Ripon captain Taylor eyeing top-two charge

Ripon's Jake Briscombe.
Ripon's Jake Briscombe.

Captain Rob Taylor has given a glowing half-term report for his Ripon CC side and admitted promotion is still very much on the agenda.

Ripon currently occupy a mid-table position in Division Two North of the York Senior League but on the back of an encouraging first half of the season and victory against Duncombe Park last week, Taylor is only looking up.

“We are looking to keep building and see if we can get as high up the table as possible,” he said. “We are only 43 points off second place and with two teams going up, there is still a big chance for us to get into one of those positions.”

While admitting his team are far from the finished article, Taylor believes with youth on their side and the team ethic they’ve nurtured over the first half of the season, anything is possible.

He said: “We’ve got a very young team this year with an average age of 22 with the oldest players being only about 25, so the team spirit is good and we’ve bonded well as a team.”

Taylor’s men secured their second win in as many weeks against fellow mid-table side Duncombe Park last week. Batting first, the visitors could only muster 152 all out but that total was never going to be enough to see off in-form Ripon. The hosts replied with 154-4 in 38.1 overs to take maximum points.

“It was a good win against a decent Duncombe Park side on Saturday,” added Taylor.

“We were in a bit of a sticky situation at one stage but we pulled it back due to the team spirit at the moment. Jake Briscombe (5-28) and Mike Ainsley (88no) chipped in when required but we all stuck together which was pleasing.”

Next up for Taylor’s side is a trip to Londesborough Park, the team immediately above them in the table, so another major test of their promotion credentials awaits.

Taylor said: “Londesborough Park are a similar team to us in that they are also a young side. We played them earlier in the season but it was rained off. They are certainly in the mix for promotion so it will be a good test for us.

“We are full strength for the match and we’ll field the same team as last week. Then next week we face second-placed Harrogate, so that will be a big game – but every game is a big game in this league as every team can beat each other on the day.”