There was plenty to write about for the Ovington sides this weekend as four senior games took place, three of which in cup competitions. The other was a match between the top two in the division, while the three cup matches across the club came against sides ranked higher in league or divisional status.
England Cricket captain Eoin Morgan was not the only cricketer sporting a back injury before pulling out a M.O.T.M. performance as Ovo’s Neil Metcalfe, a huge doubt to play on the morning of their game vs Drax, did the business with an excellent ten over spell of bowling. The two teams were #1 and #2 in Ebor Division 4 but what transpired was a rather one-sided affair. Ovington won the toss and fielded, with opening bowler Kurt Baird (3-12 from 12 overs) keeping the run-rate under wraps and taking the dismissals of the top three Drax batsman. Once the Australian had finished his allotted overs, Benji Busby brought himself on and after a torrid first over, recovered well. The skipper and Metcalfe both secured wickets in batches with the score going from 43-4 to 79 all out. Busby took 3-24, with Metcalfe unplayable against the tailenders with 4-14 from his 10 overs. Wicket-keeper Stefan Littlewood played his part, not for the first time this weekend, being involved in four dismissals, including a stumping.
Usually the top-order batting of Ovington does the damage with a minimum of fuss but, even though they were only chasing a total of 79, their innings stuttered. Two run-outs meant at one stage Ovington were 36-3 and in a bit of trouble. Nerves were quashed with the sensible batting of James Eckersley (13 not out) who was later joined by Tom Armes (18 not out), reaching the target with six wickets remaining and just 19.3 overs completed. It means that Ovington go 35 points clear of Drax at the top of the division.
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Sunday morning saw the first team in action for the second time this weekend as they made the short trip to New Earswick in a cup match, scheduled for a 11am start and twenty overs apiece. The home team batted first and the opening exchanges were reasonably level, with opening bowler Dom Kitching (2-14) impressing with both his economy rate and wickets. With the score at 37-4, Ovo were in the ascendancy but Chris Smith’s 42 not out, alongside briefer knocks from Tom Hewer and Craig Stimpson meant that New Earswick managed to get to three-figures with a final total of 101-7. Kurt Baird’s 2-31 and Dom Everard’s 1-14 were other bowling highlights.
At a rate of just over 5 an over, modern T20 teams would fancy themselves to knock off this total, but against a higher division side, it was always going to be a potentially competitive total. Finn Baqai fell without scoring due to being run-out, with fellow opener Tom Cookson falling two overs later for 11. Another wicket later and at 14-3, things did not look good for the chasing team. Joe Whale was joined at the crease by wicket-keeper Stefan Littlewood and the pair put on 35 before Whale fell for 16. Littlewood, out of form with the bat generally, then dominated the scoring as he hit six boundaries in a fine innings, eventually caught for 51 from 46 deliveries. The score at the point of dismissal was 94-8, with 8 to win from 9 balls remaining with two wickets left.
Ovo skipper Benji Busby, known for escapades in late run-chases in past seasons was joined by Kurt Baird and the pair hit three singles from the next three balls to leave six to win from the last over. The first ball of the final over saw Busby bowled, leaving six to win from five balls with just one wicket left. After a dot ball, Kitching hit a straight-drive for 3 to leave Baird on strike, requiring 2 to win from 3 balls. Some tight death bowling from John Routledge led to two dot balls. With one ball remaining, the score was 100-9 requiring 2 to win. In agonising fashion, Baird could only manage a single on the leg side and it meant the scores were tied. With New Earswick having lost seven wickets compared to Ovo’s nine, New Earswick advance through to the next round on wickets lost. In a village with no pubs, Ovo supporters could be excused staying at the Sports Club for a stiff drink.
Outside of the Senior League, both of our Vale League sides were in cup action also.
The Third team, languishing towards the foot of the third division table, got some respite from their league efforts to host second division Pocklington, who would have gone into the match as strong favourites given their league position and recent form. Thanks to Luke Smith for contributing to the following report
On the first sunny day of the season, Pocklington won the toss and put Ovington into bat. Openers Baqai (17) and Grenyer(3) started things off slowly seeing out the opening bowlers and after 10 overs the score was just 23. This didn’t look great but when Baqai fell to M.Kidd(2-37) it was time for James Mason(40) to prove himself up the order. He relished his opportunity and hit a fine innings. Grenyer fell shortly after Baqai and it was time for Jon Woodall(41) to enter the fray. Woodall and Mason ensured Ovington had a respectable score of 83 at drinks. Woodall was bowled shortly afterwards and in came Tom Irwin who played an array of shots to keep the Pocklington bowling at bay. When Mason was dimissed, it was time for usual #11 Luke Smith (22) to get involved, after promoting himself up the order after numerous not out performances in recent games. Irwin and Smith put on a quick 40 run partnership before the skipper chipped one up for a routine catch. Next in was Chris Geelan, who hit his first six of the season from his second delivery faced, in what he described later as “probably one of the sweetest and best timed shots I’ve played”. He ended his brief but rapid scoring innings to be dismissed for 17. Tom Irwin’s 31 not out helped finishing the innings in style with Jack Wilson at the crease and Ovington ended on 191-7 from their 40 overs. A good solid total.
Ovington opening bowlers started the game particularly strongly and Wilson(2-24) dismissed Steve Relf cheaply in the first couple of overs. First change saw the Ovington youth perform with Harrison Woodall (1-26) and Montgomery Grenyer(2-21) bowling excellently. At drinks Pocklington saw themselves around 20 runs short of what Ovington were at this stage but were still in the game and has plenty of batting still to come. S.Wilson was the pick of the Pock lineup with 26 before his middle stump was almost wiped out of the ground by Woodall with an excellent delivery. Pocklington struggled with the bat when Wilson was dismissed and not many other batsmen hit a total that they needed to keep up the run rates. Ovington introduced Uwin Waidyurante into the attack and with figures of 6-2-7-2 was the pick of the Ovington bowlers. Pocklington finished on 124-8 from their 40 overs meaning Ovington saw themselves through to the semi-final of the cup with a 67 run victory. The three other remaining teams are Bishopthorpe, Dunnington and Burn II, two of which have been involved in close competitive matches with the team this season.
The Second Team were another of the Ovington sides to feature in cup action – they hosted Clifton Alliance III on the Little Knavesmire. Ovo batted first and their innings did not get off to a good start with the score at 39-4. An Ovington junior duo helped us recover with Jacob Lamb (38) and Jack Walmsley (44) putting on 82 for the 5th wicket. The remaining batsman couldn’t continue the recovery as five wickets fell quickly, before Simon Rogerson hit 17* (including 14 off the final over) to reach the respectable total of 145-9.
Simon Rogerson followed up his final over salvo with the bat with the ball, putting in a economical ten over spell. He was supported by both Jack Walmsley and Mylife Sunuwar, as Clifton Alliance were behind the run-rate at the twenty over mark, albeit with wickets in hand. Unfortunately, the visiting side cut loose subsequently and won by seven wickets with six overs to spare.
Next week sees the First Team continue their hunt for the Div 4 title by hosting Selby II. That game won’t be on the Little Knavesmire due to Busted playing on York Racecourse and will take place at the University of York, a ground that doesn’t have the happiest of memories for this Ovo side. This meeting will also be where the annual race-day collection takes place. The Second team take the long trip to Thixendale, who top the Vale League at present. The Third Team are also in action, this time at away vs Selby III. The two teams met earlier in the season at the same venue in the cup, where it gave Luke Smith his maiden win as third team skipper. Availability across the club could be quite limited this weekend with plenty of stuff going on, so if you can do so, make yourself available! If you do not know who to contact, get in touch with us via our Facebook page and we will point you in the right direction.
Keep your eyes open for updates on the website re: the raceday collection and for any results – check out our Play-Cricket site