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Cricket seconds claim first York points

York put their first two Roses points on the board today, as the men's cricket seconds secured victory at Morecambe CC (Thumbnail credit Image: Peter Iveson)

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University of York 2nd XI 160 all out beat Lancaster 127 all out by 33 runs

Early season rain has confined the cricket squad to the sports hall, leaving players without crucial middle or match practice. This certainly proved the case on Thursday with a below par performance in their first league fixture, a derby against York St. John's.

Sunny weather and a firm track greeted the players at Morecambe, both a blessing after 2 weeks of torrential April rain. However, this was still a day to bowl first and it was no surprise upon winning the toss that Lancaster chose to do just that.

A changed batting line-up, with Wimshurst promoted to opener, was to give York an attacking edge at the top of the order. But it was captain, Ben Cooke, who took the innings off to a flyer with three early boundaries across the quick out-field. And although a waist-high full toss top-edged to deep square left him without his opening partner, Cooke continued in this vein adding a solid 25 (36) to his half century from Thursday, before holing out to mid-on.

The top order continued to build starts, with both Townson and Walker looking strong before being dismissed for 19 (57) and 17 (29) respectively, the latter run out after the drinks break diving full length for a third to deep mid-wicket.

The remainder of the innings featured a sprawl of wickets, as the middle order failed to deal with the in-swing of left arm over bowler, Steel, who went on to take 5 from his ten overs. The umpire's decisions proved a talking point on a number of occasions as the correlation between appeal volume and dismissal frequency was called into question. York's batsmen were left fuming, Lancaster's fieldsmen apologetic.

To add to the drama, in moving the sightscreen, Lancaster's opening batsman suffered an injury to his Achilles. He retired to the pavilion walking gingerly, the 12th man bemoaning his choice of plimsoles in the slippery outfield.

The innings was held together by Alex "Gimli" McDonald, who timed the swinging ball sweetly to make a run-a-ball 45. Poor deliveries were dutifully dispatched by the pint-sized number five, as he delivered a number of good-looking drives and clips to frustrate Lancaster's strong spin attack, fronted by Heayns.

A tumbling tail, whose only flicker was provided by a resistant 12* (9) from opening bowling Alsop, left York with a score of 160 all out from 37.1 overs.

Although much debate surrounded the choice of dip on the hot sausages (mustard and ketchup, not horseradish, was the verdict), there was a feeling that an improving batting track would leave this score within reach.

York were in no mood for a walk-over, however, as Alsop lassoed two wickets in his first over with hooping away swing. 'Sharking for a third', one tweeter commented, but it was not to be as Tomkins and Steel put on 36 before the former was run out by the calm and collected UYCC President, Will Smith.

Wickets continued to tumble with all bowlers contributing. Townson's pace and swing left Lancaster's middle order consistently fishing, and McDonald and Witherow took advantage of a turning wicket to take two-a-piece taking the home team to a desperate 75-8. A valiant 9th wicket added 44 runs, and kept Lancaster up with the run rate - but the return of York's openers proved too much as Ingham and Woolcott finally fell for 32 and 30.

Alex McDonald was awarded man of the match, later attributing his success to his completion of the triple burger challenge in a windy service station that morning. First points for the White Rose in what is sure to be another hotly contested year.

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