Cup semi-final for Thirds as U9’s B perform brightly

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There was some nail-biting finishes for our Senior sides at the weekend as both the First and Third teams were involved in some very close games. Just like the England World Cup side, these games were decided by the tightest of margins. There was also our Junior teams in action, with some great performances by the U9’s B and a win for our U15’s, among other good performances. This weekend sees the Third Team take center stage as they play local rivals Bishopthorpe II in the Scothern Construction Cup semi-final clash. Both of our other sides are in action too.

Sunday saw England win the World Cup in a Super Over and although the tie-breaker wasn’t needed or even possible at Burythorpe, the game between Stamford Bridge IV and Ovington III was equally as tense a finish. For those who have been to Burythorpe, the small ground and much improved pitch (compared to four seasons ago where Ovo were dismissed for 26) means big scores are possible. The home side were confident in chasing and elected to field, but would have rued that decision fairly quickly. Although Noah Morgan was run out with scoring, fellow opener Gabriel Uttley, a new signing for 2019, held the top order together with a fine innings. His 83 from 70 balls, including 11 boundaries, was a great innings and it only came to end due to facing the indignity of being run out by Jed Fowke. Fowke himself got 33 while other batting highlights was Kareem Baqai’s 32, James Mason’s 21 and Tom Irwin’s 38 not out, meant a big total was possible and Ovo got to 243-7 from their 40 overs. A fine effort, especially given they were facing one or two players who play on Saturday’s in YDSCL Division II, one of which opened the bowling.

Six an over sounds a lot but at Burythorpe, it is a gettable total on a small outfield. At 59-2, the game was fairly in the balance with Stamford Bridge having lost two wickets within a couple of minutes. Pivotal to the innings however was opener Martyn Stevens, who like Uttley for Ovington, dominated the bowling and scored at better than a run-a-ball. When Stevens was dismissed for a fine 92, Stamford Bridge were 175-3 and in the box-seat. They lost Ewan Wilkie, who put on 116 with Stevens, shortly afterwards and thus created an almighty batting collapse. Those two wickets came from an unlikely source, Kareem Baqai, who is more known for his batting, took both. Liam Easton, batting at 8, decided attack was the best form of defence and hit 47 from 28 before he too fell to the bowling of Baqai, who eventually took 4-38. His efforts, alongside some good fielding, poor running and nerves, meant that Stamford Bridge fell 4 runs short in an amazing last over, with just three balls remaining.

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Games going down to the wire hasn’t been a common occurrence for the First Team this season, only a tie to New Earswick in the cup springs to mind. It has been pretty smooth sailing and they’d have gone into the game as clear favourites vs Drax II, whose first team are the closest rivals in the division. It was all going smoothly for Ovington at 105-2 with plenty of batting to come and 30 overs remaining. There however, it all went a bit wrong. 105-2 became 125-6 as Keith Powell and Paul Vickers went through the middle-order. Joe Browning wouldn’t have been your ideal pick to come and in rescue the innings, given his aggressive style, but his 25 from 24 balls put Drax on the back-foot somewhat and helped a recovery alongside Neil Metcalfe, more known for his bowling exploits in 2019, hit a fine innings with a brilliant 57 not out. The tail themselves chipped in, with Busby getting 10 and Kurt Baird, not known for his batting, hitting an Ovington best of 19, including three boundaries, to help Ovington to 237-9 dec, with 4.3 overs left.

Drax II lost two wickets early and were 5-2. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the state of the game and a draw being beneficial to their first team, meant defensive batting was the order of the day. Paul Vickers scored 45 from 90 balls and the Drax II middle order generally scored at a strike rate of only 20.0, as they dug in and kept the usually dominant bowling attack at bay. It wasn’t until the introduction of part-time spinner Tom Cookson to the attack, that Vickers and Michael Priestley lost their wicket. Those dismissals were important as it exposed the tail, but time was running out with just 14 overs left and five wickets remaining. It was then a combination of Neil Metcalfe and Kurt Baird returning to the attack, that took four further wickets. No matter how hard Ovington tried, the final wicket could not be dislodged with bringing the strike bowling back and with two overs left, Pete Kelly was tried. After a maiden, captain Benjamin Busby brought himself on to try and force the wickets. With a handful of deliveries left, Busby finally ended the Drax resistance, with Baird taking the catch, to give Ovo a last gasp 121 run success.

Ovington U9s Development side put in a much improved performance to sign off the campaign. Bowling first with the nerveless Phoebe Andrews, batters came and went without troubling the scoreboard. A special congratulations to Edward on his debut for the club – coming up with a solid performance with a lean two overs. With Ted displaying a new run up in his bowling action and Henri keeping things tight, Clifton were restricted to 275. Jack Matthews again took a wicket to cement his place as the lead wicket taker for the side.

Jacob and Phoebe were aggressive with the bat and led a charge towards the opposition’s total at either end of the innings, but with fast bowling, Clifton restricted Ovington with some batters powerless to hit the ball.
Ovington reached 245 having lost 3 wickets, but the result was not important, the coach thrilled with such an improved bowling and fielding performance. The future is bright, the future is Ovington!

Playing at Milthorpe School due to a horse infestation on Ovington’s usual ground, Burn won the toss and bowled. After a minute’s silence for top racing tipster John McCririck was impeccably observed, Ovington’s reply began disastrously as James Eckersley decided to run himself out off the second ball of the innings. Lamb (29) and Dickinson rebuilt the innings with a 50 partnership but once Lamb departed to Abbott (4-41), it fell almost entirely to Dickinson to push Ovo on. The tail endeavoured to give Dickinson the strike and he eventually ended with 67 not out, with Ovo finishing on 165.

In reply, Burn were cruising at 146-1 with Haigh (60) looking at ease and a rapid 50 from Clark but the introduction of 13 year-old spinner Jacob Lamb (3-9) saw a minor collapse as Burn lost 4 wickets for 12 runs to give Ovo some hope. There were no more alarms though as Burn ran out comfortable 5 wicket winners. (Report by Andy Cole).

The Foss Evening League side have been in good form recently but came a cropper at the Little Knavesmire on Wednesday evening vs Stockton & Hopgrove. Jamie Kerrison’s 67 from 64 balls set the scene as the visitors set the imposing total of 164-4 from the full twenty overs. The pick of the Ovo bowling was Mylife Sunuwar’s 2-20 from his 3 overs. In response, Ovington were in disarray due to Matt Bradshaw, who proved too good for the top-order and meant the top 5 batsman were dismissed for single figure scores. Charlie Buckley helped put some respectability into the scoring with a fine 42, while Saturday captains Luke Smith and Benjamin Busby both chipped with scores in the teens. It wasn’t enough as they fell 69 run short.

The Under 11’s B team faced Clifton Alliance C in a very close affair. Charlie Taylor and Leah Smith were the batting highlights in Ovington’s 62-2, where the ability for the Ovington batting to keep wickets at bay was a real highlight throughout. Charlie Taylor then followed up with very good figures of 1-4 from his 2 overs, but to their credit, Clifton Alliance managed to do what Ovington also did and protect their wicket at all costs. After some very tense closing moments, Clifton held out and were victorious by just 5 runs, but with plenty of encouragement from the Ovington line-up in terms of their batting and bowling performances.

This week as mentioned above sees the Third Team take center stage. They first have a league game against Burn II at Millthorpe school. The previous fixture between the two was a very low-scoring affair and ended up with a thrilling finish. Burn occupy the top two spots in the division and will be aiming to do a club-double, having had their first team beat our second team last week. Sunday then sees the Thirds host Bishopthorpe II on the Little Knavesmire in a cup semi-final. The return of Tom Ashby to the club, scheduled to be playing in both Third Team games, could be a major boost. Lets hope for good weather and some good cricket in the right spirit throughout the weekend.

The First Team play Heworth IV’s and will be regarded as major favourites against a team who have just one victory to their name in 2019. As last week showed though, any team can cause problems at this level on their day. Perhaps the weather might be the biggest danger. The Second travel to Yapham, a sometimes difficult place to go and play. For all the team news, see below.

All the best to all Ovington Junior and Senior sides over the next coming few days.

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