Delight for new captain Ross Sedgley as Harrogate CC romp to T20 glory
New Harrogate CC skipper Ross Sedgley’s maiden weekend at the helm ended in fine fashion as the Roosters secured a first piece of silverware since 2016.
The men from St George’s Road were crowned ECB Yorkshire Premier League North T20 Blast champions following an emphatic 50-run victory over Dunnington in the tournament’s final.
“I’m delighted, it was an awesome day and it’s brilliant for the club to have won this competition after coming close on a couple of occasions previously,” said Sedgley, who took over the ‘Gate 1st XI captaincy from Josh Atkinson last week.
“We proved what a good team we are and hopefully we can take a lot of confidence from this success and carry it into our league fixtures.”
Sunday's triumph at Scarborough’s North Marine Road ground means that Harrogate will now go on to represent ECB Yorkshire Premier League North on the national stage in the NatWest Club T20 competition.
They set up their showdown with Dunnington by seeing off local rivals Sessay at the semi-final stage, Atkinson top-scoring with 39 in a first-innings total of 138/9.
Sri Lankan spin king Ishan Abeysekara then helped restrict the Thirsk outfit to 113/8 in response, taking a hat-trick on his way to a return of 4-12.
Atkinson again batted well in the final, hitting 49, though it was Harry Stothard who stole the show, smashing five fours and five sixes in an explosive 32-ball knock of 63.
The pair’s efforts steered ‘Gate to 175 all out, a total that was to prove well beyond Dunnington.
They could only make it to 125/9, youngster Ben Stokes bagging 3-21 as the Roosters wrapped things up.
"We bowled and fielded really well and Josh Atkinson produced two very important knocks," Sedgley added.
"Harry Stothard then played a freakish innings which took the game away from Dunnington. It was brilliant to watch.
"We wanted to bat first so we knew what we needed to defend, that was always the plan.
"Unfortunately, I lost both tosses, however we got put in on both occasions so it all worked out in the end."
Ex-Beckwithshaw captain Sedgley's first match in charge came 24 hours earlier and did go quite so well as Clifton Alliance left St George's Road with a five-wicket win.
The result leaves 'Gate hovering above the ECB Yorkshire Premier League North relegation zone, though their new skipper insists their is no reason to panic.
"I've got no major concerns, I think that we are strong enough to finish mid-table, if not higher," he said.
"We have some very good players here. Josh recruited well and has built a team that I am confident will go on and do well, it's just case of trying to continue the things that he put in place at the start of the season.
"Hopefully the weather will improve. This season has been a bit stop-start, the rain has cost us quite a few points so far and what we need to do now is try and go on a bit of a run and put some results together.
"Saturday was disappointing. We knew it was a big game, however we were probably 40 or 50 runs short of where we needed to be and on a good Harrogate wicket we were always going to be up against it trying to defend 180."
Sedgley (51), Atkinson (49) and opener Alexis Twigg (45) all performed well with the bat to steer the hosts to a useful total of 185/9 batting first against Alliance.
That score did not prove to be enough, however, as a ‘Gate attack missing key paceman Tom Geeson-Brown failed to bowl their visitors out.
In-form Abeysekara did manage to add another three scalps to his season’s tally, though the visitors eventually made it over the line with more than 10 overs to spare.
Next up for Sedgley and his men is a trip to fourth-placed Sheriff Hutton Bridge, noon start on Saturday.