MASTER blaster Craig Nicoll rewrote the record books on Saturday with the highest individual innings recorded in the league’s 81-year history.

The Ovington opener smashed an unbeaten 248 against Stockton & Hopgrove in the division one fixture on Knavesmire.

Nicoll’s amazing effort easily surpassed the previous best of 217 made by Selby II’s Naser Mahmood against Thorpe Willoughby II in August 2013.

A wind turbine service engineer, Nicoll blew away the Stockton bowling attack, striking 28 fours and 10 sixes all around the wicket, sharing an opening stand of 173 with Tom Ashby (41).

Ovington totalled a huge 358-3, then bowled out a depleted Stockton for 78 - collapsing from 47-1 - to win by a massive 280 runs.

Nicoll was initially unaware of his record-breaking exploits.

He said: “None of us were sure what it was. So when Ben Morrison came in after Joe Whale ran himself out for me, he told me I was on 239, so we just pushed for 250.

“I only knew it was a record the next day.”

The 24-year-old has been with Ovington since he was an 11-year-old junior. An all-rounder, he often opens the bowling and until recently he was a hard-hitting middle-order batsman. He was promoted to open for the first time against North Cave on June 6 and scored 101 that day and has been the team’s regular opener since.

Batsmen went run crazy in division one on Saturday with the five matches producing 2,209 runs, including two North Cave centurions, Will Ferguson and Mike Stellings, against Ben Johnson. That feat was replicated by Tadcaster Magnet pair Taylor Shann and Scott Collins in division four.

There were also a couple of tons in division two from Mark Earle (Westow) and Martin Lambert (Wheldrake) and one in division three by Acomb’s Steve Lennox.

Nicholl’s innings was the fifth double-century ever scored in the league - and all have been made since 2011, as listed.

248no Craig Nicoll (Ovington) v Stockton & Hopgrove, Div 1, July 2015

217 Naser Mahmood (Selby II) v Thorpe Willoughby II, Div 5, August 2013

213 Mark Earle (Westow) v Heworth, Div 2, July 2014

211 Matty Clarke (Heminbrough) v Clifton Alliance, Div 1, August 2011

208 Will Rymer (Heworth II) v Thorpe Willoughby II, Div 4, August 2014.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual at the top of division one with victories for North Cave and Bishopthorpe.

Cave racked up 315-2 against Ben Johnson, Ferguson (115no) and Stellings (105no) enjoying a 217-run partnership.

Bishop enjoyed their season best total of 282-8 against Kelfield, Ben Smith (79no) and Ian Holmes (79) adding 149. Holmes smashed 79 from 46 balls, including 28 off a single Matt Walker over.

He was dismissed by Sam Dunn, becoming the first of four victims to fall in the final four balls of the innings.

Fulfordgate moved off the bottom by beating North Duffield, who dropped to the foot of the table. Duffield fell away to 161-9 after James Nelson’s career-best 7-49. A fourth-wicket partnership of 99 from Liam Hancy (50) and Max Henderson (61) set up Fulfordgate’s victory.

Harry Collins batted for most of the Melbourne innings for 88 against Burn, striking three sixes and 11 fours. Norman Elliott responded with 76 as Burn won by five wickets.


WESTOW must be considered promotion contenders in York Vale League division two after routing leaders Askham Bryan.

Westow completed the double over Askham by totalling 276-3, Mark Earle finishing with 158 after being dropped with the total on 93.

Westow will move into a promotion place if they beat new leaders Wheldrake this Saturday.

Wheldrake saw off a young Clifton Alliance side on Sunday with Martin Lambert’s unbeaten 115, his maiden Vale League century, containing 13 boundaries.

Heworth recorded their second win of the season with a close victory over Ovington II, 16-year-old George O’Neill notching a career-best 77.

Division three leaders Yapham were victorious against Bishopthorpe II at Smylett Lane with a team made up of past or present junior players for the first time in the club’s history.

Thorpe Willoughby swept aside high-flying Burn II by nine wickets to achieve their first league win since May.

Malton & Old Malton paid for dropping Steve Lennox on three. The Acomb batsman went on to score an undefeated 166, sharing an opening partnership of 232 with Andy Ingle (56).

Ton-up pair Taylor Shann and Scott Collins powered Tadcaster Magnet to a crushing victory against Yapham II in division four. Shann (129) shared a 125-run opening partnership with Phil Wilson (70) then added 135 with Collins (103no) as Tad piled up 339-5.


Press Performance of the Week: On a weekend which saw seven other centuries scored, no-one could touch Craig Nicoll’s record-breaking 243 not out for Ovington against Stockton & Hopgrove in division one