Captain Josh Atkinson backing Harrogate CC to improve after disappointing start to 2019

Harrogate CC’s first outing of 2019 ended in defeat, though new skipper Josh Atkinson insists his side will get better once they get more overs under their belts.

Monday, 29th April 2019, 7:24 pm
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 7:40 pm
Harrogate CC captain Josh Atkinson hits out. Picture: Caught Light Photography

The Roosters were soundly beaten by North Yorkshire & South Durham Premier League champions Barnard Castle in the Royal London ECB National Club Championship on Sunday having made just 146 batting first.

The cancellation of their scheduled pre-season friendly with local rivals Studley Royal and Saturday’s ECB Yorkshire Premier League North opener at home to Yorkshire Academy being rained off did however leave ‘Gate under-cooked, according to their captain.

“The circumstances were unfortunate and going into a match against a very good side having not played was always going to leave us behind the eight ball,” Atkinson reflected.

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“Barnard Castle have played a few games already and that showed, but to be honest, our total having won the toss and decided to bat was well under-par.

““We were probably 50 or 60 runs short of where we needed to be and that meant that we were never really in the game but we’ll get better the more cricket we play. With the talent in our squad it shouldn’t take too long.

“The positives from Sunday are that Corrie Keable batted very well and Jonny MacGregor looked good with the ball, while our overseas, Ishan Abeysekara, made a promising debut.

“His all-round game impressed me and the early signs suggest that he could make a big difference this season.”

Opener Keable got ‘Gate off to a decent start, hitting six boundaries in his knock of 52.

He didn’t receive much in the way of support, however, and only Sri Lankan Abeysekara (26) joined him in making a score of any note as the visitors were dismissed in 34 overs.

Paceman Jonny MacGregor picked up a couple of scalps when Castle replied, though they managed to knock off the required runs in 26 overs, completing a comfortable eight-wicket win.

‘Gate face a Bank Holiday double-header this weekend, hosting newly-promoted Dunnington on Saturday before they tackle Sessay 48 hours later.

“I expect us to go well at the weekend. I’m hoping for two wins,” Atkinson added.

“We don’t know too much about Dunnington because they’ve just come up, but, just like Sessay, we know they’ll provide a tough test.”