Bates seconds still in hunt for title

BATES Cottages second string took the short trip to New Hartley looking to keep the pressure on league leaders DSS with another victory.

Despite winning the toss, Bates skipper Gibson inexplicably chose to bat first, despite the heavy overnight rain and a green track.

He was made to pay, holing out to square leg for only two, and then when Mavin, Wilson and Bailey returned to the hutch without really troubling the scorers too much, Bates were in deep trouble.

A rearguard action followed in the form of a 60-run partnership between Rob Tulip and Nathan Allan, at a painful but entirely sensible two and over.

The conditions made batting almost impossible, coupled with the long grass on the square meant that even sweetly struck shots got no more than two.

Tulip did manage to bludgeon a few fours, and once Allan was undone by the spinner, Tulip also departed soon after, but some lower order hitting from Robbie Burns clawed Bates up to a respectable 121 from their 40 overs.

Bates knew that only a fast start would give them a chance, and seamers Gillott and Binns obliged, ripping through the New Hartley top five to leave the home side really struggling on 24-5.

Stokes, Douglas and McGuinness tried and failed to get some momentum going, and Bates sensed victory.

With the weather closing fast, the visitors upped the pace and intensity, Burns grabbing a couple of vital wickets to remove Stokes and Douglas, with Binns returning to remove McGuinness.

It was left to spinner Thomas to complete the rout, 73 all out with a full ten minutes to spare before the heavens opened which would have surely abandoned the game.

Man of the match was Davy Binns for his return of 4-11.

Bates seconds travel to Ulgham this weekend for their final game knowing that another win might win them the title.