The 2nd XI arrived at Copmanthorpe on Saturday knowing that promotion was already secured but that a win was required to ensure the clinching of the League Title. Only two other TABS teams have won a divisional title in the last 27 years – the 1st XI, that Tom Kilby played in, that won the old 1st Division title in 1990 (when there was no premier league – the one and only occasion that TABS have lifted the main league prize); and the 2nd XI in 2008, captained by Jim Turner, who won the Division 5 title before we had zoning.
Along with Huby, who were in 2nd place and still in contention for the title, and Heslington, Copmanthorpe were one of the better sides in the division. So nothing could be taken for granted. Skipper Rob Williams made it clear that regardless of the toss (which he lost again!) it was a case of batting sensibly to compile a good runs tally and then bowling and fielding well to take all 10 wickets. Nothing else would be good enough.
Batting on a slow pitch with uneven bounce, Dale Gibson applied all of his sporting professionalism in crafting an excellent 64 to set TABS on their way in the first half of the match. He was supported by strong contributions from Jim Turner (20) and Sam Mottershead (23). Jim Riley then applied the necessary acceleration to take TABS to a big total. His 46 from 39 balls was just what the doctor ordered. Rob Williams (21no) and Andy Heaps (22no) putting on a 44 run partnership from the final 28 balls of the innings to take the total to a satisfying 212 for 6. At tea the boys knew that the first part of the job had been done.
It became apparent within the first few overs of the Copmanthorpe innings that they had no intention of trying to chase down the TABS total. They had decided to try to bat out the 45 overs to deny us the league title. They knew that a 27 point winning draw would mean we would lose out on the title by 1 point if Huby secured the expected 30 point victory over lowly Dringhouses.
This led to a long attritional battle. The TABS players put in a magnificent performance, concentrating throughout and supporting each other. The bowling was rotated and everyone chipped in: Sam Mottershead with 3 for 19; Andy Heaps with 2 for 5; Tom Halstead with 2 for 9; Rob Williams with 2 for 18 and Jacob Tomlinson with 1 for 1. 4 excellent catches were required, including a stunning slip catch from Mike Cole and 2 at silly mid off, one by Steve Raine and one by Sam Mottershead. A trademark, pirouette appeal from Rob Williams brought the only positive LBW decision from Steve Trueman, our umpire, who had an excellent day having to officiate both ends for nearly 90 overs in the absence of a Copmanthorpe umpire. There was no Copmanthorpe scorer either and Emma Williams did a great job again in her first season since taking over from Bethan.
The final Copmanthorpe wicket was taken in the 38th over by young Tom Halstead who is a real prospect for the future and who has made a positive impact on the 2nd XI this season.
The team celebrated with a posse of travelling supporters – Mark Mottershead, the Cole’s, the Turner’s, and the Thomas’s – all of whose support was greatly appreciated.
And then it was back to the TABS Oval to celebrate with the 1st XI who had also pulled off another win in what has been a tremendous season for both senior sides and for the Club as a whole. Onwards and upwards now as we prepare for 2018!!