Firsts march on as Thirds get back to winning ways

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All three teams in action on Saturday as the First Team played Melbourne, the Second Team faced HPH Cup finalists Hirst Courtney whilst the Thirds played Dunnington.

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It was a straightforward victory for the First Team on the Little Knavesmire, as they beat Melbourne by 9 wickets. Ovington featured Norwegian Rugby League International Callum Sullivan in their side, in his first game of Cricket for two years. Their opponents had a depleted team with only 9 and to their credit, batted for almost 36 overs. Melbourne reached a final total of 122, with Ollie Steels (24) and B.Thompson (25) top scoring for the visitors. Ovington’s wickets were shared around amongst the six bowlers used, with Craig Nicoll (3-29), Barry Steel (1-16) and Neil Metcalfe (1-16) the pick of the figures.

Neil Metcalfe (left) and Craig Nicoll (right) were both in-form on Saturday

Neil Metcalfe (left) and Craig Nicoll (right) were both in-form on Saturday

In response, Ovington got to the total with a minimum of fuss. Openers Neil Metcalfe (62 not out) and Ben Morrison (48) put on over 100 for the first wicket. Morrison’s dismissal was the solitary one as Ovington ran out nine-wicket winners. In the title race, Bishopthorpe got back to winning ways so the gap still remains as it was, whilst Burn had a free week.

The Third team were also in action on Saturday, playing their first match in a couple of weeks with vice-captain Kareem Baqai taking charge and also deputising as wicket-keeper. They faced off against Dunnington and bowling first, it looked like being a long afternoon for the Ovington side. Dunnington’s aggressive batting approach, more akin to a Home Run Derby, looked like it was paying off when they reached 70-3 in under 10 overs. Ovington had their chances and there was at least four dropped catches and three or more close calls, but Ovington managed to turn it around in no uncertain terms. Dunnington collapsed, and after being in such a strong position after 10 overs, were all out for 96 off 20 overs. Jack Stearman was the pick of the bowling with extraordinary figures of 4-3, while Finn Baqai, bowling whilst the batting was at its most aggressive, went for 2-31. Ed Chapman (1-10), playing his first game in 6 years, also bowled with credit.

In response, Ovington never really looked in too much danger. Rich Garside scored 22 while Jack Stearman scoring 48 not out meant the Dunnington target always looked vulnerable. Ovington got to the target in the 17th over. It was the Thirds first victory in all competitions since the 18th June.

Additional reporting on the Second Team game by Liam Herringshaw

Early in the home side’s innings, a quartet of noisy oystercatchers flew over the Hirst Courtney ground. They turned out to be the only catchers present during Ovington II’s time in the field, as the visitors contrived to put down chance after chance. Aristocratic debutant Viscount Andrew Hockenhull, heir to Hockenhull Hall in Cheshire, was first culprit then victim, as he put down a pair of caught-and-bowleds, before watching his new team-mates drop two more. Phil Alford (116) and Brian Copeland (44) took full advantage, driving Hirst to a challenging 192-2, though Viscount Hockenhull did at least claim a regal 2-35 from his 9 overs.

Andy Cole (pictured batting last season) was involved in a bizarre collision in the field against Hirst Courtney

Andy Cole (pictured batting last season) was involved in a bizarre collision in the field against Hirst Courtney. Both parties were uninjured

Ovington’s batsmen then get thoroughly confused, losing both openers to Luke Mitchell (3-22) early on, before deciding to chase down a total of 93 rather than 193. Thanks to partnerships of 35 by Andy Cole (21) and Andrew Tomlinson (14) and then 32 between Jacob Lamb (8) and Benji Busby (23), they achieved this, and lost by just the 99 runs. Mark ‘The Assassin’ Alford was the pick of the Hirst bowlers, claiming 3-18 in 10 tidy overs.

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