York Senior League: Captain Rob Taylor looking upwards for Ripon CC

Ripon's Elliot Oates and Thirsk's James Wilkinson. (1406283AM4)
Ripon's Elliot Oates and Thirsk's James Wilkinson. (1406283AM4)

Captain Rob Taylor believes his young team can push on an look at the promotion places in the second half of the season despite an up and down beginning to his reign as captain.

Twenty-year-old Nelson took over the captaincy from Tom Leeming over the winter and has inherited a talented squad of players in York Senior League Division Two North.

Wins have been difficult to come by over the opening three months of the summer, though, with Ripon sat in eighth place.

League leaders Selby were put under pressure by the Ripon bowlers at the weekend, but their class showed after the interval to collect a 51-run win.

Elliot Oates was Ripon’s only batsman to withstand the Selby attack for a length of time as they collapsed for 101 in 39.3 overs.

Despite falling to defeat, Taylor was encouraged enough to suggest his side were capable of a dart at the top of the table in the second half of the season.

“It’s all very tight at the moment and I am hoping we can get into the top half of the table and consolidate our position,” he said.

“If we can get a couple or more wins under our belt and get on a little run, we can start looking at the promotion places. We just need that run to come.”

Ben Crewe (4-25) and Jake Briscombe (3-22) were the front line bowlers doing the damage to Selby’s usually prolific batsmen at the weekend as they bowled the leaders out for just 152.

Both bowlers drew praise from their young captain for the way they have began the campaign, but it has been the team dynamic that has Taylor beaming.

“I’m enjoying it. It’s a good challenge and we have a good young team this year with a few new faces,” the captain added.

“Everyone is chipping in with good performances, which is really good.”

Taylor admitted Saturday’s trip to Easingwold was a step in the unknown, with a first pairing between the sides since the York Senior League regionalised its divisions.

Easingwold earned promotion into the northern tier of Division Two this season after finished second in Division Three north last year.

Taylor said: “We just have to take it as it comes, play to our strengths and bowl in the good areas that we know we can.

“We know we are going in the right direction.

“I have not thought about a points target, we are just going game by game and seeing where we end up.”