Harrogate CC backed to find rhythm

hsb  Callum How batting for Harrogate against Cleethorpes.  (130511M5b)
hsb Callum How batting for Harrogate against Cleethorpes. (130511M5b)

Harrogate CC captain Ryan Bradshaw is backing his side to quickly find their stride after a rain interrupted week.

’Gate’s title charge was put on hold when their trip to Scarborough was washed out without a ball being bowled.

Rivals and table toppers York also had their match abandoned but Sheffield Collegiate benefited as they leapt above ’Gate into second.

Collegiate visit St George’s Road this Saturday and Bradshaw reckons their form on paper shows they are a much-improved side.

Rain wrecked Harrogate’s two clashes with the Sheffield side last year.

Former Yorkshire wicket-keeper Simon Guy has since taken charge and lead a revival of fortunes.

Bradshaw admitted his side could come unstuck against a club known for bringing on youngsters such as Joe and Billy Root and Michael Vaughan.

He said: “Collegiate have had a period of being one of the weaker sides in the league.

“But they have regrouped and their form this season has been strong.

“It will be a tough old game. They are a very organised proud Yorkshire club and they look after the youngsters.”

Andy Laws faces a fitness test but Bradshaw hopes there will be minimal changes.

Bradshaw’s side also face a trip to Doncaster on Bank Holiday weekend and the skipper asked his players to stay focused on the task in hand.

He said: “They get a decent crowd down there. The wicket is not as good as our wicket so it can be quite lively.

“We always seem to do well there but it always seems to be a battle there, a street fight.

“We need to get some rhythm, get on track and do what we have been doing.”

A changed ‘Gate side turned out on Sunday and edged a close cup contest against Sheffield United.

Only four first teamers played for ‘Gate as second team captain Nick Taylor took charge of a first team clash for the first time.

United reached a sizeable 197-4 from their 45 overs as Rob Stanworth snaffled 3-25.

Aussie Calum How (47) and fellow newbie George Ross (58) lead the chase before Stanworth’s 20 not out and a swift 16 from junior Ashley Griffin saw Harrogate home.

Bradshaw, who missed the contest, added: “Nick did a great job. It shows the strength in depth when we win with a mixture of first, second and third team players.”