YORK Cricket Club’s defence of the Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League title began in disappointing fashion as they suffered a heavy home defeat against Yorkshire Academy.
Eliott Callis hit a century as the Clifton Park visitors - last season's runners-up - scored 338, a total which was well beyond the reach of their hosts who stumbled to 221-9, losing by 127 runs.
Callis and fellow opener Barney Gibson began in cautious fashion against disciplined bowling from Jake Murphy and Matt Hodsdon. The latter should have had Callis’ wicket when he had made just two but the missed chance at slip would prove costly.
It set the tone for a long afternoon in the field, with three further chances also going to ground in a lacklustre fielding performance.
Murphy was rewarded for his early accuracy, Jack Leaning taking the catch as second slip to dismiss Gibson with the total on 13.
Azeem Rafiq and Callis then shared a partnership of 154.
Captain Daniel Woods bore the brunt of some aggressive stroke play and, coupled with the absence of two front line bowlers, York were unable to gain any kind of control.
Callis brought up his side's 100 in the 20th over with a straight six off the York skipper.
Rafiq, the more dominant partner, reached his half-century from 46 balls and gave two chances, neither taken, before being caught at long off by Simon Lambert off Leaning for 79.
Callis reached his 100 off 137 balls, with 11 fours and a six, but could manage only another seven runs before being out to Ryan McKendry, Alex Collins running in to take a well-judged catch at mid-on.
That ended a stand of 93 with skipper Will Rhodes, of Stamford Bridge, whose 77 ensured the pressure on the fielding side was maintained in the back half of the innings.
Leaning picked up the wicket of Ryan Gibson, Collins taking the catch at mid-wicket, and Murphy (4-65) picked up three wickets late on, including Rhodes for 77 caught by Nick Kay at third man as the visitors pressed hard to take 72 from the last nine overs.
With a daunting chase in prospect, York were soon in trouble as Sheriff Hutton Bridge ace Matthew Fisher picked up the wickets of Lambert, caught off a top edged pull, and Liam McKendry, bowled by one that nipped back, inside the first seven overs.
When Leaning was caught behind for 17 off Matthew Waite the home side's plight deepened.
Ryan McKendry (48) and Alex Collins (24) steadied things, adding 57 before Collins fell to a low diving catch at slip by Rafiq off Sessay spinner Karl Carver in the 28th over with the total on 96.
Kay joined McKendry and immediately went on the attack, with three of his first six scoring shots clearing the boundary.
The departure of McKendry, caught by Callis at mid-off from the bowling of Rafiq, ended a stand of 62 and swung the momentum back in favour of the bowling side.
Kay reached his half-century with a straight six off Rafiq and repeated the stroke twice more in the same over to reach 67 before being bowled by Carver in the next over.
There was late drama as the visitors pressed for maximum points, but stout resistance from Woods, Hodsdon and last man Nigel Durham - coming out of retirement - held them at bay.
Carver finished with the best figures of 3-54, while Fisher and Matthew Waite took two wicket each as the Academy claimed six points from the win.
Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League
York v Yorkshire Academy
(Yorkshire Academy won toss)
Yorkshire Academy: E Callis c A Collins b R McKendry 107, B Gibson c J Leaning b J Murphy 5, A Rafiq c S Lambert b J Leaning 79, W Rhodes c N Kay b D Woods 77, R Gibson c A Collins b J Leaning 5, Y Imtiaz c D Woods b J Murphy 21, J Thompson c A Collins b J Murphy 6, J Shaw not out 1, M Fisher b J Murphy 10. Extras 27. Total 338-8.
Bowling: J Murphy 11-0-65-4, M Hodsdon 7-1-20-0, D Woods 13-0-96-1, J Leaning 17-0-86-2, L McKendry 2-0-21-0, R McKendry 5-0-42-1.
York: S Lambert c B Gibson b M Fisher 11, J Leaning c B Gibson b M Waite 17, L McKendry b M Fisher 4, R McKendry c M Waite b A Rafiq 48, A Collins c A Rafiq b K Carver 24, N Kay b K Carver 67, J Murphy c E Callis b K Carver 2, R Love run out (J Thompson) 7, D Woods not out 0, M Hodsdon lbw b M Waite 16, N Durham not out 0. Extras 15. Total 211-9.
Bowling: M Fisher 10-1-34-2, J Shaw 5-1-25-0, M Waite 8-1-19-2, A Rafiq 17-1-75-1, K Carver 15-5-54-3.
Yorkshire Academy won by 127 runs.
Appleby Frodingham 267-5 (D Heath 54, K Lindley 54, M Morland 48, K Watson 42no; A Jahangir 4-65) beat Barnsley 262-8 (J Trower 85, Z Ahmad 65) by 5 runs.
Scarborough 222-9 (C Grey 73, A Simpson 69; C Free 5-29) lost to Doncaster Town (S Widdup 103no) 226-6 by 4 wickets.
Sheffield Collegiate 184 (J Waterson 68; T Greeson-Brown 5-33) lost to Harrogate 185-4 (A Twigg 53, R Bradshaw 44no) by 6 wickets.
Driffield Town 339-5 beat Sheffield United 204-8 by 135 runs.