Over 1,256 runs as juniors shine
A total of 1,256 runs were made in just one day, with six teams going head-to-head in the Finals Day of the Under 9s, 11s and 13 Kettlewell Fuels Nidderdale Junior Cricket League played at Studley Royal.
Players and spectators put a season, disrupted by wet weather and Covid, behind them to enjoy a fantastic day of cricket and sunshine.
The first game was the U9 Pairs between Follifoot Lightening and Harrogate Hawks.
“Both teams had battled through a full season and play-off games to appear in the finals,” said a spokesman.
“Some 25 teams had entered and to reach the final was an achievement in itself.”
After being put into bat, Follifoot Lightening made good steady progress to reach a score of 246 in the team’s allotted overs. Harrogate Hawks then batted and made a total of 275 to take the title.
Commenting on the game, Mick Dawson, the League Secretary said: “This was a great example of a cricket match played in excellent spirit and demonstrated lots of emerging skills. The players from both clubs should be very proud of the fine example they set in this match.”
Following a long season with 23 entries at the U11 Pairs, the two competing teams were Harrogate Tigers and Pannal Rockets, with each finalist having played 12 games to reach this stage.
Harrogate Tigers put Pannal Rockets in to bat with the pairs accumulating a very healthy 258 runs off 16 overs.
In a nail biting innings, the final over had Harrogate six runs ahead of Pannal. The final ball saw a very composed Harrogate batsman score a boundary four ensuring the team reached a winning 268.
“The game was a great advert for junior cricket with fantastic enthusiasm, super sportsmanship and much early cricket talent clearly evident,” added a spokesman.
The final game of the day was the U13, 11-a-side, match between two of the outstanding teams at this age group, Ouseburn and Pannal Express, each playing 20 overs.
Ouseburn elected to bat and the team made steady progress while losing wickets.
Robert Coggrave came in at number four and scored a quick fire 38 in just 25 balls. At this age group, batsmen retire at 35.
A further contribution of 18 from Sebastian Gaspar-Dunn had Ouseburn reaching a very creditable 104-7. Pannal bowlers chipped in with two wickets each from Ben Holt, Harry Stalker and Charlie Moss.
With the match finely poised at the break, the Pannal openers, Magnus Chisholm and Henry Collings accumulated runs steadily until their stand was broken with the score on 39 and the loss of Magnus Chisholm, bowled by Ben Ward.
This brought Toby Sharkey to the crease. Supported by Henry Collings, Toby Sharkey gave a splendid example of controlled positive batting, scoring 36 in only 24 balls and thus retirement.
With only the further loss of Samuel Grass for 10, Pannal reached their target of 105 for the loss of three wickets in the 18th over.
Sam Robertson was the pick of Ouseburn’s bowlers, bowling three overs and taking one wicket for only 11 runs.
Afterwards, Paul Ellis who umpired the game said: “This was an excellent match, played hard but in a very sporting and fair manner.
“I was impressed by the approach these young cricketers had, supporting their team mates but also applauding good play from their opposition.”
Cups and medals presented, the day drew to a close with the Chairman of the League, Mr Ken Coad thanking the sponsor, Kettlewell Fuels for its support throughout the season.
Gratitude also went to the umpires and Studley Royal Cricket Club for hosting the event, providing the administration and the splendid setting for the finals. The groundsman too received high praise, having produced three excellent pitches - all of differing lengths for the matches.
Janet Kettlewell from Kettlewell Fuels, said: “Grassroots cricket is thriving in the area and the standard of play is excellent if this year’s Finals Day is anything to go by.
“A huge well done to all the players and, of course, the coaches and league organisers – it’s great seeing so many teams across the region getting involved.
“Supporting the local community in which we operate is important to us and as North Yorkshire’s trusted independent heating and fuel oil supplier, one of our long-standing commitments has been to junior cricket.
“Whereas before we tended to sponsor teams locally, sponsoring the League allows us to reach even more teams and help more players – here’s to the start of the 2022 season.”