Driffield CC 5th XI 2015 Season Review

Driffield Cricket Club 5th XI 2015 Season Review

By James Richardson

May – Driffield 5th XI, under the stewardship of new captain Michael Nicholson, were due to start their 2015 campaign with a home game against North Fer-riby 2nds.However, the inclement May weather intervened and  ensured  the  match  was  postponed  without  a ball being bowled with the sides sharing nine points apiece. Instead, Nicholson’s side began their Eastern Conference Division Five season with a trip to Eastrington 2nds and they came home with an impressive six wicket victory. The home side batted first and struggled to contain the Driffield bowling attack as they were dismissed for 107, a total the Woldsmen comfortably knocked off for the loss of four wickets.

It was a different story at Gilberdyke the weekend after though, when the 5ths suffered a demoralising 58 run defeat. The defeat came despite a fantastic bowling dis-play that had seen Gilberdyke skittled for just 100. But Driffield had no answer to Ryan Callis’s 4-10 as they were dismissed for a measly 58.

Driffield were looking to bounce straight back, but instead they fell to a five wicket loss at the hands of Welton & Brough 3rds. Welton batted first and made 153-8 from their 40 overs, with wicket-keeper Tommy Harrison top-scoring with 54. The pick of the bowlers for Driffield was Harvey Thompson, a close-season signing from Hutton Cranswick, who finished with figures of 4-32. But once again, Nicholson’s side showed no fight with the bat and were bowled out for 100, with Welton’s Martin Spencer picking up 4-13.

A positive result was required, and this came in the form of a winning draw against Hull Ionians Coal Exporters 3rds. Driffield  batted  first  at  Brantingham  Park  and could only make 118-9 thanks to some tight HICE bowling. But the Driffield bowlers were even more restrictive and they secured a winning draw as the home side  could  only  manage  67-8.  Nicholson  led  his bowling arsenal into battle with figures of 4-15.

June – The 5ths started the month with a home fixture against Patrington 3rds, and they earned themselves a superb eight wicket victory, much to the delight of a sizeable crowd at Kings Mill Road.The visitors batted first and were bowled out for 165 inside 38 overs. Despite losing the early wickets of openers Nicholson and youngster Harvey Dixon, Driffield eased to victory thanks to fantastic unbeaten knocks from Isaac Wilkes and Sam Pallant. The pair made 70 not out and 66 not out respectively.

The game at Carlton Towers was abandoned with-out a ball being bowled.Eastrington 2nds were the next visitors to the Rec and they returned home happy after inflicting a heavy 139 run defeat on Nicholson’s young side.The away side amassed a huge total of 264 after batting first, with David Buckley making a well-constructed 104. Buckley’s display was complemented by Gary Tooke’s 56. Despite the carnage, Driffield opening bowler Thomas Hudson still emerged with decent figures of 4-57. It always looked to be a struggle for the Woldsmen against a side with a lot more experience, and this proved to be the case as they were bowled out for 125. However,  Driffield  found  some  respite  as  they beat local rivals Nafferton in the second round of the Dave Connor Memorial Trophy. Driffield batted first against the Division Three side and made 154-6 from their 20 overs. Matthew Busfield was top scorer with 37. Nafferton’s reply was built around contributions of 46 and 40 from Driffield junior players Connor Robb and Ollie Thompson, but this proved insufficient as they were bowled out for 120. Hudson was once again the pick of the bowling attack with 4-27.

Nicholson’s troops were looking to build on their cup victory when Sutton-on-Hull 3rds came to town, and they duly succeeded with an eight wicket triumph. Sutton batted first and made their way to 185-9 from their allotted 40 overs. It was a nervy run-chase from Driffield, but Nicholson held the innings together with a heroic unbeaten knock of 48, even managing to finish the game with a reverse-sweep in the final over!

July – The beginning of the month saw Driffield produce what was arguably their best performance of the sea-son, as they saw off eventual champions North Fer-riby 2nds by eight wickets.Ferriby batted first, and were cheaply dismissed for 91 thanks to an amazing spell of 6-14 from Nicholson, who was beginning to revel in his role as captain. Nicholson’s effort set the stage for his bats-men to knock the runs off in just 16.5 overs to cap off a great all-round performance.

The victories continued for Driffield, and Hessle were the next victims to be overturned with a six wicket defeat being their fate. Hessle made a total of 143-9 at Kings Mill Road, mainly thanks to Ian Holgate’s unbeaten 50. This proved easy pickings for the Woldsmen who needed just 27.3 overs to seal their third consecutive victory.

The 5ths also continued their giant killing exploits in the Dave Connor Memorial Trophy as they hammered Division Three opponents Skirlaugh by nine wickets to reach the last eight.A commanding performance at Patrington 3rds ensured Driffield sealed a fifth straight victory in all competitions. The foundations of the 151 run victory were built when Driffield made 246-6. This was mainly thanks to an explosive innings from Wilkes as he made 133 not out from just 71 balls, a knock that won the Outstanding Performance of the Season. Hudson’s impressive spell of 4-17 helped his side dismiss Patrington for 95 and enhance Driffield’s hopes of promotion.

The following weekend’s game against Carlton Towers 3rds was abandoned with Driffield on 102-5 from 20 overs.

August – Driffield started the month with a huge 179 run victory over a weak Gilberdyke 2nds. Opening batsmen Dixon and Chris Hogg-Wood-mansey got Driffield’s innings off to a cracking start with a first wicket partnership of 117. Dixon departed first for 57 before Hogg-Woodmansey fell agonisingly short of his maiden century on 97 as he helped his side to 262-4. It was a poor show from Gilberdyke’s batsmen who were bowled out for a paltry 83 with Nicholson helping himself to 6-9.However, Gilberdyke’s 1st XI fared better than their 2nd XI counterparts as they dumped Driffield out of the Dave Connor Memorial Trophy at the quarter-final stage.

A trip to Welton & Brough 3rds was next on the agenda for the 5ths and they came home with 30 points after a five wicket victory.Former 5th XI skipper Nick English’s spell of 4-30 restricted the home side to 103, and Driffield needed just 27.4 overs to overhaul it.

The promotion race was now hotting up, but Driffield suffered a set-back when they lost to Hull Ionians Coal Exporters 3rds by 32 runs.HICE batted first and made a competitive total of 161-9 as Declan Pearson top-scored with 50. This score proved to out of Driffield’s reach as they were dismissed for 129, with Pearson showing his all-round credentials with figures of 4-37.

With just two games left, Driffield travelled to Hessle 3rds knowing anything less than a victory would all but extinguish their hopes of promotion.The prospects of victory didn’t look too rosy when they were dismissed for just 133 with the home side’s Kashyap Gaddam proving to be the danger man as he picked up 4-32. However, Driffield knew the importance of the game and produced a fantastic display in the field to bowl Hessle out for 85. The pick of the bowlers for the Woldsmen was Stephen Thompson who, in a rare outing for the 5ths, picked up 4-13.

September – Driffield entered the final game of the season in third position knowing that to stand any chance of promotion they needed to win their game against Sutton-on-Hull 3rds and hope that one of North Ferriby 2nds or Patrington 3rds slipped up.

Nicholson’s side produced their part of the bargain as they bowled Sutton out for 80 thanks to Thomp-son’s 4-9 before easily reaching their target for the loss of two wickets.However, news filtered through that both North Ferriby and Patrington had earned 30 points after their opposition conceded.

This meant that Driffield just missed out on promotion but they can be proud of a memorable season that included some excellent victories and most importantly blooded young players who are set to be the future of Driffield Town Cricket Club.

Top three run-scorers :-
Isaac Wilkes – 328 runs at an average of 54.67
Matthew Busfield – 230 runs at an average of 32.86
Chris Hogg-Woodmansey – 202 runs at an average of 40.40.

Top three wicket-takers :-
Michael Nicholson – 35 wickets at an average of 9.4
Thomas Hudson – 24 wickets at an average of 12.83
Robbie Milner – 16 wickets at an average of 19.31

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