Bradshaw full of praise for his all-conquering Harrogate men

hsb  Alex Lilley bowling for Harrogate against Sheffield Collegiate.  (120512M4b)
hsb Alex Lilley bowling for Harrogate against Sheffield Collegiate. (120512M4b)

Harrogate captain Ryan Bradshaw has laid down the gauntlet to his troops ahead of another busy weekend of Yorkshire League action.

Harrogate’s busy Jubilee weekend proved a fruitful one.

Victories at Scarborough and Sheffield United cemented their position at the top of the pile, with Barnsley, Rotherham and York trailing in their wake.

On Saturday, they welcome mid-table outfit Driffield before Sunday’s T20 day at York (10am start).

“I know I keep saying this, but I really think it’s going to be a difficult game,” said Bradshaw about Saturday’s clash.

“But the good thing about our team this year is not a lot of the players have that Yorkshire League history. Yes there’s me, Vic and Alexis, but the rest of them, teams don’t know anything about them, and that’s good for us.

“We are top at the moment but we’ve got a team ethos that we’re never satisfied. We’re always looking at ways to improve. But it is great to be top and we can be very proud of that.”

On Saturday, ‘Gate made the scenic trip to Scarborough CC and returned home with a complete win under their belts.

Grant McCarthy led the way with a confident 44 at the top of the order. He was supported by Andy Hawkswell (38), Bradshaw (55) and number nine Ben Biker’s 23 not out, as they posted 231-9.

In reply it was the Alex Lilley show. The left-armer took 6-46, blowing the ‘Boro’ batters away. Biker, Ollie Driver and Sam Davies grabbing a wicket apiece as they were all out for just 89.

“Alex’s spell was one of the fastest I’ve ever had to keep to,” added Bradshaw.

“He was seriously quick. First, second and third slip were looking a bit nervous when he was steaming in just in case they had to catch one. But it was an excellent win. We blew them away.”

On Sunday, ‘Gate asked Blaydon to postpone their National Knockout game. They will wait and see whether the ECB let them rearrange it.

On Monday, a superb allround bowling performance destroyed Sheffield United.

The Steel men were all out for 70, thanks to Vic Craven (3-17), Biker (2-9), Lilley (2-16) and another great spell by man-of-the-match Davies (3-16). McCarthy then top-scored with 47 not out in reply to see ‘Gate through by seven wickets.