Ice Station Crossgates
By John Richardson
A nithering northerly wind & hail showers failed to stop Milford from recording their second consecutive win of the new season.
The second game of the season saw us playing our first away game of the year, a fairy short trip to the outskirts of Leeds and an afternoon at Crossgates. Many years since I last scored at Crossgates, they have been in the 2nd division for many years and only got promoted last year. When we did mix it up with them back when we were in Division 2 I always seemed to be watching aeroplanes, still some of our best batting performances have happened at their ground. Stu Morley and Dan White both making large scores at the ground.
Over the winter Crossgates CC have been busy and a new pavilion has sprung up along side of the old tatty one. Not yet finished but it looks very good. The club must have a bit of money, they even have an electronic score board on the opposite side of the ground.
The weather was due to be bitterly cold with a biting NW wind blowing across the field, showers were forecasted. A good toss to win with the rain we had in the week making the wicket a bit soft, it would only get better for batting with the wind drying it out. Milford’s veteran skipper, Paul Hebden, once again called correctly and asked Crossgates to bat.
A few changes from the winning team of last week. Billy Thompson, Peter Batty & Dan Reid from the 2nd team coming in to replace Rich Taylor, Matty Paul and the unfortunately injured Harry Jackson. Dan a late call up for the unavailable Charlie Bramley.
Crossgates had come up as champions but this would be the first test of their batting against 1st division bowling as their first game had been rained off last week against fellow promoted team Crompark.
The Milford bowling had been pretty impressive last week, admittedly in favourable conditions, and so it proved to be once again. As last week Steve Winspear & Joe Raynor opened the attack. Right from the off they were proving too good for Crossgates. Only opening batsmen Arvindshetty Ninjampure was to prove up to the task of taming the Milford attack. He topped scored with 41.
This week it was Steve who would strike first, he found an edge which carried to Alex Ward behind the stumps. Joe joined him a couple of overs later with a similar dismissal. With favourable bowling conditions Paul Hebden was keen to keep varying his bowling attack and he made the double change after just 12 overs. This proved to be an excellent decision as last weeks star Dan Ward was soon back in the wickets with a LBW decision, picking up where he had left off against Ledsham.
Dan Reid looked a little nervous and struggled to maintain a consistent line & length, but when he got it spot on it caused problems. I have not seen Dan bowl before and he is another of our young spinners. We seem to have dozens of them in the club at the moment. In fact it was Dan who claimed the wicket of the only Crossgates batter to cause us real problems, Ninjampure. He tried to knock Dan out of the game only to sky an edge upwards for Joe Raynor to hold the catch. The ground fielding was excellent today and the slightly long outfield stopped the ball quiet a few times just feet from the boundary.
Once he was out there was little resistance from the rest of the Crossgates batting and once again Dan Ward & Liam Barlow in tandem rolled up the innings. Liam finishing with 3 for 10 and Dan 4 for 39, just one shy of his first day efforts last week. So Crossgates all out for 105 inside 38 and all the cricketers headed for the changing room and a most welcome warm drink.
Now Crossgates teas have a reputation for been poor and I am not saying this one will be in my top 10 of all time greats, perhaps not even the top 200, but it was serviceable. The small kitchen and serving hatch they are having to use at the moment made it slow going though.
So for the second time in 2 weeks Milford went out to bat with a relatively small total to knock off. With Harry Jackson injured it was the 2nd team skipper Peter Batty who stood up to partner Alex Ward in our opening pair this week. Crossgates needed an early breakthrough if they were going to get anything from this match and fortune was with Milford again as Peter was dropped when on just 5. This was to prove the pivotal moment of the innings as he was to go on to an undefeated 43 not out and anchor our reply. The longer he batted the more settled he looked. The wicket was playing a little low which seemed to suit his style.
A cautious start by our openers in the opening 10 overs set us off nicely but even when Crossgates made a break it was nice to see Alex Ward walking after feathered one to the keeper. Ben White came in at three and took a liking to opening bowler Adam Berryman. 18 runs in pretty short time saw him taken from the attack, alas Ben couldn’t reproduce the same performance to the other bowler when he finally got to the other end and like Alex was left to tuck his bat under his arm and walk back to the pavilion after knicking one to the keeper.
Then it looked like the 2nd team would lead us to victory when Billy Thompson, this years 2nd team vice captain, joined Pete out in the middle. Together they put on 52 for the 3rd wicket and leave us tantalizingly close to our second win of the year. Alas Billy was bowled for 25 and then Joe Raynor collected a duck. Surely we couldn’t muck it up with less than 10 needed…
No not the 2019 edition of the Milford 1st team thankfully. Joe Barr hitting the winning boundary. Top effort lads, next week should provide a much stronger opposition when we play host to last years champions Sicklinghall. Though they will be without their feared pool player batsmen Dewi Thomas, tied cause he is one of us.
Last week I was made to feel old and this week was to continue the theme. The Crossgates 12th man had brought his Grandad down to watch the game. The old lad wasn’t in the best of health and with it been a bitterly cold day to just sit and watch the game was offered a seat next to the heater in the score box. There he sat reminiscing about his time in the army and other tales. He then said to me ‘You will remember Gilbert Harding presenting Animal, Mineral or Vegetable’ on the telly. I had to admit I had heard of it but it was a bit before my time. When I got home I googled it and old Gilbert died in 1960 !!!! How old did he think I was ????? Starting to get a bit of a complex now.
Incidentally Gilbert didn’t present AM or V, that was Glynn Daniel ????? (no me neither). Gilbert was a regular panellist on What’s My Line, a big favourite back in the days of black & white and 2 channels…..