WHITBY Cricket Club 1sts were unable to finish their season with a win as they went down by three wickets to a Redcar side who won promotion in a tight, tense finish at the Turnbull.
Whitby lost the toss and things didn’t start well as they lost James Fawcett early on when he was caught behind for just two.
Will Donald didn’t last long either as he was out for just a single not long after.
James Hall came to the middle to partner Matthew Towey, who had been called up from the 2nds due to the absence of Paul Harrison, and the pair dug in to rebuild the Whitby innings. Runs were hard to come by on a tough wicket and in the face of some tight bowling, but the pair looked slightly more comfortable when a mix-up saw Hall run out for six, setting the home side back again.
Ron Lyth was the next man in to join Towey at the crease, but even the usual aggressive Lyth found scoring hard work.
At drinks, the run-rate was a touch under the two runs per over mark, with Whitby needing to pick up the scoring rate to reach a competitive score.
Lyth and Towey continued to battle hard until Towey was bowled for a gritty 25.
Lyth fell not long after for a battling 19 and then Kai Morris was out soon after leaving Whitby once again in a spot of bother with Paul Buck and Tom Steyert at the crease. Buck was looking in good form as he struck a couple of boundaries but when he was out for 12 the hosts were still in need of quick runs, with the overs ticking away.
Wickets continued to fall regularly as Whitby were bundled out for 133 in 48.4 overs with Tom Steyert the only man to inject some momentum into the innings as he made a quickfire 24, including two sixes.
Redcar began their innings requiring 134 to win the game and secure promotion to the Premier Division.
A fired-up Whitby side were determined to spoil the party. And when James Hall removed the league’s leading run-scorer Ollie Rodgers in the second over Whitby felt they were well in the game.
And after a flurry of boundaries Tom Urwin was also dismissed as Steyert trapped him in front for 16, leaving Redcar 29-2 and with a very nervy dressing room.
Their nerves were not eased one bit when an inspired Steyert removed Hutchinson and Berry in the space of 3 deliveries. The score was now 51 for 4 with the visitors fearing they were about to fall at the final hurdle. But Tyler Easton had other ideas.
The young wicketkeeper-batsmen dug in and was determined not to give his wicket away as a determined Whitby threw everything they had at him. With the score on 78 another wicket fell as Ben Hutchinson was caught behind off Hall for 9.
Whitby continued to fight hard and were making the visitors struggle for every single run. Easton and Mitchell Brown had moved the score onto 94 when Easton was eventually out for a valuable 46, but leaving Redcar still needing 40 runs to win with just four wickets left.
And it was just nine runs later that the seventh wicket fell when Callum Brown was out stumped.
With the game reaching its climax, and all three results still possible the nerves were almost too much to take for some members of the Redcar side. But Adam Pickard and Mitchell Brown held their nerve superbly as the put on a crucial stand of 33 to take Redcar to a magnificent victory and seal promotion.
Whitby had battled hard and fought to the death, but at the end of the day they didn’t score enough runs. D
espite this, they can be very proud of the efforts in the field and with the ball. The pick of the Whitby bowlers were Tom Steyert and James Hall who picked up three wickets apiece.
This rounded off what was a good season for Whitby, overall. They can be proud of a 6th place finish out of 15 teams and will be looking to progress even further next season.