CUP WINNERS: The successful Raby Castle squad who retained the Cec Leece Trophy after defeating Middleton St George by five wickets
CUP WINNERS: The successful Raby Castle squad who retained the Cec Leece Trophy after defeating Middleton St George by five wickets


Cec Leece Trophy

Middleton St George.. 186-7

Raby Castle................. 190-5

RABY Castle’s trophy cabinet is going to need strengthening after they added this year’s Cec Leece Trophy to the A Division knockout cup they won in June.

The defending champions – Raby defeated Barningham last year – took on Middleton St George on an overcast Sunday afternoon at Rockcliffe Park.

It turned out to be an exciting affair, with Raby reaching a testing target.

Raby’s chances were dealt a blow before the start when opening bowler Dan Lee was ruled out after aggravating a calf injury during the pre-match warm up.

However, hoping that the conditions would be favourable for bowling, Raby skipper Joe Dent won the toss and asked MSG to bat first.

The move seemed to have paid off when Ben Goodfellow bagged an early wicket.

However, Steven Rogers and Chris Peacock shared a stand of 45 to get MSG back on track. Peacock was caught behind by Andrew West off the bowling of Joe Beadle.

Steve French joined Rogers and they took the score to 88 before Beadle had French caught by Ryan Lee for 12.

Then came the highest stand of the match (92) between Rodgers and Shoaib Khan before Ryan Lee took his second catch to dismiss Khan for 30 off the bowling of Matt Dent.

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Rogers was dropped once but continued to bat belligerently – even scoring 21 off one over – before he was out stumped by Andrew West for 91 off the bowling of James Forster in the 29th over with the score on 183.

Then followed a MSG batting collapse as James Forster completed a hat-trick bowling Josh Binks and having Jamie Irving caught by keeper Andrew West off the next two balls.

Dale Johnson and Sam Binks took the MSG score to a daunting 186-7 wickets off 30 overs.

Ben Goodfellow finished with 1-32; James Forster 3-29; Simon Lee 0-26; Joe Beadle 2-31; Lewis Leng 0-20 and Matt Dent 1-38.

In reply, Raby got off to a good start before opener Matt Dent was out LBW for 14 off the bowling of Dave Glew with the score on 28.

Simon Lee was joined by Lewis Leng and after a partnership of 51, Lee was run out for an excellent 62.

Peter Forster then joined Leng and the pair put on 79 before Forster was out for 33 with the score on 158.

Andrew West was stumped for two and Gareth Walton run out for three before James Forster (9no) and Lewis Leng, who carried his bat for an excellent 43, saw Raby home

SG Petch Darlington and District Cricket League president Brian Jones asked Charlie Walker, son-in-law of Cec Leece to present the trophy to Raby captain Joe Dent.

Mr Jones thanked hosts Rockcliffe Park for the use of their excellent ground and facilities, and D&DC League sponsors SG Petch for their continued support before thanking both teams for an exciting match of cricket in which more than 360 runs had been scored.

He then thanked umpires Dave Garth and Ian Burgess and scorer Steve Caygill for officiating in the final.

Simon Lee was awarded the man-of-the-match trophy for his all-round performance in which he scored 62 runs and only conceded 26 runs from his 6 overs. Winning captain Joe Dent thanked the MSG team for their part in an exciting high scoring game.