Local rivals Westerdale and Danby contested the Whitby Gazette Challenge Cup at Sleights on Sunday, with Westerdale coming out on top by a margin of only 13 runs.
The Sleights ground looked magnificent thanks to the hard work of John Hutton who had painstakingly prepared a good all-round cricket wicket, good to bat on but with pace and bounce to assist the bowling attacks.
Westerdale opted to bat first but were soon in trouble when Kev Horton removed both openers, Tom Garbutt and Ade Dowson in the space of three balls with only 17 on the board.
James O’Donnell and Stuart Dowson steadied the Westerdale nerves but Horton struck again when the pair had added 50 for the third wicket. O’Donnell looked solid and was supported in his efforts by David Stonehouse as runs were slowly accumulated.
As the Danby attack began to tire, the introduction of Jim Snaith for Kev Horton saw the demise of O’Donnell.
He danced down the track only to play and miss with the ball being eagerly grasped by veteran keeper Paul Snaith who was able to throw the stumps down with O’Donnell forlornly diving to make his ground.
Danby bowler Ben Mountain, although wicketless, bowled tightly for nine overs only conceding 26 runs, his final over proved costly however with runs being plundered by James Thompson and Michael Thompson.
The Westerdale innings closing on a respectable 128/5. Danby’s reply initially followed the same format as the Westerdale innings with Paul Snaith falling quickly to Stuart Dowson. Ben Adamson and Ben Mountain then added 51 for the second wicket but both fell in the 13th and 14th overs, leaving Danby on 61/3.
Danby’s middle order are dangerous with batsmen who can hit out of the park, but two of their main men, Kev Horton and Pat Featherstone, miscued their shots only to find Jim Thompson lurking just inside the boundary and he made two difficult catches look relatively easy.
Jim Snaith, who is perhaps in the form of his life, had seen both his batting partners perish in the deep but he took on the attack to Westerdale, taking a particular liking to Stuart Dowson.
Jim’s onslaught forced an immediate and successful bowling change, James O’Donnell came on to replace Mike Thompson.
Off his second ball Snaith, who was probably Danby’s last hope of overhauling Westerdale’s total, skied one to Tom Garbutt in the deep who made no mistake taking a low catch.
Mike Thompson came back on to replace Stuart Dowson for his tenth and the final over of the match and he dismissed Jeff Simpson with his first ball, leaving Nathan Blacklock and Emily Dowson not out.
The Danby innings closing at 115/7.
There were a few contenders but for his 41 runs and 1-4 (the vital wicket of Jim Snaith), James O’Donnell was named as man of the match by the umpires, Graham Thompson and Malcolm Lonsdale.
The award, a new one for the competition, was presented to James by the Whitby Gazette’s Duncan Atkins.
Losing finalists last year Westerdale’s last success in the Gazette Cup had been 20 years earlier and John Hutton presented the trophy to the their captain Mark Thompson and the runners-up shield to Paul Snaith.