts take on Guisborough today (Saturday), knowing that a win could still see them crowned league champions.

The odds are firmly stacked against Paul Buck’s side after they were beaten by North Yorkshire and South Durham Division One title rivals Billingham Synthonia last weekend.

The eight-wicket defeat saw Synthonia leapfrog Whitby into first place in the league standings, and they now boast a 14-point lead at the top, with just one game left to play.

Skipper Buck is realistic about his side’s chances of finishing in pole position following the loss, but says that his players are not giving up on their title dream.

“Billingham are in a great position now and you would have to fancy them to finish top, but we are still hopeful,” he told the Whitby Gazette.

“You never know in sport, Great Ayton might do us a favour and beat Synthonia on Saturday, or the weather might play a part.

“We’ve just got to do our job and try and get maximum points from our game with Guisborough, finish the season on a high and see what happens.”

Buck believes that should Whitby miss out on the title, his young side will bounce back quickly.

“We’ve got a lot of young lads in the team and whatever happens, I’m sure they’ll learn from this experience and come back stronger next year,” he added.

“Everyone was obviously gutted after the defeat at Billingham but it was more the older guys like myself who seemed to feel it the worst.”

Whitby can finish no lower than second place, a position that would have secured them promotion in previous years, but due to a re-shuffle of the leagues, only one team will go up to the Premier Division for 2016.

“Any other year, we would have already done enough to earn promotion, which is disappointing,” Buck continued.

“We’ve had a great year, and it’s a bit of a shame that a season’s hard work all came down to one match.”

Whitby CC 1sts v Guisborough gets underway at 12.30pm at the Turnbull Ground.