Cricket: Barney keep their eyes on the prize to take T20 trophy
Barnard Castle CC
BARNARD Castle became NYSD League Twenty20 champions by winning the Macmillan Cup for the third time in five years on Sunday. Their five-wicket defeat of Thornaby in a low-scoring, low-key contest means that they qualify for the National T20 Cup starting next month.
The straight-driven four with which Thornaby began the match and their aggressive intent during the six over powerplay did not dictate the course of proceedings. Instead, it settled into a cagey affair with runs hard to come by on a surface which became gradually slower.
The key to the final lay in the work of spinners Karl Carver and Finn Usher whose pace and accuracy and were ideally suited to conditions. Allied to Barney’s spring-heeled fielding it made life impossible for Thornaby’s batsmen.
After Carver bowled Husnain Bukhari in the 12th over, Thornaby did not hit another boundary from the last eight overs of the innings. They were also prevented from turning singles into twos and twos in threes on the large Mandale Bottoms playing area by the vibrancy of all Barney’s fielders.
Thornaby scored 39 from the first six overs, reached 64 after 10 but were restricted to another 44 from the last ten. Bukhari’s innings of 46 from 39 balls was the only significant contribution and the only one played at more than a run a ball, a routine rate in T20 cricket.
Starting their innings as clear favourites, Barney knew there was still work to do. By and large they did it without alarm. Although James Quinn fell to a smart stumping by Dan Crosland in the third over, James Clarkson and Samarth Seth did the necessary accruing in the powerplay.
The match was decided by the fourth wicket partnership of 61 from 59 balls between Seth and Karl Carver. Both played measured innings, judging the conditions and the target perfectly.
Although there was a flurry of late wickets (including Rob West, bowled for a duck and finding what a great leveller cricket is after his titanic effort a day earlier, for details of which see below) the tie was effectively settled. Carver was made player of the match by the umpires.
For some reason, Barney’s arrival at the ground had been greeted with scores of placards bearing photographs of Dominic Cummings which were also dotted round the perimeter, as if it were all the town is famous for. If Thornaby were hoping to test Barney’s eyesight they found that it was in perfect working order.
H Bukhari b Carver 46, D Seymour c Seth b Dixon 13, L Harper run out 2, T Simon not out 15, P Allen b Bousfield 11, H Spaxman c West b Usher 2, J Watson not out 6, Extras 13 Total (20 overs) 108 for 5
Bowling: J Bousfield 4-0-21-1; T Merryweather 2-0-11-0; R West 4-0-26-0; R Dixon 2-0-19-1; K Carver 4-0-12-1; F Usher 4-0-16-1
J Clarkson c Crosland b Harper 17, J Quinn st Crosland b Metcalfe 3, S Seth lbw Bukhari 47, L Carver not out 33, R West b Gettings 0, F Usher lbw Harper 2, J Bousfield not out 4, Extras 3, Total (18.1 overs) 109 for 5
Barney won by 5 wickets
Richmondshire v Barney
BARNEY found themselves in familiar territory on Saturday – though the boot was on the other foot. Having three times been foiled this season by late resistance from their opponents, it was Barney who had to hang on grimly for a draw.
The last wicket pair had to face 57 balls on an untrustworthy pitch at Richmond for the side to avoid defeat and prevent their opponents going to the top of the NYSD Premier Division. Hero of the hour yet again was Rob West.
Two weeks earlier he had fashioned a highly improbable victory in the National Cup, also against Richmond, his former club, by hitting 57 from 33 balls. Now he came in at 87 for 7 with 12 overs left and a target of 183 already over the hills and far and away.
West struck two early fours to suggest he had in mind bringing it back into focus but Barney lost two more wickets to leave them at 122-9 in the 43rd over. In came Rob Dixon to join West, a redoubtable campaigner when the chips are down.
They virtually stopped attempting to score, save for trying to secure a third batting point and passing 75 per cent of Richmond’s score to garner two extra points for the draw. They achieved both objectives, holding out against the spinners, Ajay Mandal and Craig Marshall.
Barney stay third and can be relieved at the outcome with the gap between them and leaders Hartlepool now 19 points. But they know they will probably have to defeat both the clubs above them in the return fixtures later in the summer if they are to win their third league title in six years.
Most of the first half of the match on Saturday saw Barney well in contention. It was a tense contest between two fine teams who have immense respect for each other. The pitch was one that had already been played on several times, and a spot of rough one end seemed ideally placed for Richmond’s high-class spinners to exploit Barney’s plethora of left-handers.
Two early wickets for Barney were followed by a resolute partnership between Richmond’s two best batsmen, Rob Carr and Gary Pratt. They put on 55 in 13 overs but just as it looked as if they would enjoy a long afternoon at the crease Carr mistimed a drive against West and was caught and bowled.
If Richmond never quite re-established their innings, Pratt, again reserving his dogged best for Barney, ensured they would not go quietly. He was still there at the end with an unbeaten 69 from 116 balls.
If the target was attainable, the pitch would be doing the batsmen no favours. As tends to be their way Barney started circumspectly but the middle order was to fold quickly. A score of 19-1 from nine overs became 53-5 after 24 as Mandal applied pressure from which they could not escape.
The departures of James Quinn and Samarth Seth before they could get going were cruel blows. Although Finn Usher defended with determination the target was slipping away, and wickets kept falling.
It was all that Barney could do to hope for the draw and West and Dixon were the men to provide it.
R Carr c&b West 49, T Dow b Bousfield 1, M Layfield c Watson b Dixon 8, G Pratt not out 69, S Wood lbw West 1, J Shields c&b Usher 12, A Mandal c Peddelty b Bousfield 10, S Mather b Bousfield 8, J Moss not out 11, Extras 14 Total (50) overs 182 for 7
J Clarkson lbw Mandal 2, O Peddelty lbw Mandal 18, J Quinn c Dowson b Wood 8, S Seth c Mather b Mandal 6, K Carver c Layfield b Marshall 2, F Usher c Carr b Pratt 21, J Bousfield b Marshall 10, R Watson b Charlton 7, R West not out 32, P Merryweather b Marshall 11, R Dixon not out 3, Extras 19 Total (50 overs) 139-9
Bowling: S Charlton 10-3-33-1, C Marshall 15-6-35-3, A Mandal 15-7-25-3, S Wood 7-2-18-1, G Pratt 3-0-16-1
Barney II v Norton
A THUNDEROUS innings of 130 off 105 balls from Ian Swinburn allowed Barney to dominate their match against Norton on Saturday.
Swinburn’s runs, made from 186 scored while he was at the crease, gave Barney a position of dominance which they did not let slip. The six batsmen from two to seven in the order made 25 between them as Swinburn made his second century of the season to take his league average to above 50.
He hit 19 fours and five sixes – 106 in all from boundaries – to save the unnecessary task of running to which he is increasingly averse.
Indeed for the last half of his innings he was accompanied by a runner having contracted a groin injury, though he too was under-employed. With Sam Bell and Tom Brooks batting breezily in the last overs Barney had enough runs to play with.
Despite an early run out, Norton made a fist of chasing the target. Shane Mullery removed the danger men, Craig Symington and Chris Atkinson, and Norton lost their last eight wickets for 59 as Barney’s bowlers all enjoyed themselves.
Barney 244 all out (47 overs, I Swinburn 130, S Bell 27, T Brooks 21no, B Duncan 3-66, K Peakman 3-69).
Norton 162 all out (38.1 overs, C Atkinson 41, C Symington 41, T Merryweather 3-25, S Mullery 3-46, A Bainbridge 2-13)
Barney won by 82 runs
Sedgefield III v Barney III
A NINE-person Barney team went down by three wickets at Sedgefield on Sunday. Both teams included a female player which it is to be hoped will become the norm in future years.
Katie Mottershead, daughter of former Barney seam bowler Bob Mottershead, made her debut and Jessica Weatherspoon has been a regular presence in Sedgefield sides for four years.
Barney batted with some application recognising that being two short would make life perpetually difficult. After solid foundations were laid by Oliver Welsby and Joe Toulson, Oscar Usher played a typically acquisitive innings which contained a six and five fours.
Limited in the field, Barney stuck at their task well, managed two run-outs and made a well-balanced Sedgefield work hard for their deserved victory.
Barney 128 all out (33.5 overs, O Usher 41no, J Toulson 22, O Welsby 19, R Hutchinson 15, J Weatherspoon 3-24, F Wright 2-14); Sedgefield 129-7 (31.2 overs, D Lamb 42, J Ridley 17, D Watson 2-28)
Sedgefield won by 3 wickets
Saturday, June 26: 1st XI v Marske (H) 1pm, Premier Club Day. 2nd XI v Darlington II (A) 1pm.
Sunday, June 27: 1st XI v South Northumberland (A, 2pm) Regional Final of National Cup; 3rd XI v Seaton Carew III (A) 2pm.