Skipper Busfield leads from the front as he scores over 600 runs
Driffield Cricket Club 3rd XI – Season review
April – Driffield 3rd XI started life under new captain Carl Busfield with a home fixture against Patrington, a side who were expected to be amongst the front-runners in York Senior League Division Two South. Busfield’s side batted first and were 95-3 when the rain arrived, forcing the match to be abandoned, with the sides taking nine points apiece.
May – In a tough start to the season next up for Driffield were promotion favourites Pocklington, and the difference in class told as the Woldsmen suffered a heavy 148 run defeat. Pocklington batted first on home turf and made 232 before being dismissed in the 44th over. The bulk of their total came from a great innings of 71 by John Chaplin. Driffield were bowled out for a paltry 85 as Dave Chaplin’s spell of 4-8 ripping through the middle-order.
The defeat at Pocklington was followed by another bad day at the office when Welton & Brough rolled into Kings Mill Road to claim a commanding eight wicket victory. The home side’s batting was yet to get going in 2015 and they were bowled out for just 62. Welton’s Ashley Page produced a magnificent display of seam bowling as he claimed figures of 8-33. Welton wasted little time in overhauling their target, doing so inside 16 overs for the loss of two wickets.
A trip to Dringhouses was the next hurdle for Driffield to try and navigate, but once again they came up well short as the home side won by nine wickets. After losing the toss, the Woldsmen batted first and on tricky pitch to bat on they could only score 136-8 from their 45 overs. However, Dringhouses made it look easy as they knocked off their target in 29.3 overs and losing just one wicket, with Andrew Simpson finishing unbeaten on 70. After four games, Driffield were still searching for their first positive result of the season, and with a trip to league leaders Tadcaster Magnet next up, the prospect of this seemed to be slim. However, Busfield’s side put in a stellar performance as they eased to an impressive eight wicket victory.
The table-toppers batted first on a glorious day in North Yorkshire, but thanks to some excellent Driffield bowling they were dismissed for 125, with Adam Woolley, Andy Rogers and Grant Hutton picking up three wickets each. An impressive debut from new signing James Hanley capped off Driffield’s day with his 58 steering his side to a long-awaited triumph. However, in their last game of the month, Driffield returned to their old ways when they were hammered by eight wickets by Hull 2nds. Gavin Wilkinson’s 4-25 helped Hull to bowl the Woldsmen out for 69, a total they easily overhauled.
June – Driffield got their second victory of the season with a comfortable nine wicket victory over lowly Heworth 2nds. In a poor batting display, Heworth only managed to accumulate 125-7 from their allotted 45 overs. Driffield performed much better with the bat than the home side as Busfield led the way with an unbeaten 67. He was ably supported by Damon Jenkinson who finished the innings on 54.
Promotion contenders Hornsea were the next visitors to Kings Mill Road and they came away with a narrow one wicket victory in a game that turned out to be a thriller. Driffield batted first and made 155-6 with James Foster finishing unbeaten on 64 to help his side to a respectable total. Hornsea’s middle-order looked to have steered them to an expected victory. But a flurry of wickets changed the course of the game, leaving it on a knife-edge going into the final overs. Ultimately, it was despair for Busfield’s side as a streaky four saw the away side over the line. Despite the defeat, Driffield showed great spirit in clawing their way back into the game, especially young seam bowler William Brigham who finished with 4-25. A second successive home defeat followed when visitors Woodhouse Grange 2nds picked up a seven wicket victory. Driffield batted first and made 181-6, but this proved to be an easy total for Woodhouse to chase thanks to a great innings of 81 from their captain Robert Daniel.
The inconsistency of Driffield’s season continued when they bounced back from the two defeats with a nine wicket victory against Hull Zingari 2nds. Busfield’s bowling attack came up trumps as they bowled Zingari out for 156, with only opening batsman Andrew Martin making a significant contribution with 53. The pick of the bowlers was Andrew Rogers with 5-23, whilst off-spinner Stephen Thompson claimed 4-32. A century opening stand between John Woolley and Busfield set the tone for Driffield’s run chase, and when Woolley was dismissed 69, the skipper saw the job through with an unbeaten 75.
July – It was a great start to the month for Driffield when they defeated Rowntrees & Huntington to make it two wins in a row. Rowntrees batted first at Kings Mill Road and made a steady total of 169-9 thanks to Robert Stevens 57. Despite losing Woolley for a duck, Driffield lost just one more wicket to ease across the finish line. Foster finished unbeaten on 54, whilst Ben Lawrence played a fantastic innings of 81 not out to claim all thirty points for his side. However, a poor display at Patrington saw Driffield on the wrong end of an eight wicket defeat. Batting first, Driffield were dismissed for 109 with Woolley’s 53 proving to be the only real contribution with the rest of the batsmen struggling to cope with the home bowling arsenal.
A Patrington victory never looked in doubt and they chased down Driffield’s total inside 25 overs with Jordy Critchley hitting an unbeaten 55.
A visit from league leaders Pocklington was next on the agenda for Driffield, and they defied the odds to claim a fine two wicket victory. It was Pocklington who batted first and they will have been fairly pleased to have made 219-6 from their 45 overs. Top runscorer for the visitors was Ted Donkin who scored 72, whilst other notable efforts came from Alex Downey’s 56 and Ben Stephenson’s 50 not out. In what proved to be a nervy run chase, Driffield produced the goods when it mattered and knocked off their target with just three balls to spare for the loss of eight wickets. Busfield produced another great batting performance at the top of the order as he made a half-century and Kevin Woodcock top-scored with 55 to send Pocklington home disappointed.
Driffield backed up their victory over Pocklington the following weekend, beating Welton & Brough by 61 runs. After being asked to bat first by the Welton captain, Driffield were bowled out for 166, with Kevin Woodcock scoring 50 to make it back-to-back half centuries for the left-hander. Jonny Cowing was the pick of the bowlers for the home side as he claimed 4-34. In the second innings, Driffield’s bowlers were magnificent and they combined to bowl their opponents out for 105. Legspinner Hutton emerged as the pick of the Woldsmen’s attack as finished with figures of 4-23.
August – The month started disappointingly for Driffield as they suffered a three wicket defeat against Dringhouses, The Woldsmen batted first at Kings Mill Road and scored 157-7 in an innings reduced to 44 overs. Once again, Busfield led from the front as he made 54, significantly more than any Driffield batsman. After making a good start to their run chase, the away side lost a flurry of wickets in the middle order. However, the Dringhouses lower order came to the rescue to seal victory with 3.3 overs remaining. This was despite the best efforts of Hutton who picked up 4-29.
In their next fixture the 3rd XI enjoyed a rare outing on the main square at Kings Mill Road and they rose to the occasion by beating Tadcaster Magnet by 45 runs. On a red hot day, Driffield had first use of the wicket and made 235-5 with Busfield continuing his impressive form with a swashbuckling 89. Driffield’s bowlers once again came to the fore in the run chase as Andrew Rogers and Rob Woodcock beautifully combined to pick up 4-37 and 5-41 respectively and grant their side a well-earned thirty points. A trip to Hull 2nds was the next test for the Woldsmen and they came home with a losing draw, their first draw of any kind thus far. The hosts batted first and made a competitive total of 238-5. This was mainly down to the efforts of Fergus Wilkinson who fell just short of a century on 95. Driffield made a decent effort of chasing down Hull’s total but they ultimately fell short on 219-4. Busfield once again showed his class with a half-century, and he was helped out by a knock of 76 from Damon Jenkinson and an unbeaten 61 from Reuben Kelly, his maiden fifty for the 3rd XI.
Lowly Heworth 2nds were the Driffield’s next opponents, and the gulf between the two sides was evident as the Woldsmen ran out comfortable eight wicket victors. Some great bowling from the Driffield attack saw Heworth dismissed for a well below-par 90. An excellent opening spell from Adam Woolley set the tone as he picked up 4-18 before Hutton weaved a web to claim 5-13. It took Driffield just 20.2 overs to seal the win, losing two wickets in the process.
Promotion-chasing Hornsea provided Driffield’s next test, and they came home from their trip to seaside with a gutsy losing draw. The Seasiders showed no mercy to the Driffield bowling attack as they racked up a total of 299-5. Opening pair Alistair Kirk and Paul Clappison showed intent from the start and the Woldsmen were glad to see the back of them for 55 and 54 respectively. This set the stage for South African Douglas Griebenhouw who blasted his way to 58 from just 25 balls. Although Driffield never looked like overhauling Hornsea’s mammoth total, they batted with some application to finish on 165-7. Stand-in captain Kevin Woodcock led the way with 51. The Bank Holiday fixture at Rowntree & Huntington was a victim of the weather.
September – The final month of the season started with an away game at Woodhouse Grange 2nds, and it was the home side who prevailed by 57 runs. Woodhouse elected to bat first after winning the toss and scored 156-9, a decent total on a testing wicket. The innings was built around an excellent knock of 82 from Matthew Durkin who showed everyone just how to bat on the surface. Earlier, Adam Woolley had claimed 4-34 in a probing 12 over spell. Driffield performed poorly with the bat, as they were dismissed for 99.
The season culminated with a home against Hull Zingari 2nds who upset the odds to claim an impressive 42 run victory despite their lowly status in the league. Zingari batted first and scored 192-7 thanks to a terrific unbeaten 85 from Roger Burnham. Only four Driffield made double figures as they were bowled out for 150, with spinner Michael Gravill finishing with figures of 4-38.
Driffield finished the season in 7th in York Senior League Division Two South, a decent effort from Busfield’s side which gives them something to build on for 2016.
Top three run-scorers
Carl Busfield – 612 runs at an average of 36.00
Kevin Woodcock – 332 runs at an average of 36.89
John Woolley – 326 runs at an average of 18.11
Top three wicket-takers
Grant Hutton – 24 wickets at an average of 16.17
Andrew Rogers – 20 wickets at an average of 15.35
Rob Woodcock – 20 wickets at an average of 23.25
Report by James Richardson Telephone: 01377 232875 email@example.com
Driffield’s Carl Busfield and John Woolley.