Harrogate reach Yorkshire League T20 Finals Day

Tom Geeson-Brown watches on as an Appleby Frodingham batsman attacks (Photo: Jane Foster)
Tom Geeson-Brown watches on as an Appleby Frodingham batsman attacks (Photo: Jane Foster)

Harrogate vice captain David Foster believes glory in the Yorkshire League T20 competition would frank the club’s faith in backing a young team for the 2015 season.

Harrogate advanced to the competition’s finals day for a second year running with back-to-back victories at St George Road on Sunday.

Despite a less than impressive batting return on the day, Gate’s bowling and fielding skills were strong enough to see off Rotherham Town and then Appleby Frodingham.

The next stage of the event takes place in Doncaster next month, and Foster said George Ross’ in-form squad know what lifting the trophy would mean to the club.

“It would be massive, and completely repay the trust from Miles Rawlings (Harrogate chairman) and George have put in us,” said left-arm spinner Foster.

“We’re a young team with a point to prove, and hopefully by lifting this competition, we will do just that.”

Harrogate’s preparation for Sunday had been rocked by a first home defeat of the Yorkshire League campaign this season against top of the table rivals Rotherham.

On a fine batting wicket, Harrogate bowled their South Yorkshire visitors out for 248, with wickets spread between quick bowlers Tom Geeson-Brown and Cameron O’Donnell and spinners Foster and Ross.

After losing openers James Latham and Connor Ryan cheaply, Jonny Tattersall and Ross rescued the innings to 99-2.

However, after the pair were dismissed, the order fell away and former Yorkshire bowler Ben Sanderson took 4-36 as Harrogate lost their next eight wickets for 55 runs.

Despite the 94-run defeat, Harrogate maintained top spot in the Yorkshire League. And they gained immediate revenge over Rotherham in a tense first clash of the T20 day.

Having fallen to 64-5, Harrogate were in danger of collapse before Russell White powered 51 runs from just 30 balls to take his side to 171-7.

Rotherham had wickets in hand throughout their chase, but tight bowling at the death from Geeson-Brown (1-23) and White (1-33) ensure Gate held on to win by just four runs.

Batting was also a struggle for Gate against Appleyby, as James Latham’s 45 was a rare thing to cheer as they were bowled out for only 134.

However, White (3-15) and Geeson-Brown (2-18) bowled expertly again to oust Appleby for 110 and complete a 24-run win.

Foster said: “It was great to bounce back from Saturday’s result. We made an issue of not dwelling on the defeat and it was really good to get back on the field straight away and play positively.”

Harrogate will get their first view of semi-final opponents Cleethorpes this Saturday, when Ross takes his men to the east coast in the league.

Elliott Keenan is the only member of Gate’s squad missing, with juniors Abdi Hussain, Harry Warren and Cameron O’Donnell vying to replace him.