York defeat dampens spirits for title chasing Harrogate

Harrogate CC's George Ross
Harrogate CC's George Ross

Captain George Ross encouraged his Harrogate squad to continue their aggressive brand of cricket despite a crashing to a second defeat in three weeks.

Harrogate lost seven wickets for 19 runs as they collapsed to 118 all out in a six-wicket loss against fierce Yorkshire League rivals York on Saturday.

The defeat knocked them off the top of the table, but Ross denied the defeat has harmed their title aspirations.

The skipper said: “I don’t think it dents it at all. It’s still very early and as long as we stay around that top three or four we will have a good chance towards the end of the season.

“We have played some very aggressive cricket over the course of the first weeks of the season. That wasn’t quite present on Saturday.

“If we can get another row of wins, hopefully we will be right back on the charge.”

Connor Ryan and James Latham made an important foundation to the innings but from 45-0 both openers departed without the scoreboard ticking over. Ross then departed on 12 as he was caught off Chris Burns’ bowling, and Yorkshire ace Jonathan Tattersall soon followed suit for 26.

Harrogate’s innings then collapsed from 93-4 to 118 all out, as four of the lower order were dismissed for ducks.

Russell White (3-32) made three impressions on the scorebook in York’s chase, but Gate were unable to dislodge overseas batsman Adam Whatley, who ended on 69 not out.

Ross added: “Taking nothing away from York because they stuck to their game plan. But if we had batted anywhere near where we can do, we would have got a very good score.

“The conditions weren’t the reason, we just capitulated.

“It’s not a situation we have been in this season. I didn’t want to be negative with the lads but it was important they knew that performance wasn’t acceptable.

“We had a good chat after it and have some very good ideas as to how we can turn it around.”

Gate must now focus their attentions on another crunch game this weekend when Azeem Rafiq’s Barnsley head to St George’s Road. Barnsley are level on points with Gate and have a game in hand, something Ross was keen to wipe out with a victory.

White is unavailable due to work commitments while Elliot Keenan has been dropped to the seconds. Ashley Griffin returns while Ben Kempley has also been added to the squad.

Ross said: “Ben deserves his chance to score some runs in the first team. He has just come back up north from school and has looked strong when he has been given an opportunity.

The captain added: “It’s important we get back on the horse and start with a very important eight points at the weekend.”