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It’s crunch time for York Cricket Club’s trophy hunt
YORK Cricket Club’s hopes of a double-winning season reach a critical juncture this weekend.
The Clifton Parkers entertain Barnsley in the Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League tomorrow in a battle between the table’s second and third-placed teams before they travel to Nottinghamshire to play Cuckney in the last eight of the ECB National Club Championship on Sunday.
Just a point separates York from Barnsley and, for the old rivals, it is a match with huge significance – the losing side seeing their title chances virtually evaporate as they both try to chase down leaders Harrogate.
But vice-captain Nick Kay believes the club put in their two best performances of the season when beating Driffield and Scarborough on the road last week and believes a repeat performance will be just the ticket.
“Even though Harrogate had two wins, we also felt results went for us,” he said.
“Rotherham were beaten and Barnsley lost on Sunday.
Harrogate also have to come to Clifton Park. If we continue to win our games they may feel the pressure.
“But if we go 20 points behind Harrogate we could almost kiss goodbye to the title. It would not be easy to catch up.
“We played our best weekend of cricket last week. We were terrific both with the bat and the ball and, going into this weekend, that was very important.
“We can’t take anything for granted against Barnsley but we have the ability to get runs against them if we put them under pressure.”
Cuckney, the current Notts Premier League leaders have also claimed the Notts Premier League Cockspur t20 title this season and pose a formidable threat on their own patch.
Among their squad, which includes ex-England amateur players, is 19-year-old Billy Root – brother of Yorkshire batsman Joe.
Root, the former Sheffield Collegiate, Yorkshire Academy and Tykes second team player, has also had short spells at Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire and is part of the MCC young cricketers side at Lord’s.
Kay added of the Cuckney test: “It could be a terrific game on paper. We are having to travel and they will prepare a pitch to suit them.
“It’s going to be really tough. They have three bowlers who are in the top seven of the league averages, so they are obviously a very fine bowling attack.
“They are quite clearly a very strong team but we are a well balanced side and we are at full strength.”
York will field the same side that crushed Driffield against Barnsley, while Marcus Wood replaces Charlie Elliot for the trip to Nottinghamshire the following day.