Joe has a Whale of a time in Helmsley trip

Cricket Club based in South Bank, York

Joe has a Whale of a time in Helmsley trip

Ovington Cricket Club had their second weekend of the senior season and saw plenty of pre-match drama, scoring woes and great individual performances across the club.

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Firsts off to a flyer in Helmsley

The First Team (sponsored by Athletica Health), licking their wounds after a humbling defeat last week, made the long journey to Helmsley to face Duncombe Park. There was pre-match drama, as the team had to change during the morning due to a head-injury sustained overnight, meaning Dick Buckley was drafted in. Partially for his bowling but also because he had access to a car and not an electric scooter.

In calamitous scenes, Play-Cricket stopped working for many clubs at around 1pm meaning there was no way of Ovington’s spectators following the match online. It was also thankful that Duncombe Park had provided a scorer who used an old-fashioned scorebook. Lesson learnt.

Winning the toss and batting, Busby’s men got off to a great start, with Joe Whale and Charlie Buckley gelling together well. They put on 99 for the opening partnership before Buckley was caught down the leg-side for a well made 34. Whale by this time had made his half-century but went into his shell a little once reaching the milestone. He was also kept in-check by Leckenby’s slow spin bowling. Doc Metcalfe on his return to the side made 22 before some real jitters in the middle-order. Ovington went from 139-1 to 175-6, Whale falling during that period for 68. It looked like Ovington were throwing away that great start but some powerful late hitting from Stefan Littlewood (28 not out) supported by Tom Irwin (26) put Ovington on the respectable total of 228-7. Leckenby took 4-62 with Durrant 2-50.

Joe Whale faces Leckenby in their game vs Duncombe Park. Neil Metcalfe watches on at the non-strikers end. (Pic: Benji Busby)
Teas at the Helmsley venue got the thumbs-up from our wicketkeeper Matthew Roberts (pic: Benji Busby)

Wickets spread around the attack

Dom Kitching took the early wicket of opener Stones to put Duncombe Park at 17-1 before the second wicket partnership of Paddy Obank and Saggers put the home side 81-1. The hosts were always going at about the run-rate. The duo were only halted from a good catch from Tom Armes to help dismiss Saggers for 30. That wicket proved a vital one as only one other Duncombe Park batter reached double figures. That wasn’t to say there was some peril. The aforementioned Obank after giving away a couple of early chances, put together a top-quality innings. He was unfortunate to reach his century as he was dismissed from what was a dreary delivery on 98.

Duncombe Park eventually finished on 175 all out. The wickets were evenly spread around, with Kitching topping the charts with 3-35. Dick Buckley, Neil Metcalfe and Benji Busby all took two apiece. Also worthy of note was the almost perfect fielding display by the team, which certainly contributed to creating pressure on the scoreboard.

The win was an important one for the First Team as they face their debut season in Division Two of the YPLN.

Thirds show some true grit

Long time Ovington supporters will know of the unfortunate record that our Thirds suffered last season when failing to win a match in 2021. Under new leadership, they faced a defeat on the pitch in their opening match but faced a Pocklington side who they themselves struggled in their opening effort.

The two Ovington batters that contributed over 60% of their runs last week vs Wheldrake were drafted to play in the Seconds this weekend so there were some obvious concerns with where the runs may come from. Due to the previously mentioned team woes, James Eckersley, who would be an important part of a Second team batting line-up when fully prepared, answered the late call for players for his first game in a while.

Mature batting performance

Batting first, our Thirds showed real determination with the bat and kept the opening bowlers very quiet in terms of the wickets column, a far cry from some of the performances last season. The opening partnership of Graham Walton (44) and Lucas Moore (19) put on 57 for the first wicket. This figure isn’t a million miles away from the gap in age between the two. The run-rate, at this point around 3 an over, didn’t really increase dramatically throughout the 40 overs but Jeremy Fowke and Seth Young both kept the scoreboard ticking along and led the Ovington side to a respectable total of 120-4, with Fowke being dismissed off the last ball for 14. Young got 18 not out.

Defending such a total was always going to be a big ask and although Pocklington batted fairly conservatively themselves, they were still always up with the run-rate and even with the best efforts of Josh Blower (2-34 and a run-out) – Pocklington knocked off the total in 29 overs. Other notable efforts for the home side was Brandon Bishop’s 1.83 economy rate from his six overs and Seth Young going for <4.00 per over.

There was some real positives, even accounting for the relatively heavy defeat on paper, with the batting display showing one of real maturity. A good effort all round.

Halford-Thompson & Warner impress for Ovington again

There was less drama here versus last week as the Seconds made the significant trip to Hirst Courtney to play one of the promoted teams . Smith lost the toss, put into bat and that looked an ominous toss to lose with the score at 7-2. The skipper stepped up though with a supporting role at the other end to Simon Halford-Thompson. In his second game for the club, he once again showed his aptitude with the bat. Dismissed for 50, the scorebook does have a crossed out 48, we hope that he got a chance to salute the spectators.

Thirty runs short for target set

Dave Warner, who hit his first half-century for the club last week, continues in good form as he scored 29. Runs in the lower order, including a six by James Wilkinson, a shot he will be telling everyone about for years, led Ovington to a below-par 130.

In reply, Jack Eckersley-Wilson took the important scalp of Sam Dunn with just 4 on the board. It wasn’t until debutante Liam Wilks took the wickets of Montgomery and Reddley that Ovington started making progress. Hirst were at 63-3 and the game still slightly in the balance. Hirst Courtney middle-order did not implode like what was needed for Ovington to have a chance. Harry Eckersley-Wilson returned to the attack with the wickets of Barraclough and Wright, giving him figures of 2-26. Hirst managed to get themselves over the line with a few overs remaining and four wickets left. Wilks took 2-28.