A home tie against Hanging Heaton CC in the ECB National Quarter Final Club Championship was at stake when making the journey across the Pennines to play York CC. Hopes were high but in the background was the knowledge that any Yorkshire team was going to pull out all the stops to beat Lancastrian invaders.
The game got under way after Nicky Caunce had won the toss and elected to bat with Andy Baybutt and Michael Jones opening the batting.
The first wicket fell with the score on16 when Michael Jones (98) was bowled bringing in Ian Robinson to join Andy. They put on 37 runs when Ian (15) was caught and made over to John Armstrong to join the fray. John (1) was playing a waiting game when after facing 14 balls he offered a catch which was gladly accepted.
The score was now at 57-3 and Gary Knight came into replace John and 23 runs were added when Andy (37) went to another catch and his replacement Owen Griffiths was given out lbw without a further run being added. With the score on 80-5 after 22 overs things were looking less than bright. A hero was needed to steady the ship and came in the form of Tom Hartley. He knuckled in with Gary and the pair added a further 33 runs before Gary (20) was bowled. During the partnership Tom became more assured and stayed with Nicky Caunce (10) until Nicky, having hit two handsome 4s, went to a catch.
With the score now on 127-7 Tom’s third partner was Scott Lees. Unfortunately at this stage Tom (25) was bowled, leaving the score on a perilous 127-7. Not perturbed, Scott, as he had done in the past, knocked some of the confidence out of the bowlers by showing them no respect and hit 23 invaluable runs from 30 balls to include one mighty 6. He was very ably supported by Alex Mason who had made 15 runs up the time of Scott’s departure with the score on 169-9.
The final partnership between Alex and Jamie Barnes was a brief affair adding 5 runs before Jamie (1) was bowled leaving Alex on a score of 15*.
It was a disappointment that the team had been bowled out in 41 overs and the score was a modest one. Not so disappointing for the York supporters who thought they had the game in the bag.
The York opening batsmen put on 24 runs in three overs for the first wicket tha went to Nicky Caunce with a favourable lbw appeal. Ten more overs passed before the second wicket fell to a fine run out by Alex Mason. Further success came just one run later when Tom Hartley claimed his first wicket to take the score to 59-3
Things looked gloomy when a fourth wicket partnership of 42 took the score along to 101. At this point point York needed 74, with six wickets left, off 114 balls and were in poll position.
The next seven overs saw the pendulum swing dramatically in Ormskirk’s favour thanks mainly to a fine spell of bowling by Tom Hartley and some excellent fielding. Tom took three more wickets, there were two run outs, two catches and Jamie Barnes polished off the innings taking his second wicket. The scorecard read 101-4; 101-5; 101-6; 102-7; 103-8; 104-9; 108 all out !!!!
Ormskirk who were the underdogs seven overs earlier were now the victors by 66 runs. A remarkable performance by any standards
Without doubt, by virtue of his 25 runs and his bowling figures of 9 overs 4 maidens and 4 wickets for 16 runs , Tom Hartley was ‘Man of the Match’.