Yorkshire League: David Foster takes Harrogate 12 points clear

Harrogate's Connor Ryan at short leg watches a ball whistle past the bat (Caught Light Photography)
Harrogate's Connor Ryan at short leg watches a ball whistle past the bat (Caught Light Photography)

Harrogate Cricket Club stretched their lead at the top of the Yorkshire League to 12 points with two successful chases over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Having to bowl first for the first time this season, Gate ripped Castleford apart on Saturday before an almost carbon copy success over Sheffield United followed 24 hours later.

Gate’s bowlers shared the wickets around to bowl Cas out for just 133, with Sam Davies (3-25) the pick of the attack.

Despite failures at the top of the order, wicket-keeper Jack Potter (48no) and former Durham second teamer David Foster (53no) shared a century stand to earn a six-wicket win.

Foster then starred with both ball and bat against United, with his left-arm spin grabbing three wickets to disrupt the tail. Tom Geeson-Brown had earlier reduced the Sheffield side to 9-2 as he took 3-35.

Harrogate slipped to 56-4 in their chase, but Foster stayed calm with a run-a-ball 43 to earn a five-wicket win.

Captain George Ross said his side were growing in confidence after gapping their nearest rivals.

He said: “It’s given us a bit of breathing space a the top. We approached the weekend wanting a 16-point weekend, and we knew if we did that we had a good chance of putting our foot down at the top and getting a decent gap.

“We are all realising that we’re hungry for the title, and we believe we have the squad to do it.

“But as captain, it’s sill all about having realistic expectations, I’m very relaxed about the league position, especially with it still being a new team.

“It’s almost unheard of to bring in six players and win a title in your first season. But we have put ourselves in that position and will definitely do our best to finish in that top spot.”

Harrogate face an away day at Doncaster Town this weekend without star batsman Jonny Tattersall, who is on 12th man duties with England.

Doncaster have had a mixed start to the season and lie eighth in the table. The South Yorkshrie side pulled off a shock win over Gate 12 months ago but Ross said it would have little impact this time around.

“That’s the advantage with having a lot of new players, they don’t have previous against any teams,” he added.

Meanwhile, Harrogate 2nds claimed a winning draw over Sheriff Hutton Bridge 2nds, thanks to George Owram’s 74.

Gate made 209-6 before limiting Bridge to just 112-7, with Ned McClelland taking 3-23.

The second string will bid to bounce straight back at home to Hovingham on Saturday.