Harrogate CC hit the road to Doncaster Town this Saturday, buoyed by a superb result last weekend.
Harrogate thumped rock-bottom Sheffield United by 96 runs and notched this season’s first ton, to keep the pressure firmly on Yorkshire League leaders York.
Skipper Ryan Bradshaw was delighted to see a plan come together, as Harrogate reached 271-7 before dismissing their visitors for 175.
Scott Huntley smashed an undefeated 130 with George Ross adding 42.
“It all went to plan, we wanted to bat first and give our batsmen a chance and they certainly delivered,” he said.
“Scott Huntley got our first 100 of the season, which has been long overdue, and it was just a superb performance.
“He’s been batting down the order but the policy here is that if you work hard and train hard, you’ll go up the order.
“He’s proved himself so we moved Andy Laws down the order and Scott delivered at three.
“He can adapt to the bowling conditions really well, quick bowler, pace bowler or spin. He’s a quality player and it was great to see us finally post a good score.”
United proved difficult to kill off but four wickets apiece for Jonny Tattersall (4-24) and Andy Laws (4-34) meant Gate eventually got their man, something Bradshaw was relieved to see.
“Bowling-wise we thought we might be back in the bar for an early finish but their low order bat we couldn’t get,” he said.
“It was another 18 overs before we finally got him. I’ve lost the league a few times by one or two ponts so it’s imperative we do pick up these crucial bonus points on offer.
“I was very happy we got the eight points.”
This weekend’s hosts are likely to prove a tougher test, and Harrogate will be missing key man Andy Laws for the contest.
A knee injury could spell the end of the season for the Gate all-rounder.
“Doncaster are a very good club, always in the top half,” said Bradshaw.
“Andy has got to have a scan and most likely an operation so it could be his season over.
“Fortunately we welcome Tom Geeson-Brown back, whose had a massive impact this season.”
Laws’ misfortune could be a chance for fringe players to gain a foothold in the squad.
Second-teamer James Clark impressed for the firsts at Sheffield United and Bradshaw isn’t overly worried about filling Laws’ gap.
“James came in and opened the bowling, bowled seven overs and took one wicket, so he’s in contention this weekend,” said Bradshaw.
“We’ve got a lot of options in terms of bowlers, George Ross, Jonathan Tattersall, Ollie Driver, but for the lads on the fringe it’s times like this where we need them, when key players are out and we need them to step up.”
The three-point gap between Harrogate and York is also not weighing too heavily on Bradshaw who is confident there will be chance to make up the distance.
“I always say it but to win the league you have to beat York at York,” he said.
“There are a lot of twists and turns still to come.”
Meanwhile Harrogate 2nds lost by seven wickets at Duncombe Park in Division Two North of the York Senior League. Richard Burcher hit 44 and Nick Taylor 31 as Gate reached 178-8, but Park pulled home at 179-3,
Cameron O’Donnell bagging 3-44.