York Senior League preview: Ripon struggle in opener as Studley Royal, Sessay and Thirsk start

hsb  Tom Leeming bowling for Ripon against Hovingham.  (130504M5a)
hsb Tom Leeming bowling for Ripon against Hovingham. (130504M5a)

Ripon Cricket Club came a cropper to rivals Harrogate 2nds in their opening gambit in York Senior League Division Two North on Saturday.

The Studley Roaders were the only side in action throughout the York League at the weekend after rescheduling the match against Harrogate.

The original game was scheduled to clash with the Tour de France’s arrival.

Tom Leeming’s men crashed from 60-1 to 104 all out as former Division One side Harrogate asserted their authority.

Rob Taylor topscored with 25 but Rob Stanworth’s 6-19 caused havoc in the middle overs.

Gate eased to the total in 24.4 overs with eight wickets in hand.

Leeming said: “I can only put it down to early season. We are still a bit rusty.

“We just have to forget it and move on.”

Ripon finished fifth in Division Three last summer. But, the league have amalgamated the third and fourth tiers into two regions (North and South) for the upcoming summer.

Captain Tom Leeming made three signings for the first team over the winter with all-rounders Graham Bassitt, Tom Orton and Mark Rimmer joining from Nidderdale League Galphay and Winksley.

Ripon host York 3rds on Saturday.

Leeming added: “It will take time for the new players to settle in but I have every confidence they will.”

Thirsk will anticipate their derbies with Ripon on June 28 and on the final day of the season (September 13) as they also find themselves in Division Two North.

Thirsk, who finished fifth in Division Two last year, will start their campaign at home to Osbaldwick on Saturday, with Mark Cook remaining as captain.

Long serving bowling stalwart Barry Petty has retired but Cook tipped young guns Jake Porter, James Wilkinson and Kieran Fenwick to step into his shoes.

“We had a strong finish last season. We want to take that into this summer,” Cook said.

“It’s going to be a hard league to get out of with only one going up, but the restructuring puts us as one of the strongest teams, judging by standings last year.”

Studley Royal are in pursuit of a top-four place in the Premier Division, according to new club captain Rob Nicholson.

Nicholson, who has returned to the club after a year touring the world, said he would bring a laid back approach to the role as skipper.

And he hopes his relaxed approach will rub off on his counterparts in their assault for glory this campaign.

Studley start their quest against York 2nds at home on Saturday and new opening bowler Craig Broadley could make his debut.

The new captain has maintained the bulk of the squad that finished fourth under Matt Pickles last season.

Nicholson said: “I want us to finish at least top four, hopefully pushing high up where we should be.

“I hope it will be more enjoyable and we can bring some young players through.”

Meanwhile, Sessay will have a second bite at the cherry to return back to the York Senior Premier Division, after missing out last term.

Jacob Spencer and Joe Watson are back available this year.

They start their season at Driffield Town 2nds on Saturday before taking on Staithes at home in the National Village Cup on Sunday.