TOM LOVE and Glen Richmond showed the kind of spirit and determination which may yet see York retain their Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier Cricket League crown.

In a low-scoring encounter the pair battled for almost an hour scoring 27 for the ninth wicket against Castleford, as the home side won a thrilling contest by a single wicket at Clifton Park.

The visitors, having chosen to bat first, lost skipper Charles Finan in the fourth over bowled by Chris Burn before a partnership of 55 between Will Simpson and overseas signing Jarren Cook got them back on track.

A double bowling change paid dividends for York.

Charlie Elliot replaced Burn and had Cook (11) caught behind in his first over. That was quickly followed by the wicket of Simpson who, having been dropped on two, was trapped lbw by Love for 38.

James Sykes finished as top scorer with a half-century made off 73 balls and it was his efforts that held things together for Castleford.

A partnership of 50 for the fourth wicket with Liam Hyde (27) took the total to 113 before York’s bowlers took a hold.

Pringle trapped Hyde lbw and of the remaining six batsmen only Ben Shelton (12) made double figures while three registered ducks.

Sykes was eighth out with the total on 167, caught at cover by Ian Jarvis off Daniel Woods. The York captain struck with consecutive deliveries to wrap up the innings and finish with figures of 4-10 from 8.2 overs as Castleford went from 165-6 to 167 all out.

York’s reply got off to a stuttering start when indecision cost Simon Lambert his wicket. He was run out attempting a third but failing to beat the throw at the bowler’s end.

Worse was to come as both Liam and Ryan McKendry were out bowled within the first 11 overs.

Jarvis made 28 but was fourth out, caught down the leg side by wicket-keeper Shelton with the total on 76.

Richard Love looked determined to hit York out of the difficult situation they found themselves in and took 18 off an over from Cook and then 16 off one from spinner Eddie Morrison.

His entertaining innings was ended when he was bowled by Jack Shutt off a combination of pad and inside edge for 35 from 32 balls.

Elliot’s 18 included two sixes but when he fell to an excellent one-handed catch at point by Finan off Hyde, York were 119-6 and still 49 runs short of victory.

Woods having taken the role of opener in recent matches came in at number eight but could manage only a single and when Pringle chased a wide delivery and was caught at slip for 15 the home side were 130-8.

Pringle’s dismissal brought together Love and Richmond and the pair set about their task cautiously, only two runs coming from the first 31 balls they faced.

The occasional loose delivery was despatched to the boundary but for the main part it was a case of playing straight, leaving well and nudging singles.

The sizeable crowd revelled in both the sunshine and the drama as the pair added 27 in almost 15 overs.

A rush of blood caused the downfall of Richmond (12 from 51 balls). An expansive drive off Cook (3-57) took an inside edge, caught by Shelton.

With 11 still required for victory, Burn joined Love at the crease and contributed a two and a couple of singles, before Love cut away a wide ball from Cook to the backward point boundary to seal victory and finish unbeaten on 16 from 59 balls.