April Will Norman’s reign as 2nd XI captain started with an abandoned game at Beverley 2nds.
May Norman’s second game in charge produced a winning draw for Driffield against local rivals Bridlington. A magnificent innings of 135 from Ben Dobson, who had returned to the club from Sewerby in the close season, propelled his side to a huge total of 280-9. The Seasiders could only manage 217-7 in reply.
Driffield were involved in another local derby in their next outing, this being against a weak Sewerby side. Sewerby had no answer to the bowling of Nick Johnson (4-35) and Alec Drury (4-33), as they scored just 105. Dobson’s unbeaten 72 saw Driffield home for a four wicket victory.
A trip to Folkton & Flixton, led by former Drif-field player Jamie Nesfield, beckoned next, and the Woldsmen continued their fine form with a nine-wicket victory. Nesfield’s side were bowled out for 157, with Rob Woodcock claiming 4-40 in what proved to be his only 2nd XI appearance of the season. In reply, Dobson continued his superb early-season form with an unbeaten 108.
A home game followed against high-flying Sessay who proved to be too good for Norman’s charges as they lost by 84 runs despite half-centuries for Johnny Addy (59 not out) and Johnson 53.
The month came to an end with a trip to Whitkirk, who scored 275 for the loss of just three wickets. Driffield ended up being 25 runs short of this to-tal having lost seven wickets to earn a losing draw. Opening batsmen Grant Halder played an excellent innings of 111, his first century for the club, whilst fellow opener Richard Grice made 62.
June Driffield were looking to get back to winning ways at the start of June, and they duly de-livered with a seven-wicket victory against Bolton Percy. Norman’s side restricted Percy to 190 thanks to some great bowling from Andrew Rogers who claimed 4-36. It was déjà vu in Driffield’s reply as Halder made an unbeaten 104 to claim back-to-back centuries.
The weekend after Driffield hosted bottom club Osbaldwick, a game they were expected to win com-fortably. However, Osbaldwick defied the odds to go home with a 3 run victory. Batting first, the visitors made 203-3 and Driffield could only manage 200, with Norman’s 66 the only significant contribution.Driffield began their Edward Readman Trophy campaign in the second round, with a midweek game against Bridlington, from which they emerged with a 20 run victory.In the league, Pickering were Driffield’s next op-ponents, and they came home from North Yorkshire with a losing draw. The home side made 207-7 in a rain-affected game before the Woldsmen replied with 178-8.
A winning draw at home against Goole saw Driffield’s season back on track. The home side scored 181-9, with Tom Norman scoring 54. Driffield were left needing one wicket for victory in the final over, but Goole held out on 163-9 despite brilliant figures of 4-10 from Johnny Anderson.
July Driffield celebrated victory in their first July fixture, hammering lowly Malton & Old Malton by seven wickets.The Woldsmen bowled Malton out for just 89 with only Shaun Harland (33), getting to grips with the in-form Anderson who picked up 4-19. Driffield’s batsmen raced to their modest target inside 19 overs.Norman’s side also tasted success in their next game, this time recorded a narrow two-wicket vic-tory over local rivals Beverley 2nds.Beverley batted first at Kings Mill Road and made a decent score of 224-7 with opening batsman Michael Cooke scoring 100, whilst his opening partner Robert Fish made 51.
However, Driffield triumphed in a thrilling run chase thanks to a herculean effort from Norman who saw his side home with an unbeaten 112 despite the best efforts of Matthew Saint (4-39)In the third round of the Edward Readman Tro-phy, Driffield comfortably overcame Hornsea to progress to the quarter-final stage of the competition.July was proving to a pivotal month for Driffield, and they claimed a third straight league win as they beat Bridlington by six wickets at Dukes Park.The home side made first use of the wicket and scored 229-7 with Simon Leeson making 78 and Nick Tennant 59. But once again Driffield showed their run chasing prowess as they reached their target after 39 overs. Halder continued his great season with the bat, but fell just short of another century on 96.
A fourth consecutive victory of the month came at home against Sewerby, who finished the season in the bottom two.The away side batted first at Kings Mill Road and made a decent total of 201-8 with Scott Cooper making 58 before falling to the bowling of Mark Clarkson.
Driffield’s run chasing ability came to the fore again, and they chased their target in super-quick time to claim an eight wicket victory and Dobson continued his brilliant season with a blistering innings of 114.In a truncated three-way group stage at Cotting-ham, Driffield progressed to the Edward Readman Trophy finals day at the expense of the hosts and Hull 2nds.
Driffield took on Hull in the first of what should have been two group games, and they sailed to vic-tory thanks to good knocks from Halder and Golds-worthy.The hosts were next up, but just a couple of overs into Cottingham’s innings, the rain intervened with play abandoned for the day. The teams arranged to play again in two weeks, however Cottingham were unable to raise a side, ensuring Driffield went through to the next round and a semi-final tie against Carlton Towers.
August The month began with an abandonment against Folkton & Flixton. When the rain came, Driffield were batting and had reached 181-5, with Ben Kohler-Cadmore scoring 78.Champions elect Sessay were Driffield’s next opponents and they performed admirably to come home with a losing draw.Sessay batted first and made 246-9 from their 48 overs, with Simon Mason scoring a fluid 107, whilst opening batsman Mark Wilkie made 57. Anderson proved to be the pick of the bowlers with 4-59. In reply, the Woldsmen finished up on 160-8 to claim eight points from the game.
A second negative result followed, as Driffield suffered a heavy eight wicket defeat at home against Whitkirk.Thanks to some economical bowling from the Whitkirk attack, Driffield could only muster 173-8 from their innings.Despite only overhauling the home side’s total with one over to spare, Whitkirk were never in any danger of losing the game. Opening batsman showed the way with an unbeaten 80, whilst David Tubby finished not out on 63.
More disappointment was to follow the following day when Driffield were dumped out in the semi-finals of the Edward Readman Trophy by Carlton Towers, the eventual winners. Driffield suffered further trauma when their game against Bolton Percy was abandoned just as it looked Norman’s side were going to claim a welcome victory over one of their promotion rivals. Bolton Percy bowled well to dismiss the Woldsmen for 169, with Mike Sharp’s 46 being the only significant contribution to this total, as Driffield struggled to get to grips with Tom Atkinson (4-32). However, Driffield’s bowling attack led from the front, and they had Percy reeling at 81-6 when the rain put an end to proceedings.
In the penultimate game of the month, Driffield played out a tense affair against bottom side Osbald-wick, with the Woldsman scraping their way to a one wicket victory.
An excellent Driffield bowling display saw them dismiss Osbaldwick for just 116. Anderson’s tremendous season with the ball continued as he claimed figures of 4-18.However, Osbaldwick made it difficult for Drif-field, who lost nine wickets in pursuit of the home side’s total. In the end they were indebted to Damon Jenkinson’s 41 and Anderson’s unbeaten 28, with only four batsmen making double figures.The final game of the month was on Bank Holiday Monday, and Driffield managed a handy six wicket win over Malton & Old Malton in the only completed game in Division One. In a game reduced to 25 overs per side, Malton batted first but could only score 125, mainly thanks to excellent spells from Driffield’s spin attack. The conditions were right up Johnson’s street, and this showed as he picked up 4-28, with fellow off-spinner Tom Norman claiming 4-21.Driffield made no mistake in their run chase, reaching their target for the loss of just four wickets.
September Driffield entered the final month of the season with promotion to the Premier Division in sight, and they knew a positive result against fellow top four side Pickering would seal the deal. Norman’s side batted first on a cold day at Kings Mill Road, and they were dismissed for 204 by the away side. Jenkinson was the biggest contributor to Driffield’s total with 68, whilst Halder chipped in with 50 before being dismissed by Tim Whincup who was the best of the Pickering bowlers with 4-53.However, a solid batting display from Pickering saw them claim a seven wicket victory and promo-tion. Top-scorer for the away side was veteran batsman Colin Frank who made 72, whilst the evergreen David Greenlay finished unbeaten on 50.Despite the defeat, after the game Driffield were notified that other results had gone in their favour and they had secured a promotion to the Premier Division for 2016, a great achievement for Will Norman and his army!
The last game of the season saw Driffield travel to face a Goole Town side who were still in the hunt to finish in the top four. With a depleted side, the Woldsmen batted first and they were dismissed by the home side for 154. A 90 run stand for the first wicket between Norman and Sharp had got their side off to a great start. But when Sharp was dismissed for 40 and Norman for 52, Driffield’s innings grinded to a halt.However, a committed and gutsy performance in the field saw Driffield claim a quite miraculous win, as Goole were dismissed 13 runs short. Goldsworthy was the pick of the Driffield bowlers with 4-23 This victory sealed 2nd position for Driffield in York Senior League Division One, and after a fantas-tic season, they can look forward to Premier Division cricket in 2016!
Top three run-scorers
Ben Dobson – 579 runs at an average of 82.71.
Will Norman – 507 runs at an average of 29.82.
Grant Halder – 472 runs at an average of 39.33.
Top three wicket takers
Nick Johnson – 36 wickets at an average of 23.17.
Johnny Anderson – 22 wickets at an average of 17.05.
Jamie Greveson – 20 wickets at an average of 25.35.