The University’s Men’s 1st Cricket team finished off their season in style last Wednesday by beating the University of Westminster in the final of the Men’s Plate to become BUSA Champions. Having only progressed into the knockout stages of the competition because of an administrative error by Newcastle, York never took their progress for granted and continually stepped up their game to meet the challenges of each opponent. With an impressive victory over Liverpool John Moores in the quarter final which saw them chasing 249 to win, York eased past Bolton in the semis to secure the chance to prove themselves at home against Westminster.
In a match hampered by bad weather, which reduced the innings to thirty overs apiece, York never really looked like being the losing team. A few spectators braved the weather and sat huddled under the veranda of the pavilion, but it was an inauspicious start to such a highly anticipated match. York opened the batting, but the wet ground led to a slow outfield and initially many of the runs were gained from hard-won and nervy singles.
Westminster’s bowling was never a great threat and at times it seemed like York were making it hard for themselves at the crease. Some dubious calling led to York’s first three wickets being lost to over-ambitious run-outs. Despite these early problems, York’s opener Liam Cunnah scored 51 off 51 balls in an impressive display, which formed the backbone of an innings in which he went on to make 72. Other useful scores were reached by Andy Exley who made 39 and Jamie Vanner whose 20 not out helped shepherd York to a total of 168 -7.
Westminster’s chance to pile on the pressure after tea fell victim to some superb bowling by the home team, with James Hallam starting the run of wickets in only the second over with a tidy caught and bowled. Then York’s captain Matt Belk brought on the spinners, in a timely move which saw Jamie Vanner take 3 for 28. However, it was York’s sharpness in the field that steered them to victory with some superb catches around the ground. And as Westminster were left needing 54 off 26 balls to win, and Liam Cunnah secured his position as Man of the Match by making a superb running catch to take the wicket of Kamran Akthar, the away team’s only threatening batsmen who had reached his half century. Ollie Butterworth was brought on to finish off the overs, and helped by the quick thinking of keeper Arthur Vaughan as well as an amazing catch from Andy Milnes, York won by 32 runs.
Still coming to terms with his team’s success Belk said to get this far was ‘unbelievable’ adding that the win was ‘a team performance and I’m very proud of everyone’. With their Presidents’ weekend coming up next week, the Cricket Club will no doubt continue to celebrate their well-fought, if slightly unexpected victory as Plate Champions for a good while to come.
The University’s Women’s Cricket team had a highly successful start to their season before losing to Leeds University in the Quarter-final of the BUSA Shield.
They had an unbeaten record in their group division, bowling Newcastle out for 10 runs in one of their matches, and were in a strong position going into the knock-out stages. Easing past a boastful Warwick side in their last 16 tie, they faced a tough match against Premier Division side Leeds. York struggled to make an impact on Leeds’ batting but did manage to limit them to 140 with some good bowling by Debbie Farrington. However, Leed’s bowlers demolished York’s batting order and won comfortably by 104 runs.
Despite this disappointing end, the girls have performed well against top-class opposition and will hope to build on their successes next season.