By John Grainger
Harrogate CC face their most important game for years on Saturday, when they play league leaders York for a chance to win the title.
Harrogate are currently second in the table, just four points behind York, with only two matches of the season left to play.
’Gate kept their title hopes alive on a green St George’s Road wicket on Saturday, with a convincing seven-wicket victory over Appleby Frodingham, who were all out for 128.
The home side won the toss and batted first, Duncan Heath scoring a solid 47. Ollie Driver took three wickets and Vic Craven won the title “chief destroyer”, claiming five.
“We were very apprehensive going into the match,” said captain Ryan Bradshaw, “because if we lost it we’d have been knocked out of the title race.
“But it’s job done: we move on to the title game.”
York, who beat Cleethorpes by seven wickets at the weekend, have won the league for five years running; Harrogate last won it in 2005.
“It’s the biggest match we’ve had for seven years,” said Bradshaw.
“We’re going to try and perform as we have all season – we haven’t lost a match all year – but it’s going to be tough.”
Even if ’Gate win on Saturday, the title could still slip from their grasp on Sunday, if they lose their final match against third-placed Barnsley, and York win theirs against second-to-bottom Sheffield Collegiate.
But Bradshaw said: “All our attention is on the York game – it’s going to be a massive test.
“We all know that the Sunday game could prove to be important, but we’re going to take it one step at a time.”