BEATING Yorkshire Academy will give York Cricket Club a “huge amount of confidence” as they start their bid for an eighth successive Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League title, believes vice-captain Nick Kay.

The Clifton Parkers open their new league season tomorrow with one of their toughest games - at home against a young Tykes side that pushed them all the way last year.

York warmed up for the clash with two friendly contests last weekend, going to Pudsey St Lawrence and limiting them to 160-8 from 40 overs. They were cruising along at 80-1 with 16 gone before rain forced the end of play.

They then racked up 320 runs against Newark at home in a second game and bowled them out for close to 100. Simon Lambert was one of a number of players who racked up 50 runs and then retired.

York will go into the Academy game without bowler Tom Pringle, while overseas player Travis Ilka, who will be the club’s wicketkeeper this season, has suffered a visa delay. The Queenslander is not expected to land until next week.

Headingley starlets Ben Coad and Jack Leaning, though, are available in what is otherwise a strong line-up.

Kay was expecting a hard afternoon, adding: “The Academy ran us the closest last year and we have got one of the toughest games first up.

“If you look at their results, they always seem to get off to a good start.

“It will be a tough afternoon.

You can’t win the league in April but we are at home and we will expect to win.

“If we are to win the league we know the Academy will be one of the teams there or thereabouts.

“We have got a chance to steal a march early on. This league looks to be a very tight contest.

No one is going to run away with it.”