Firsts win a perfect tribute to Grandad Cookson

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It was a weekend for the bowlers in Ovo colours as two of our three teams were successful in league action at the weekend, with in both games, the bowling did the business. There was also more reaction from the Bucket Collection last weekend, remembering a club legend as well as some exciting games for the juniors and a sparkling individual effort in the Foss Evening League.

Prior to the match between Ovington v North Cave on Saturday, the club formally unveiled a Bench in remembrance of Derek Davies, more commonly known as ‘Grandad Cookson’ who passed away last year. Derek was very much a part of the woodwork of Ovington CC, frequently visiting the Little Knavesmire to support teams of all ages and is very much missed. A bench outside of the pavilion is a fitting tribute to Grandad Cookson and will allow people to enjoy the cricket, and the Little Knavesmire, for many years to come.

The First Team hosted North Cave on Saturday, where the visitors took the unusual step (for the Senior League) of winning the toss and batting. Eleven overs took place before a breakthrough, where Kurt Baird took two wickets in two balls to take the score to 28-2. The Australian taking wickets became a theme of the next hour, taking the dismissals of five of the top six North Cave batsmen in a scintillating twelve over spell. By the time the change bowling came on, the score was 59-6. The visitors were in real trouble and it wouldn’t get much better for them, with the in-form Neil Metcalfe and Dom Everard both taking two wickets apiece. This left North Cave 80 all out, with Baird’s closing figures of 12 overs, 7 maidens, 5 wickets for 21 runs very impressive.

Although Ovo lost opener Tom Cookson relatively early, James Eckersley (25 not out) and Pete Kelly (37 not out) made light work of the target total, getting the runs in just 15 overs. It means the winning run in the league continues for the First Team, and was a fitting performance on the day ‘Grandad Cookson’ was remembered once again.

Last week saw one of the main events in the club calendar – the annual bucket collection. This is where our juniors and seniors raise money outside the York Racecourse to support the club, including pitch hire and ground improvements. I’m awaiting a formal announcement but I believe over £2500 was raised.

Annually we run a competition to see who can raise the most money for the club outside the Racecourse. For the second year running, Toby and Wilf Metcalfe take the top honours for the top raceday collectors. Great job!

Toby and Wilf Metcalfe were the top collectors for the second year running at the Annual Raceday Bucket Collection

On the subject of Under 9’s – thank you to both Neil Metcalfe and James Eckersley for the following reports.

The origin of the phrase “they are as alike as chalk and cheese” has never definitely been known but if ever an example of it were needed then the performances of the U9 championship team over 24 hours this week would be perfect. On Tuesday Ovo visited York A team and had their first experience of an artificial wicket. It was not an enjoyable one for Ovo with the home team so adept to such a wicket that they were able to do leg side pulls for boundaries at will, fed by our bowling it must be said, and were helped to many running opportunities such that both a 6 was ran and on one occasion an 8 was given! The umpire writing this report had an exasperated face on many occasions on what was being seen and was thinking his P45 was coming his way due to the downturn in performance, even more surprising considering the previous training session had been fielding based. The Ovo batting was better but were not used to the bounce. Ovo lost by around 130 runs much of which was self-imposed and not the true Ovo capability. Thank you to all that played though and hopefully the lessons offered would be valuable for the future. The prematch British bulldogs warm up was the successful part of the day, using the York 1st team outfield that had recently hosted Yorkshire CCC to something it may not have witnessed previously.

An opportunity to amend the Tuesday performance came quickly with a home match against Sherriff Hutton Bridge. A good spirit was noted before the game and with everyone being regularly reminded about the issues with the day before the performance was the best of the season. The bowling was excellent with both Wilf Metcalfe (2-5) and Phoebe Andrews (2-6) getting a couple of wickets each but everyone bowled in better areas and were backed up by excellent fielding and wicket keeping. Suddenly backing up had returned. A left handed throw by right handed Jacob Mellows, making his return to the team after a year, led to a direct run out and all players had smiles and were basking in the performance at the sunny field of dreams. 6 wickets in total was a team season record. Chasing 52 the team had a definite chance and the fact that by the last pair the scorers were being asked for an update showed all knew it was close. This was after opening pair Phoebe and Jacob had not lost a wicket and middle pair Maya FitzGerald and Wilf only losing one. Ultimately, it led to Ashley Steel, who top scored with 11, and Henri Sammons needing 14 off the last over. Some excellent running was seen, and a boundary but a wicket affected the opportunity and ultimately the team lost by 9 runs. However, for the first time Ovo had obtained more wickets than the opposition and it was probably a few missed stroke making shots and perhaps more opportunistic running that was the slight difference. More of the Wednesday and less of the Tuesday performance is to be aimed for moving into some to be arranged friendlies before the end of the season.

The Under 9s team after a home game this week.

A strange golden orb appeared in the sky on Tuesday afternoon, something unseen for so long that folk barely remember its name. One thing remembered is that when observed, cricket must be played. The U9 development side adhered to the tradition and faced strong Dunnington B side.

Bowling first, we strayed a little with line, but a much improved performance from Yash Fitzgerald brought a wicket, and Maddie Smith’s season debut was a class above our usual standards. Unravelling somewhat in the second round of bowling, 5 fours in one over sped the Dunnington team to 313.

Tactics were reversed somewhat with an attempt to play our strong batters midway through our innings in the hope of facing easier bowling. Perhaps an oversight was that brave Ted and Yash faced an onslaught of pace bowling neither have been trained to deal with. Ted’s first delivery is rapping his fingers painfully. With sweaty eyes, he bravely saw off the bowling and the two openers managed to add a few byes to the score.

Thank you to all our kind sponsors for their support of Ovington Cricket Club.

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Third Team captain Luke Smith had to wait a while for his first win but in recent weeks has led the team to a cup semi-final and some good performances in the league generally. Luke celebrated his 18th birthday on Sunday, the same day of the rescheduled home game against Bolton Percy and any fears that he would be out in town from midnight onward prior to the match were realised. He lost the toss and was forced to field but what followed was a strong overall bowling performance and meant a straightforward win. Dismissals were spread around the Ovo bowling attack, with new signing Shaun Fell (2-16) making early in-roads. It was then Harrison Woodall (3-23) who dismissed the stubborn J.Green Jnr and took two from the middle order to put Ovo in a strong position. Smith then came into the attack to mop-up the tail, taking three wickets in just ten legal deliveries to leave him with figures of 3-2 and Bolton Percy 59 all out.

It was then Gabriel Uttley (36 not out) supported by U13 Noah Morgan (11 not out) who both carried their bat through for a ten wicket win, giving captain Smith a perfect birthday present and the full 30 points in double quick time.

Wednesday night saw a remarkable individual performance in the Foss Evening League, as the often controversial Asgard Vikings II hosted Ovington. Batting first as the visitors, Tom Cookson completely dominated the Vikings attack. In just 68 balls, he hit a sparkling 106 not out, including 17 boundaries and 1 six, dominating the Asgard Vikings attack and helping put 178-2 on the board for the away side. Gabriel Uttley supported Cookson well, with the pair putting on 136 for the first wicket.

The Asgard Vikings batting line-up never really stood much chance of getting that total in 20 overs, especially given the economical bowling of Benji Busby. Perhaps taking inspiration from Neil Metcalfe’s antics last week, his two over spell went for zero runs for two wickets. Jack Wilson also took two wickets and this, alongside good fielding, poor running and a rotated bowling attack – meant Ovo were victors by 75 runs.

For the Second Team, they’d have gone into this match as underdogs facing what appeared a strong looking Clifton Alliance team. Winning the toss and batting, they showed real resilience in their full 40 over innings. Graham Walton fell just short of his half-century with a determined innings of 48, supported well by Jacob Lamb’s 39. Not for the first time, the middle-order failed to significantly contribute to the total, albeit not given much time to do so and a collapse followed. Only Tom Irwin made double figures as Ovo posted a total of 141-7 from the full 40 overs. Matthew Simms took four wickets.

In the previous meeting in the cup a couple of weeks ago, Alliance were well-behind the rate at the drinks mark before making double-quick time to chase down a similar sort of total. This was in marked contrast to what happened yesterday, as they got to the total in just 23 overs. Thomas Irwin took the usually important wicket of Jason Gatus but it was Matthew Phillips (who the author of this post has demolished for the past two seasons in a Fantasy Football league) and Alistair Wray, took the bull by the horns and got to the total with the loss of just one wicket.

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Administrator of the Ovington CC Website. Woeful bowler.

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