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York Cricket Club set up big title showdown
A SIXTH successive Solly Sports Yorkshire ECB County Premier League title is within touching distance for York Cricket Club after a seven-wicket demolition of hosts Cleethorpes.
Victory over championship rivals Harrogate in the penulatimate match of the season at Clifton Park on Saturday will see them extend their record run of success.
Dominant York needed only three hours of cricket to complete their win at Cleethorpes, a result that was matched by Harrogate at Appleby Frodingham.
Cleethorpes won the toss and opted to bat first, but York’s opening bowlers took full advantage of favourable conditions to dismiss their hosts for only 84 in less than 28 overs.
Glen Richmond got the visitors off to a great start by striking in his second over, Oliver Hairs taking a good catch low down at second slip to dismiss Rory Osmond.
However, it was new ball partner Jake Murphy who stole the show to record figures of 6-49 from 13.5 overs.
James Osmond was his first victim, the ball moving sufficiently to deceive the batsmen and clip his off stump with only 12 on the board.
Only two runs had been added when Harry Clewett flashed at a wide delivery and wicketkeeper Steven Crossley made no mistake.
Charlie Tomlinson decided attack was the best form of defence and hit six fours in his 31 off only 18 balls.
His onslaught included 15 from Murphy’s sixth over and might have resulted in his removal from the attack, but skipper Dan Woods showed faith in his bowler and was rewarded when he bowled Tomlinson with the first ball of his next over.
With the score on 47-4, much rested on the experienced shoulders of Bill Kirby but the talented opener never looked comfortable in taking 35 balls to get five.
He fell in similar fashion to Clewett, chasing a wide ball from Duncan Snell and Crossley followed the edge to take the catch.
Paul Sunley fended a short ball from Murphy to Ryan McKendry at square-leg, before Alex Osmond’s pull through mid-wicket off Snell saw the home side pass 50.
The bowler gained his revenge, finding the outside edge to give Crossley his third catch.
Graham Hume struck five boundaries in his 23 before hitting a Ryan McKendry full toss straight to Nick Kay at deep square leg.
Murphy, having bowled unchanged from the start, picked up the final two wickets, trapping John Mansfield lbw then bowling last man Andy Ellis.
York suffered an early scare in their reply when Liam McKendry was bowled by Ellis with the total on two.
Despite the loss of two further wickets, Snell (26), who pushed a simple catch to cover, and Hairs (24), caught behind, the visitors never looked in real difficulty.
Alex Collins sealed victory in the 17th over with consecutive boundaries through point to finish unbeaten on 28.