Harrogate captain George Ross believes this weekend’s double header is the biggest of the decade for the St George’s Road club.
Projected title rivals Yorkshire Academy head to Harrogate for a crunch Yorkshire League North encounter on Saturday, before Ross’ attentions turn to the National Knock-out once again on Sunday afternoon.
Bradford League outfit Hanging Heaton are the visitors with a last 16 prize up for grabs. The clash is effectively the Yorkshire League final of the competition as the competition moves away from geographical restrictions in the next round.
Hanging Heaton have ex-Yorkshire players Gary Fellows and Ishmail Dawood among their ranks and are in-form in the Bradford Super League.
Harrogate will be without Yorkshire seamer Ben Coad and opening batsman for the fixture, while overseas player Dion Samson is ineligible.
However, Jonny Tattersall’s minor counties involvement will not stop him lining up in Harrogate colours.
On the upcoming weekend, Ross said: “It’s probably one of the biggest since I have been at the club.
“The Academy are obviously a good team and they like playing against us because we both have a similar brand of cricket.
“Sunday is one of the biggest games we have had at Harrogate over recent years. If we win this one, we are two or three away from the final.
“They are a Bradford League team so there will be loads of eyes watching what happens and the difference in standard.”
Harrogate approach the weekend sitting on top of the Yorkshire League North after beating high-flying Stamford Bridge by three wickets on Saturday. Harry Stow claimed five wickets in dismissing Stamford’s tail, while Tattersall and Good both scored half centuries in a convincing chase.
Despite moving to the top of the division, Ross said his player’s feet were staying firmly grounded.
He said: “We are showing real progression in the way we are winning games and the momentum we are carrying.
“There’s still a long way to go and my expectations have not changed from that top four place. We are just quietly going about our business and hopefully still progressing.”