Yorkshire League: Harrogate seek response after National Knock-Out blow

Tom Geeson-Brown (Caught Light Photography)
Tom Geeson-Brown (Caught Light Photography)

Captain George Ross remained buoyed by Harrogate Cricket Club’s performances after a frustrating weekend on their travels.

The weather culminated Harrogate’s victory charge at Appleby Frodingham on Saturday with Ross’ men well in command.

Ross (98no) and Yorkshire teenager Jonny Tattersall (96no) were cruising towards centuries when rain interrupted Saturday’s clash, leaving Gate to declare on 241-2.

A three-hour stoppage left Gate with two hours to bowl the hosts out, and on a green-deck quick bowlers Tom Geeson-Brown and Russell white made early inroads.

But with light fading, the umpires restricted Harrogate to only spin options, and Appleby survived up to 150-3 at the close.

“It was incredibly frustrating,” said Ross. “We were looking to post 350 but then the rain came down like nothing you have seen before.

“Then the umpires told us we had to bowl spin, with a wet ball on a green, non-turning wicket. When we came off the field we were a bit down, but only because we were in such a great position.”

Despite improved conditions for Sunday’s ECB National Knock-Out first round away-day, Gate crashed out at the hands of Chester-le-Street.

Without Tattersall and overseas Connor Ryan, Gate collapsed to 146 all out, with Ross (58) the only batsman passing 30.

Ashley Griffin’s sharp spell of 3-24 gave Harrogate some cheer but the Durham outfit eased home.

But, with only three matches played this season, Ross feels the club is already in its best state since he joined.

“We always knew it was going to be hard without Tatts and our Australian, and with them at full strength,” said Ross.

“But we showed great spirit having not batted very well.

“The professionalism of all the players is like I have never seen at the club before.

“Often with club cricket, that professional way of thinking isn’t really there but we have a team of young kids that almost do it naturally. We are hoping to keep that going throughout the season.”

Tattersall and Ryan will return for this weekend’s home double bill against Driffield Town on Saturday and Sheffield Collegiate on Bank Holiday Monday.

Billy Root, brother of England ace Joe, and ex-Yorkshire wicketkeeper Simon Guy will be two prize wickets against Collegiate.

“If the ground is anything like what it was two weeks ago, I think we will play quite well and hopefully take 16 points from the two games,” said Ross.

“You can’t take anything for granted, so we will just make sure we are playing an aggressive brand of cricket. Sheffield play a similar style too, so hopefully it will be a great game for the neutral.”