Blackburn strikes it rich as Studley Royal punish Selby

hsb  Gary Blackburn batting for Studley Royal against Sessay.  100724M2a.

hsb Gary Blackburn batting for Studley Royal against Sessay. 100724M2a.

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Studley Royal captain Matt Pickles heaped praise on his middle order after his side saw off Selby Londesborough by 38 runs on Saturday.

In-form Gary Blackburn produced a masterful all-round display to fire The Royals within three points of Sheriff Hutton Bridge in second.

Blackburn struck 60 and put on 90 with opener Steven Walmsley (47) as Studley posted 233-8.

He then snaffled four victims when he turned his arm over to restrict Selby to 195-8 in their run-chase.

Pickles said: “Gary has batted well all year and Steve has come into nick now.

“One of the most pleasing aspects was that when they got out it would’ve been easy to limp to 200 but Dan Craven (33) and Harry Lamb (36) maintained the impetus throughout the innings.

“Before the innings we would have taken that. It was a realistic target and we were very happy to get it.”

The Royals welcome Sheriff Hutton Bridge on Saturday and Pickles labelled the clash a “crucial game” in his side’s pursuit of second place.

“Performance-wise, we are playing to a similar level as Sheriff Hutton. We had a tight game with them earlier in the league and we had a tight game in the National Village Cup.

“We are missing a few players but I’m sure we can play a strong side. We still have the nucleus of the side”

Thirsk found fourth-placed Bolton Percy four wickets too strong but they remained outside the Division Two relegation zone.

Percy crashed through Thirsk’s batting order and it was only captain Mark Cook (47) who stood his ground and offered resistance.

Percy bowler Jacob Green took 4-27 and Suranga Uragha claimed 3-39 as Thirsk were dismissed for a measly 119.

Jake Porter led the Thirsk fightback and he clinched four victims for just 16 runs. But his efforts were in vein as Green (24), Tom Atkinson (25) and Tom Mallock (20) saw the home side through with six wickets down.

Thirsk remain in 10th, 11 points clear of the drop.

In Division Three, Ripon returned to firing on all cylinders as they won the derby battle against Sessay 2nds by six-wickets.

Once again missing influential captain Tom Leeming, John Gains took charge for Ripon and he chose to bowl first on his home deck.

Sessay captain John Flintoff looked to make Gains pay for his decision and he stroked a beautiful unbeaten century including 13 boundaries.

But Chris Needham was the pick of the Ripon bowlers as he snaffled 3-24 to restrict the visitors to 199-7 from 45 overs.

Needham then produced a match-winning knock of 78, including nine fours and three sixes, alongside Elliot Oates (61no) to take the 30 points.

The result lifted Ripon up to seventh but plummeted Sessay further adrift at the bottom.

On Saturday, Thirsk welcome Malton and Old Malton, Ripon travel to Hovingham and Sessay 2nds host Osbaldwick.