Aire-Wharfe League: Batting collapse sends Knaresborough to defeat

Knaresboroug U17s star Eddie Barnes, who fired 71 in the Arthur Barrett Cup final
Knaresboroug U17s star Eddie Barnes, who fired 71 in the Arthur Barrett Cup final

Confidence-sapped Knaresborough Cricket Club crashed to defeat at home to Skipton on Saturday, despite seemingly cruising towards their modest total.

With overseas ace Eben Martin (46) and Sam Ryan (50) at the crease, Knaresborough were on course to bounce back from the devastating defeat at Pool seven days previous.

However, from 139-3, the Aspin Laners soon lost the set pair and the lower order failed to rebuild the innings.

The final seven wickets went for just 32 runs as Knaresborough were bowled out for 171, in response to Skipton’s opening score of 205-7.

Club stalwart Jon Corcoran admitted the batting unit needed to “look at ourselves”.

He said: “Eben and Sam were set and batting very well but they both got good balls. From then we just lose quick wickets.

“Very quickly we fell behind the rate and that meant we went from a position of strength to a position of weakness.”

The defeat was Knaresborough’s fourth in the last five Saturdays and dropped them down to eighth place.

Any promotion hopes in the club’s 200th year have now all-but gone, and Corcoran said they needed to “start looking at next year”

On why the batsmen have failed so dramatically, Corcoran explained: “It’s just a bit of a confidence thing and we have to try and put it right. It’s disappointing but they bowled well.

“We just don’t seem to be having many big partnerships.

“We had one on Saturday but you are going to get good balls with your name on it in league cricket.

“But the batters have to stand up and show a bit of confidence and go out there an express themselves.”

It is not all doom and gloom at Aspin Lane, though, as the club’s U17s squad have won the Nidderdale Junior League and Cup double.

England U17s star Eddie Barnes blazed a match-winning 71, off 41 balls, in the Arthur Barrett Cup final last Thursday as Knaresborough won the competition for the sixth straight year, beating Studley Royal by 21 runs.

Ben Cutts (25), Jack Whitham (19) and James Webster (16) hit Boro to 151-7. Cutts then took 2-20 from four overs as Studley ended on 130-8.

“There won’t be many other teams that have won it six years on the trot, if any,” added a proud Corcoran