Cricket: Ross warns against complacency at title chasing Harrogate

George Ross on the front foot against Castleford (Photo: Caught Light Photography)
George Ross on the front foot against Castleford (Photo: Caught Light Photography)
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Harrogate captain George Ross insists complacency will not creep in to his title chasing squad this summer as it has in previous years.

Harrogate CC hold a three-point cushion at the top of the new Yorkshire League North, with fierce rivals York staying tucked in behind them in second place.

Rain threatened to dampen the spirits at St George’s Road as Harrogate pressed for glory against struggling Castleford on Saturday.

However, Harrogate clinched victory in the nick of time to maintain their stranglehold on top spot.

Harry Stow clung on to a skier in the penultimate over of the reduced fixture to spark scenes of celebration with Castleford sent packing for just 66.

“We almost got shafted by the Duckworth Lewis but instead we came together and got the win,” said Ross.

Nick Taylor played a patient knock to get Harrogate up to 200 on Saturday (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Nick Taylor played a patient knock to get Harrogate up to 200 on Saturday (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

“Once again it shows the team spirit that we have got.

“It’s one of our main assets this year and the reason we are doing so well. It will keep going as well. Complacency is not going to creep in as much as it has in previous years.”

Harrogate were asked to bat first by former Yorkshire player and Castleford captain David Wainwright and got off to a flyer with openers Matthew Good (26) and Dion Sanson (31) sharing 78 for the opening partnership.

But the introduction of spin ripped havoc through Harrogate’s ranks, and Wainwright took three wickets to remove Good, Foster and George Ellaby, while Jonny Tattersall and Ross fell to Eddie Morrison’s turn at the other end.

Jonny Tattersall stretches out when batting for Harrogate on Saturday (Photo: Caught Light Photograpy)

Jonny Tattersall stretches out when batting for Harrogate on Saturday (Photo: Caught Light Photograpy)

“I have never seen a Harrogate wicket turn like it,” Ross mused. “It was turning square and we lost a few wickets quite quickly.”

Having fallen from 78-0 to 136-7, a gritty innings of 24 from Nick Taylor helped Harrogate scrape up to 200 – despite four wickets falling to run outs.

Taylor continued his starring role with the ball as he took 3/17 from 14 economical overs but rain showers soon circled above.

Play was halted for half an hour and reduced Castleford’s innings to 35 overs on Duckworth/Lewis.

The Castleford tail aimed to stick around but David Foster (4/35) made the inroads before Ross claimed the final scalp with seven balls remaining.

Foster is a doubt for Harrogate’s crunch replay of the ECB National Knock-out last 16 tie against Hanging Heaton this Sunday, which will be played away from home as St George’s Road is unavailable.

The original match was washed last week, with Harrogate well positioned to chase down Heaton’s first innings total of 223.

Ross said: “It’s quite a small ground so I am sure some of the batsmen will be licking their lips at the prospect. “But they are more used to playing on those smaller grounds and bowler friendly wickets so going there probably makes us underdogs so we will go there with the pressure off.”