Staithes’ pursuit of a first Beckett League Premier Division title since 2010 will go right down to the wire, with three sides still in contention to finish in top spot heading into the final weekend of the season.
Ian Dixon’s side, who lead Staxton by a single point, will host their closest rivals on Saturday, but third-placed Cayton, who are only three points behind Staithes, will be confident of spoiling the party for both sides above them when they take on already-relegated Flixton 2nds.
Club secretary Mark Allen says that the Staithes players are excited about tomorrow’s crucial showdown with their title rivals.
“It’s thrilling to go into the last game of the season with a chance of winning the league, we’re all really looking forward to it,” he said.
“Winning the title would cap what has been a really good season for us.
“We should be at full-strength for Staxton’s visit and we’ll be looking to Stuart Marsay, Rich Hegarty and Simon Bowes to continue their excellent form with the bat and hoping that Stuart Theaker can add to his 40-plus league wickets on the day.”
Staxton looked to be firmly in the driving seat before the penultimate round of fixtures, but they were beaten by Ebberston, while Staithes triumphed at Heslerton and Cayton beat Scalby to set up a thrilling finale.
Beckett League secretary Simon Dobson has been left delighted by such a fiercely competitive end to the season.
“With so much to play for on this last weekend, this scenario is a fantastic advert for the league,” he said.
“Staithes and Staxton were both expected to challenge this summer and facing each other with the title at stake is a superb way to finish of the league programme. “The added pressure of the bonus points system gives all the teams the chance to achieve glory and all clubs are fully aware if they are tied on points, the league has rulings to determine the championship.
“All three sides have played some outstanding cricket and I suspect it will be who gets it right on the day.”