Glasshouses v NSCC
The first team started the season in the best possible fashion by smashing their highest ever total against last season's relegated team Glasshouses.
Previously sitting fourth on the all-time list with a total of 377-1 set against Goldsborough in 1999 they moved up one spot with an astonishing 408-6, not far off Ouseburn’s record of 425-3 set in 2006.
To be fair, Glasshouses were a bit of a shambles but the bad balls still have to be hit to the boundary and Frank, along with new skipper James, were only too keen to oblige.
Both opening bowlers were under-15’s and while they bowl a couple of good balls every over, there were also plenty that were begging to be hit away.
Frank went for a few lusty blows a bit early and was lucky to get away with a few, indeed he was dropped off a pretty easy chance.
But in the 8th over he hit a straight six right out of the middle and he went on to make a typically belligerent 65. Makes a nice change Frank, it usually takes you 8 weeks to find the middle!
James was a bit scratchy in making 59 but it was a nice start to his campaign nonetheless and time in the middle in crucial.
After 148 run opening stand, Taggy got the chance to show what he could do and as usual the 73 he made were easy on the eye but he charged the spinner and was stumped.
Pete Howarth came in and played a typically aggressive innings, making his highest score for the club - 81, but it could have all been so different as he was dropped - off a girl’s bowling!
Big Rich was next in and managed to make 50 not out on one leg.
That meant the first five batsmen to get a go had all made 50 or more so hopes were high for number six - big Steve Taylor.
Unfortunately he skied his first ball in the air and notched up the first golden duck of the season.
Alex and Chris hit a few lusty blows of their own which meant Houses faced a mammoth task.
Their two openers started with a bit of intent but when Robbo removed them both, one bowled the other smartly caught behind by Rob, the shutters came down.
Quite why is a mystery, they needed 272 to gain a point and in the last few overs they played a few shots which left them only 50 short.
It was a frustrating second half for the boys, James picked up a welcome wicket, as did Rich and Taggy bowled a tight spell, but we only took away 5 points.
NSCC v Bishop Monkton
Well the unbeaten start to the season lasted precisely two weeks!
After last week's record display Stainley lived up to their unpredictable tag and but for some lower order hitting could have been well and truly humiliated.
Whereas Frank and James were both dropped early against Glasshouses, they were not afforded that luxury this week and both fell cheaply, not before Frank managed to get off the mark with a six though.
That meant hopes were resting on Steve and Taggy but Steve was another to go cheaply leaving all our eggs in one basket. Taggy was playing some sublime shots, timing everything it seemed.
John Skinner was sent in as a bit of a stopper to hopefully hold one end up and while he survived for a while, he was caught in the gully for 5 leaving us 61-4.
It's a long time since Robbo has been in as early as the 16th over but he relished the opportunity and played particularly straight (for him anyway) and he was quite content to watch Taggy continue to pepper the boundary.
As yet I haven't mentioned Monkton's star player - the pitch! In the first half hour it was leaping all over the place and I think every single one of us will have a bruise to show it.
Just as Taggy looked well set, he had made his way past the 50 mark for the second successive week, he slapped a half-tracker straight to square leg.
That brought Robbie D to the crease and he rolled back the years with some delightful cuts and drives, racing post Robbo on his way to 50. Robbo was inexplicably out for 29 trying to smash the leg spinner out of the park off only his third ball. His innings of 29 did include "the shot of the day" according to John though! (A beautiful cover drive if anyone is interested!).
(Not so) young Chris again played some hefty shots in an eventful 21, Alex went second ball so it was left to Mike Wilk and Peter Webster to cling on for a point. In the end it was a good recovery to get to 203.
We knew we were a few bowlers light before the game but we didn't have much look in the field it would be fair to say and the pitch flattened out considerably.
Robbo had Charlie Hutch, a century maker the week before, caught a mid-off, a big swirler that John did well to judge, and Mike bowled their number 3 but they were our only successes.
We went past the outside edge on numerous occasions and the ball was only just missing our fielders but for the second game in a row against us their keeper, Barrett, got a ton.
Monkton won in a canter with loads of overs to spare. Back to the drawing board boys.