Yorkshire Academy v York
Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Semi-final
By Kevin Hutchinson
York booked their place in the final of Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy with a seven-wicket win against Yorkshire Academy at Weetwood, Liam McKendry turning in an excellent all round performance as a side missing several first team regulars proved too strong for the reigning cup holders.
Rain delayed the start of the contest by half an hour, and would also cause a couple of further delays later, but once play did get underway the overhead conditions appeared to offer assistance to York’s seam bowlers.
McKendry picked up the first of three wickets when one nipped back between bat and pad to bowl Harry Brook in the fourth over, and when delivery from Charlie Elliot clipped the top of Mosun Hussain’s off stump both openers had gone with the total on 21.
The situation could have been worse for the home side but Matthew Waite was dropped at square leg in the following over, going on to make 21 before inside edging a wide delivery onto his stumps, one of two wickets in an over for McKendry who picked up his third when he found the edge of Jordan Thompson’s bat and ‘keeper Finlay Bean took and excellent catch diving in front of slip with the score on 59.
Skipper Dan Woods replaced McKendry, who finished with figures of 3-28 from 10 overs, and struck in his second over when Ben Birkhead chipped a catch to Richard Brown at mid-off leaving the host’s seemingly in trouble on 88-5. Yaaser Imtiaz played the anchor role for much of the remainder of the innings sharing stands of 63 with James Brown and 38 with his captain Jared Warner.
Those two partnerships took back some of the initiative for the batting side as York’s spinners struggled to contain the scoring on the vast university ground outfield. The score had reached 151 when Brown was out for 29 caught at the wicket off Ryan McKendry, but the Academy still looked to be in a strong position when Imtiaz reached his half-century, off 73 balls, and the total was 170 with 10 overs remaining.
Tom Pringle finally picked up his wicket given out lbw having made 61, as he attempted to charge the leg spinner and after Woods picked up the wicket of Matthew Taylor cheaply some late blows from Warner (41 off 46 balls) took the final total to 224 leaving the visitors needing to score 4.5 runs an over for victory.
Makeshift opening pair Richard Brown and Adam McCauley showed excellent composure against the new ball and had put on 35 when the latter was trapped lbw by Jordan Thompson for 24. That brought Liam McKendry, to the crease in the 8th over, and he would remain there unbeaten at the end.
He contributed 38 to a 75 run second wicket partnership with Brown who fell to a well judged catch on the run by Waite off James Logan for 34, and when Ryan McKendry was lbw to Logan’s fellow spinner Jack Shutt for eight the visitors had reached 130-3 requiring a further 95 from 23 overs.
Tom Friend in his first innings for the club, having only made his debut the previous day, looked in control from the start and finished with six fours in a chanceless 41 not out from just 46 deliveries. McKendry, having passed 50 for the third time in six innings, went on to finish undefeated on 87 off 97 balls including 14 fours the victory target reached with almost eight overs to spare.
York await the winners of the second semi-final between South Yorkshire League champions Aston Hall and Pudsey St Lawrence last year's winner of the Bradford League who play on the 7th August with the Final due to take place at Sheriff Hutton Bridge CC on Sunday 11th September.