Harrogate CC and Sessay both safe from relegation after valuable victories

Ash Griffin, centre, took five wickets to help Harrogate CC to an important success over Castleford. Picture: Adrian Murray
Ash Griffin, centre, took five wickets to help Harrogate CC to an important success over Castleford. Picture: Adrian Murray

Harrogate CC and Sessay will both be playing ECB Yorkshire Premier League North cricket once again next year.

Valuable victories for the pair on the penultimate weekend of the 2018 season ensured that neither of them can now be caught by Driffield Town, the team currently second-from-bottom of the division and occupying the final relegation spot.

George Ross’ Roosters got off to a particularly slow start to the campaign, finding themselves stuck in the drop zone after a run of just one win from their opening eight league fixtures.

The second half of the year has seen ‘Gate deliver some much-improved cricket, however, and Saturday’s success away at Castleford lifts them up to seventh place.

The men from St George’s Road have been involved in a number of extremely close finishes this season, and their latest encounter was another that fell into the ‘thriller’ category.

A superb five-wicket haul from Ash Griffin (5-40), allied to 3-17 for Tom Geeson-Brown, helped dismiss the hosts for 175 in the last of their 50 overs.

A useful second-wicket stand of 63 between Alexis Twigg (46) and Josh Atkinson (37) got ‘Gate into a decent position in response, but from 82/2 wickets then began to fall at regular intervals.

In the end, it took the visitors’ final pair of Geeson-Brown (15 not out) and Harry Stow (9 not out) to get them over the line at 178/9, the winning runs arriving from the very last delivery of the match.

Sessay were indebted to captain Mark Wilkie for an excellent all-round display that steered them to a four-wicket triumph by the seaside in another clash that went down to the wire.

The Thirsk outfit’s skipper returned fine figures of 5-36 with the ball as hosts Scarborough posted 214/9.

An opening partnership of 117 with Mark Jackson (55) then saw Wilkie (85) lead Sessay to a position of strength before his dismissal with the scoreboard reading 188/5.

It took until the 50th over, but the visitors eventually completed their chase, closing on 218/6 with five balls to spare.

The win was Sessay’s seventh of the campaign and moves them up one position to ninth in the league standings.