Cricketers secure cup final spot with Manchester win

UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 134-4 beat UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER SECONDS 133 ALL OUT BY SIX WICKETS

Images: Agatha Torrance

York’s men’s cricketers booked their place in the final of the BUCS Northern Conference Cup with a comfortable six wicket victory over Manchester seconds.

With their opponents setting the White Rose a very achievable 134 to win, the home side romped to the victory to ensure a second consecutive cup final appearance despite being forced to field a depleted side.

York won the toss and put Manchester in to bat, with the visitors slowly making their way past the 50 mark before the first wicket fell.

It came when opening batsman Boyle was caught behind by Rob Dickinson from a Sam Illingworth delivery, leaving Manchester on 53-1 in the 15th over.

The covers came on shortly after, but the wickets began to tumble once play resumed. Barman was run out by Tom Brandreth for just three, before Ardren was trapped LBW by Ed Booth.

Manchester’s Langley and Graham steadied the ship for a while, but the former was caught out by York captain Andy Kirkwood at mid-on to leave them at 94-4.

Graham was then caught and bowled by Joel Hughes, before Brandreth caught Watkins off Tom Williams’ bowling, with Manchester having slipped from 94-3 to 99-6 in a matter of minutes.

Manchester didn’t last too much longer, as their tail collapsed. It was Hughes who dismantled the lower order, bowling Rai for one and trapping Wadsworth and Rodgers LBW, both for ducks, as the visitors finished on 133 all out after 41 overs.

With York chasing a relatively low target, Sam Illingworth was an early casualty, caught deep by Wadsworth for 11 as York sat on 19-1. Manchester couldn’t capitalise on this early breakthrough, though, and there was always a sense that the home side would go on to win.

Alex McDonald and Joel Hughes did well to get the hosts to 70, McDonald in particular playing some attractive shots before he was caught out for 41. And Hughes went just after, as Graham exacted his revenge by catching him out off the bowling of Watkins.

That left York at 72-3, but, as the rain began to fall once more, Brandreth and Dickinson both looked solid enough at the crease. That was until Dickinson was bowled for 22 by Watkins, though that allowed Kirkwood to step up and see his side over the line, needing only 30 more for the victory.

A couple of huge sixes from the skipper were welcomed by the home support, and he and Brandreth comfortably saw York to 134 for the six wicket win after facing just 32 overs.

They will now travel to face either Liverpool or Lancaster in the final next week, as York attempt to cap off a season in which they have already finished top of their league.

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