WHITBY Cricket Club 1sts returned to winning ways on Saturday when they pulled off a vital two-wicket win at Seaton Carew.
With the wicket looking extremely worn, Whitby were relieved when returning skipper Paul Harrison called correctly and he had no hesitation in asking the home side to take first knock.
From the outset, the surface proved difficult for the batsmen to play with any fluency, with the ball coming through at a variety of heights and speeds, making stroke play almost impossible.
Opening bowlers Tom Steyert and Chris Lyth took advantage of the assistance in the pitch to complete subdue the opposition in the early stages.
After the dangerous Skirving was run out for 20, Whitby were firmly in control.
Whitby’s spin twins James Hall and Mark Jackson were quickly introduced into the attack and both immediately found prodigious turn, with Jackson in particular bowling a superb spell.
For the home side, only youngster Gough, who during a laborious innings was the only batsman to get into the 30s as the hosts were finally dismissed for 105 in the 49th over.
Even chasing such a modest total, Whitby knew a good start would be crucial and that every run would be very hard-earned.
Unfortunately they got off to the worst possible start with James Fawcett and Matthew Towey both gloving catches behind the wicket off balls that flew from a good length from tall opening bowler Fitzpatrick.
Seaton Carew’s captain Thomas was next to strike snaring his opposite number Harrison and after Ron Lyth and Andrew Marshall perished trying to hit Whitby out of trouble the visitors were in complete disarray at 24/5.
Paul Buck and his father-in-law Chris Lyth then set about the rebuilding job.
Buck decided to drop anchor against the almost unplayable Fitzpatrick and although he took several blows to the body and helmet he managed to repel the onslaught.
The pair mixed stout defence along with punishing anything loose to slowly edge Whitby towards victory and with only 20 required for victory both fell in quick succession to the lively Atkinson, bowled by balls that scarcely left the floor.
It was left to Whitby’s strong lower order of Steyert, Hall and Steve Allen to see them over the line with all three showing great determination in such trying conditions.
When Hall slashed Atkinson through the covers for the winning boundary it was met by great jubilation by his team-mates in the pavilion securing Whitby a nail-biting two wicket win.
With no game this weekend, Whitby 1sts will hope to take the momentum of this victory into July when they play six games in a month which will go a long way towards shaping their season.
Whitby Cricket Club main sponsor: Passage To India