The return of cricket to our corner of Yorkshire comes on Saturday 22nd April 2017. We begin with eight divisions and 97 teams. Still a pretty decent effort in terms of participation with 1,067 players involved in recreational cricket every week. We will not see the friendly face and camera lens of Barry Gill though this season after he sadly past away before Christmas. A memorial service will be held at 11:30am on Friday 20th Jan at Dacre Banks church. A significant turn out from the League is expected as we pay our respects to a wonderful man. The loss to the League and Dacre Banks Cricket Club is huge and we send his family our best wishes and condolences. His contributions and commitment will not go unrecognised and we will find a suitable honour so that his name and legacy may continue.
Our 2017 Season Launch Film with all photography from the late Barry Gill.
Reigning Theakston Nidderdale League Champions, Ouseburn, begin the defence of their title at near neighbours Alne on Saturday 22nd April. Ouseburn won 16 games last season losing only to Birstwith and Burton Leonard on their way to a second Championship in their history.
Newly promoted Masham begin life back in the top flight away at Burton Leonard. Phil Newton, the Masham captain confidently says “We are very much looking forward to being a force in Division One again, not just with juniors coming through the ranks such as Kieran Bramley and Bailey McCourt, but we have also strengthened with Dan Woolston arriving from North East Premier League side Whitburn who will add depth to both batting and bowling, and now with Ben Fielding classed as non-overseas for 2017. Another Australian will be confirmed early in the New Year who is sure to add more depth in all departments.”
The other newly promoted side Goldsborough welcome Helperby in Round One. New Chairman of the Club, David James said “Goldsborough are very excited to be returning to Division One after 2 years in Division Two. The team has been relatively unchanged and kept its core group in that time – so it’s pleasing to enter Division One knowing what each member brings. Damon Ive has had two tremendous years with the bat and will continue to be ably supported by Mike Cockle, Ben Mackrill, Stewart Cummings and a very strong lower order. Graham Shorter continues to captain the side and leads a bowling line up with the likes of David James, Kevin Wilks, and all rounder Ben Mackrill always supporting. Jonathan Jackson remains behind the stumps. We will again have another overseas with us for 2017. The goal this year is for consolidation in the top table. Win more games than we lose and we’ll be happy. The second team will again be captained by Gavin Hodson with a good mix of experience and youth. We continue to work in partnership with Knaresborough CC to allow U17s not playing Saturday cricket an opportunity in the Nidderdale league on a loan basis.”
Saturday 22nd April Division One 1:30pm start
Alne vs Ouseburn
Birstwith vs Spofforth
Burton Leonard vs Masham
Darley vs Knaresborough Forest
Goldsborough vs Helperby
West Tanfield vs Hampsthwaite
Wath and Melmerby have risen up the Divisions after joining from the old Wath League, and are now in Division Two. They have the big hitting Bobby Hilton in charge this time out and begin their push for top flight cricket away at Dacre Banks. Hilton says “We’re all looking forward to it and looking forward to the challenge” For the first time Wath and Melmerby are able to draft in the services of an overseas player and have signed up a young 18/19 year old seam bowler, Mitchell Cross, from Yarraville Cricket Club, Victoria, who’s keen to contribute. Hilton goes on to say “Our aim for next year is very similar to last season, we’re looking for promotion and doing so in our usual explosive way of playing the game. It’ll be nice to play against some clubs we haven’t faced in the league so far and play against some stronger opposition. Overall everyone at Wath and Melmerby are looking forward to the season and hope we have a cracking summer. Burnt Yates return to Division Two and welcome Scotton on day one. Bishop Thornton will be looking to bounce back up at the first time of asking after a disappointing 2016. The Curlews have recruited Matt Varley from Yorkshire Champions Wakefield Thornes as well as plundering the ranks of Wath and Melmerby.
Saturday 22nd April Division Two 1:30pm start
Bishop Thornton vs Studley Royal 2nds
Blubberhouses vs Ripley
Burnt Yates vs Scotton
Dacre Banks vs Wath and Melmerby
Raskelf vs Pateley Bridge
Markington vs Newby Hall
Every season, Division Three produces a cracking contest. A resurgent Boroughbridge and Staveley make their debut at home to Whixley on opening day. The Aldborough Road outfit have consolidated their operation at their Boroughbridge home. We say goodbye and thank you for the memories to the Staveley Ground. Unique for its distinctive hump. Killinghall, also in a rebuilding phase, welcome Middleham to their Otley Road ground. Look out for the new outfield at Whixley this season. Completely ploughed at the end of the 2016 season, levelled and re-seeded.
Saturday 22nd April Division Three 1:30pm start
Bishop Monkton vs Thornton-le-Moor
Boroughbridge and Staveley vs Whixley
Bolton Abbey vs Rainton
Harrogate Strays vs Birstwith 2nds
Killinghall vs Middleham
South Kilvington vs Pannal 2nds
In Division Four, North Stainley are on an upward trajectory too and have been rewarded for their commitment to cricket, both senior, junior and ladies, together with huge improvements at their ground and first class hospitality with the MCC game in August.
Saturday 22nd April Division Four 1:30pm start
Helperby 2nds vs North Stainley
Thornton Watlass vs Kirkby Malzeard
Lofthouse and Middlesmoor vs Sharow
Ripon 2nds vs Studley Royal 3rds
Ouseburn 2nds vs Alne 2nds
Hampsthwaite 2nds vs Sessay 3rds
Spennithorne and Harmby are really going for it with several promotions over the last few seasons, and thanks to consistent performances with the ball from Simon Walker and Lee Davison and the bat from Tom Mawer, and Fletcher Mason. Division Five awaits the men from Wensleydale and an away ride to Ripley 2nds on opening day. Harrogate 4ths are a young side clearly with big aspirations, supporting an ambitious club and winners of the inaugural ECB Yorkshire Premier League North competition in 2016. Cooper Smith was the standout batsman for ‘Gate last time out knocking 684 runs with a top score of 162. With a talent conveyor belt, will the young guns make the move up through the Harrogate teams? Harrogate 4ths travel to Arthington on opening day. Its a re-run of the 2016 Wath Cup Final as Pateley Bridge 2nds take on Goldsborough 2nds at the Showground. That time, it was the Pateley Badgers who came out on top.
Saturday 22nd April Division Five 1:30pm start
Pateley Bridge 2nds vs Goldsborough 2nds
Arthington vs Harrogate 4ths
Masham 2nds vs Burton Leonard 2nds
Ripley 2nds vs Spennithorne and Harmby
Newton-le-Willows vs Crakehall
Newby Hall 2nds vs Glasshouses
In Division Six, newly promoted West Tanfield 2nds and Thirsk 2nds will mix it with freshly relegated Blubberhouses 2nds and Bishop Thornton 2nds. Marton-cum-Grafton will hope to see much of William Moss who continues to put in stellar performances. 400 runs and 32 wickets for Moss in 2016 but can he push Marton up the Divisions? Pannal 3rds have turned to David Wood to lead them this season. A true Nidderdale man, Dave will aim to bring the younger players through from the Pannal junior ranks.
Saturday 22nd April Division Six 1:30pm start
Marton-cum-Grafton vs Raskelf 2nds
Knaresborough Forest 2nds vs Darley 2nds
Little Ribston vs Bolton Abbey 2nds
Spofforth 2nds vs Blubberhouses 2nds
Pannal 3rds vs Bishop Thornton 2nds
Thirsk 2nds vs West Tanfield 2nds
It has been pretty difficult for Pannal Ash over recent years at Bluecoat Wood, but by hook or by crook they remain steadfast and resilient and, although relegated to Division Seven, will be looking very much to the future. The Otley Road area of Harrogate is to see some significant residential developments and with it, investment by developers in sports and recreational facilities. Keep an eye on this sleeping giant. North Stainley are a club on the way up and we welcome their 2nds to Division Seven alongside Scotton 2nds both promoted from Division Eight.
Saturday 22nd April Division Seven 1:30pm start
Middleham 2nds vs Knaresborough Forest 3rds
Studley Royal 4ths vs Pannal Ash
Scotton 2nds vs Burnt Yates 2nds
Beckwithshaw 3rds vs Boroughbridge and Staveley 2nds
North Stainley 2nds vs Birstwith 3rds
Galphay and Winksley vs Bedale 2nds
Division Eight, with its uneven number of team creates its own challenges. We have had to introcude a free week and not all teams will play each other the same amount of times, but the cream is sure to rise to the top as it did last year. Of note is the entry of Upper Wharfedale to the Nidderdale League. A club which is also in a period of rebuilding and looked to us to help them. It will be interesting to see how Ripley 3rds and 4ths get on as both teams are now in the same division. Surely the 4ths couldn’t embarrass the 3rds and go up?
Saturday 22nd April Division Eight 1:30pm start
Bye v Helperby 3rds
Whixley 2nds v Thirsk 3rds
Rainton 2nds v Ouseburn 3rds
Wath and Melmerby 2nds v Arthington 2nds
Ripon 3rds v Little Ribston 2nds
Upper Wharfedale v Dacre Banks 2nds
Ripley 4ths v Ripley 3rds