Whitby’s first team cricketers are finishing the North Yorkshire and South Durham League season with a flourish, giving themselves an outside chance of promotion.
On Saturday, they beat first division leaders,Blackhall Colliery by 96 runs in an excellent performance.
Whitby took their young side into the heart of County Durham to inflict a rare defeat on a powerful Blackhall.
When once again Paul Buck won the toss and batted, he could not have foreseen the excellent opening partnership that was about to unfold.
Will Donald (55) and Theo Clarke (83) played with such admirable style and confidence that the Blackhall bowlers had no answer as they put together a superb partnership of 133.
This was Donald’s second half-century in a row and owed nothing to chance.
Clarke struck nine fours and a six in a typical, hard-hitting innings.
The wide range of shots, positive running between the wickets and careful shot selection belied their years as both are yet to reach 18.
The future looks indeed promising for them and also for their Whitby team-mates, a number of whom chipped in with useful runs again (Buck 24, James Hall 16 and Ron Lyth 12) as Whitby amassed 225/ 7 in their allotted overs.
Blackhall were not in any way daunted by the run chase for, as their record suggests, they have a fine side.
However, good bowling from all the Whitby bowlers, combined with injudicious shots from the home batsmen, meant that Whitby removed the Blackhall top six for only 80.
Steve Allen took two important wickets as Whitby held on to good catches in the outfield. James Hall helped himself to another three wickets but when Will Donald came on to bowl, he spun the ball prodigiously.
His spell accounted for the dangerous Blackhall middle order, giving him figures of 4-33 as the visitors dismissed the home side for just 129.
As the final weekend approaches, Whitby find themselves still in fourth place but not far behind the leaders in points. They can only aim to continue their run of success, secure maximum points for themselves and then hope that other results go their way.
Whatever happens it has been a magnificent season for Whitby. Despite losing three senior players, their young side has continued to challenge for honours all the way and they can feel proud of their achievements.