Harrogate CC begin new season with three defeats in as many days

Harrogate CC's 2022 campaign got off to rather an underwhelming start as the Roosters suffered three defeats in as many days over the Bank Holiday weekend.

By Rhys Howell
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 11:08 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 11:11 am
Harrogate CC 1st XI captain Will Bates in action during Saturday's home defeat to Castleford CC. Picture: Richard Bown

Will Bates' side were beaten by Castleford and Clifton Alliance in Yorkshire Premier League North on Saturday and Monday, with a National Club Championship reverse at the hands of Wakefield Thornes sandwiched in between.

'Gate only avoided relegation on the final day of last season, but headed into the new term in optimistic frame of mind having strengthened their squad during the winter months.

But, having seen all bar one of his team's pre-season fixtures fall victim to the weather, skipper Bates feared that three matches in quick succession might prove a real challenge for a group of players he felt were probably under-cooked.

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And, although his concerns proved accurate, the men from St George's Road were competitive in each match, starting with Saturday's home clash with defending champions Castleford.

Having won the toss and elected to bat first, several Harrogate batsmen made starts, though none of them were able to go on and convert them into big scores.

Ben Moss (34), skipper Bates (32), Mat Pillans (27), Harry Allison (26) and Jordan Sleightholme (25 not out) all chipped in as the hosts posted 192/8 from their 50 overs.

Moss then completed a decent afternoon's work by picking up a couple of scalps when Castleford took their turn at the crease, however the West Yorkshiremen went on to complete a five-wicket success.

Sunday's cup showdown away at Wakefield Thornes saw Sri Lankan spinner Ishan Abeysekara knock over three home batsmen as the Roosters restricted their opponents to 224/7 in 40 overs.

That total would however prove just beyond 'Gate as a number of their players got themselves set with the willow in hand, only to then lose their wicket.

Opener Henry Thompson top-scored with 38, while Arjun Ramkumar (32), Isaac Light (32) and Moss (28) all looked in decent touch prior to being dismissed.

And the away innings would eventually close on 211 with 14 runs still needed for victory.

Bank Holiday Monday brought a fairly comprehensive defeat on the road at Clifton Alliance as home opener Scott Hopkinson (148 not out) smashed a match-winning unbeaten century.

South African paceman Pillans did bag three wickets before Ramkumar (51) and Bates (47) put on a useful partnership of 96 when Harrogate replied, though in the end they were bowled out with just 194 on the board.

This Saturday, Bates and his troops visit local rivals Sessay for a noon start.