The important bit first - we managed to retain our title.
Richmondshire entered three teams; two boys teams and one girls, who were joined by teams from Barnard Castle, Darlington and Helperby.
The girls were drawn in the same group as Darlington and Helperby. Both Darlington and the girls beat Helperby fairly easily, with the girls managing a score of 243 net. In the match against Darlington to decide who won the group, the girls were in touch until nearly the end of the match, when late wickets secured a Darlington win. This meant they then had to face Barnard Castle to decide who would come third. Barnard Castle had generally scored freely, but the wickets the girls took kept the target down to the 243 net they had managed against Helperby. The highlight was Lucy Hartley's hat trick, taken without any assistance from fielders, as all three wickets were bowled. When the girls came to bat, again they kept in touch with the opponents' score, finally falling only 11 runs short of their target; they really have come on as a team this year.
The first match in the other group was the boys A team against Barnard Castle. Our A team actually scored more from wides than they did from boundaries as they started with a score of 44 for 1 to give 239 net. A tight bowling performance then held Barnard Castle to 34 for 4, 214 net. The boys B team were unfortunate to have to bowl at Barnard Castle straight after their match against the A team, which meant they had got used to the conditions, in fact the last pair from Barney's first match just kep their pads on and opened. In a high scoring match, Barnard Castle managed 260 net. The B team got off to a good reply, halfway though the innings, just to remind us it was the summer of 2012, a rain interruption came with the B team halfway to their target. Tom Spensley cracked a six in the first over after the resumption, but the Barney bowling improved as our boys were held to a score of 254 net. The final group match was the annual banana skin opportunity, the A team against the B team. Sam Winter slipped on the banana skin early on when he was bowled, but the A team did recover to score 52 for 2, 242 net. A tight bowling performance from the A team resulted in the B team falling 21 runs short of their target at 41 for 4, 221 net.
The final against Darlington started with Darlo batting. Crucially, Darlington lost 5 wickets in scoring 48 runs from their 12 overs, setting quite a low target of 223. Darlington bowled very well, conceding only 5 extras, but the batting performance by the A team was quite superb. John Edmundson of Darlington was effusively praising the quality the of both defensive and attacking shots as he scored with me. Every Richmondshire batsman finished up not out, as the team scored 72 runs, with Sam widening the margin of the victory to 49 runs as he hit the final ball of the innings over mid wicket for six.