We’ve reached the middle of July and already talk of ‘must win’ games is starting to emerge. This weekend our first and third teams have two such games which could have a significant impact on their seasons.
The 1st XI take on rock bottom Wrenthorpe knowing that they need to win to close the gap on the teams above them and earn themselves a little breathing space above the bottom two sides. After losing to table topping Jer Lane last week, they need to focus on winning the games that count in order to preserve their Division One status. In the Jer Lane defeat it was James Ford’s turn to be the one batter who scored runs, hopefully this week at least a couple of batters will step up and hit the sort of scores that will go a long way towards winning the game.
Our 3rd XI visit Roundhay CC with the knowledge that they too have the chance to earn themselves some breathing space, but at the opposite end of the table. Dave Hodgson’s men currently sit top of Division 2, 14 points clear of Roundhay in second. As we rapidly approach holiday season when availability will become even worse than it currently is, points put in the bank now can hopefully see us through the sort of weekends that see us down to our bare bones. However, this will be no easy feat, as having played Roundhay twice this year, we know they pose a significant threat. We will need to show the same spirit that has seen us claw games back from the death in recent weeks, from 10 for 4 against Mayfield and 25 for 6 against Yorkshire LPS. Even more telling in the victory against Mayfield last week, was our never say die attitude in the field, where Mayfield were hauled back from 113-1 at a point when they were cruising to victory. Top scorer for the threes last weekend was 16 year old Will Baker, who registered his first senior 50 for the club. He has now made significant match turning contributions with both bat and ball for the 3rd XI this year. Crucially, these have all come at absolute crunch times for the side, which goes to demonstrate his competitive nature. As long as we can keep him away from tennis and rugby – we should have a pretty good player on our hands!
Talking of Mayfield, the fourth team complete their double header as they welcome the side they defeated last week, to Belmont this weekend. With a game in hand, the 4th XI are still mathematically in the title hunt, although as referred to earlier, the holiday season looms large in the minds of all those responsible for selection matters! I’m led to believe that the main highlight of last week’s game was Dan ‘Mini’ Metcalfe’s two majestic sixes, but having seen the scorecard, I was more interested in the battle of the old stagers, with Tim Joy (19 runs and 3 for 14) outdoing Jamie Abbott (18 runs and 2 for 23)!
Currently sat in 7th place in Division One, our second team still have chance to define their season. A run of consistent victories could still see Darren Wilson’s side challenge for a top 5 finish. After defeating Cleckheaton last week, thanks mainly to an unbeaten 6th wicket partnership of 81 between Jake Terry (40*) and Haris Hussain (38*), they take on the league’s bottom side, Great Preston tomorrow. Last week also saw George Barker make a welcome return to run scoring with a crucial 50 at the top of the order. If Sam Kelly (4 for 34) can continue his wicket taking form, the twos can still get a lot out of this year.