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York Cricket Club revelling in frantic finale
A HAT-TRICK of wins has kept York Cricket Club on course for a momentous trophy double.
Victories over Hull and Doncaster saw the reigning champions overhaul long-time leaders Harrogate at the top of the Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League.
Those wins sandwiched the side booking their place in the final of the ECB National Club Championship with a home semi-final win over Bamford Fieldhouse.
The season will end with an historic final clash with Wanstead & Snaresbrook at Derbyshire’s County Ground on Sunday, September 16, where they will bid to emulate the club’s 1975 success.
Before that climax, three games stand between York and a record sixth successive league crown.
A 12th championship would put York only one behind Scarborough, the most decorated side in the 76-year history of the competition.
York travel to Cleethorpes this Saturday while Harrogate host Appleby Frodingham, before the two title rivals collide at Clifton Park on Saturday, September 8.
York conclude their season at home to Sheffield Collegiate the following day, while Harrogate travel to Barnsley.
A one-sided victory over hosts Doncaster on Bank Holiday Monday gave York a four-point lead over Harrogate, whose game with Castleford was abandoned.
Doncaster chose to bat first and were made to pay as Jake Murphy (3-19) marked his return to the first team with two wickets in his opening over.
James Stuart chased a wide delivery and two balls later Gareth Cox pushed out tentatively, both shots providing edges accepted by ’keeper Steven Crossley.
James Dobson was trapped lbw by Glen Richmond, while Amitpaul Kundra was also adjudged lbw to give Daniel Woods his first wicket.
Felix Odell was dropped at cover on 26 but added only four more before sending a simple catch back to bowler Ryan McKendry. When Rhys Mann went to a juggling catch at silly mid-on by Nick Kay off Woods, the score was 48-6.
Town captain Alex Gosney fell lbw to Woods and then Curtis Free hit 20 before Simon Lambert took a well-judged catch on the square-leg boundary off Ryan McKendry.
Two stoppages for rain only delayed the inevitable, as Woods (4-22) picked up the wicket of Jamie Harrison caught behind, before Murphy ended the innings by bowling Chris Silvester.
Number eight Ashley Knowles was unbeaten on 12 having faced 79 balls as the side were all out for 84.
Spinner Knowles (3-27) picked up three wickets in six overs, ousting Liam McKendry, Duncan Snell and Alex Collins.
Stuart snared Ryan McKendry and it was left to Simon Lambert to hit the winning runs, a straight drive which took his score to 26.
It took less than 16 overs for the visitors to overhaul their hosts’ score and in doing so collect maximum points.