Draw against title rivals Richmondshire keeps Barnard Castle top of the table
NYSD Premier Division
Barnard Castle 194-6
Barney stayed top of the NYSD Premier Division after holding title rivals Richmondshire to a draw at Vere Road on Monday.
With two matches left, Barney are now four points clear of Great Ayton, who moved to second place and ten clear of Richmondshire who drop to third.
It took Barney all their resolve to hold on in the second match of the Bank Holiday weekend after their opponents set the pace for much of the day.
But by the end of a taut contest, Barney were on 194 for six in reply to Richmondshire’s 251 all out. At one stage it had seemed that the target for victory, after James Quinn won the toss and elected to field, would be higher still.
When Richmondshire’s second wicket pair of Gary Pratt and Matthew McKiernan were rattling along at a run a ball, putting on 115 between the third and 23rd overs, Barney looked a little lost. But the admirably persevering Josh Bousfield returned and earned his due reward by bowling McKiernan.
Richmondshire still pressed hard after that with Pratt taking no risks to ensure a total that would not be easily surpassed and his partners all opening out. But Barney had back an element of control and Bousfield and Giles Creedon, in particular, helped them achieve it.
The pitch, while not entirely unfavourable to bowlers, favoured batsmen but Barney rightly chose caution in their pursuit. They had started the day 13 points in front and could not afford to allow their opponents 25 points for victory.
Hashan Dumindu was in splendid form and Mike Dixon was exemplary. The advent of McKiernan’s leg spin into the attack changed the mood and when Barney fell from 92-1 to 105-5 with Dumindu, adjudged caught behind, and Alasdair Appleby falling in successive balls, they were up against it.
Richard Borrowdale and Giles Creedon remained calm and measured, however, rotating the strike but taking no risks. By the time Creedon was leg before to McKiernan, Barney were safe and Borrowdale was opening his shoulders to gather extra bonus points.
Richmondshire 251 all out (49.4 overs, M McKiernan 72, G Pratt 70, M Cowling 26, J Bousfield 3-44, G Creedon 3-65, A Appleby 3-71); Barney 194-6 (50 overs, H Dumindu 58, R Borrowdale 50no, G Creedon 31, M Dixon 24, M McKiernan 4-38).
Match drawn – Barney 11 points, Richmondshire 14