York Cricket Club can Lean on Ilka - Dan Woods
Updated 11:50am Friday 6th June 2014 in Sport
YORK Cricket Club skipper Dan Woods is confident his side's top order can still thrive if Jack Leaning doesn't return to the club.
The York teenager, who has hammered more than 1,000 runs for the Clifton Parkers over the course of a season and a half at Shipton Road, starred in the second innings of Yorkshire's LV= County Championship clash at Northampton earlier in the week.
Leaning, who has been around the periphery of the Tykes' first team this season, hit a maiden first class half century - 52 not out off 72 balls - in a 271 run win at Northants and looks set to have sealed his spot in coach Jason Gillespie's side for the time being.
That will prevent him from turning out for York but Woods believes the club are still well-placed if Leaning is absent.
"We have got Travis Ilka who opened the batting back home for his club and we are very confident and comfortable that he can open the batting and do well," he said. "If the game against Chester-le-Street proved anything it is that we have got some decent batting and some young lads.
"We have got four good sides and we might have to play from all four of those teams. If Yorkshire allow Jack to play then he will be the first person to let us now. Richard Love has also come in from the second team, after scoring a century, and got valuable runs against Harrogate so we are backing the players we have got."
"Everyone at the club is just delighted for him," Woods added of Leaning's achievement. "He is a fantastic player and we are delighted he has got his maiden first class 50. He has done wonderfully well for us and it is great for York Cricket Club to have someone selected in the Yorkshire first team.
"We proud of him and pleased for him and want him to do well."
After hitting the top of the Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League with victory at Harrogate and booking a place in the regional final of the Royal London Club Championship regional final following a nail-biting eight run win over Chester-le-Street, York are again fighting on two fronts this weekend.
They travel to Scarborough tomorrow in the league before moving to Driffield for the round-robin group stage of the YPL T20 competition. The latter promises to be the more challenging with overseas player Ilka ineligible and York also without Woods, who has Cheshire commitments, along with Leaning and Ben Coad, who has been restricted by Yorkshire.
On the trip to North Marine Road in the league, the captain said: "It's always a tough game and they have got a lot of very good players. Their batting is very strong but I love playing cricket there.
"We will have to be disciplined in our bowling and they have got some good young players as well."
"The T20 is definitely a competition we want to win," Woods added when asked about the importance of Sunday's matches against Driffield and Harrogate. The winners of the group goes on to finals day at Scarborough on July 27.
"It will be very tough at Driffield who have done very well in all the cup matches. They are very strong on their home ground. We are missing a few players but we have got the potential to beat anyone."
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