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2018 has been a fantastic season in terms of cricket. The under 11s won their Derwent Valley league, and Cup.

After promotion in 2017, the Ryedale Beckett League team retained Division 1 status in 2018 and are looking to build on that in 2019. 

The Foss Evening League team had fun, had some great games of cricket and came 3rd in Div 3, gaining promotion to Division 2 in 2019

The York Vale team fulfilled their potential and after coming league runners up in 2017, finished the 2018 season in top spot and unbeaten in the league. The first time since 1984.

Here are the week by week match reports for the York Vale XI, as featured on the York Vale site and in the Press

WEEK 1 - Saturday 28 April 2018 - Division 1 - KELFIELD (Home)
PRE-SEASON favourites Westow laid down an early marker with a comfortable home win against Kelfield.
The visitors had no hesitation in asking Westow to bat first on which looked like a bowling friendly day. Westow made slow progress, reaching 25 without loss from 10 overs before Andrew Welford picked up the scoring rate with some excellent shots, especially behind square, and got Westow up to 78 after 18 overs before fellow opener Mark Earle departed for 33.
Welford went on to make 51 before being caught in the covers off Sam Dunn’s bowling.  Kelfield pegged Westow back with Dunn (3-32), supported by Ben Atkinson, who also finished with three wickets, reducing them to149-5. Chris Inman (20) and Jacob Stephenson (19) made handy late order contributions before Westow were bowled out for 176.
Earle’s opening spell soon had Kelfield on the back foot. He bowled Neil Atkinson and Matt Walker in the same over and finished with figures of 9-5-6-2. Craig Lawson hit an attacking 34 but Adrian Upton (4-27) and Jacob Stephenson ripped through the middle order as Kelfield slid to 80-8. Phil Corfield counter-attacked with an impressive 48 to get Kelfield up to 115 before he was last man out, trapped lbw by Stephenson (3-20).

WEEK 2 - Saturday 5 May 2018 - Division 1 - OVINGTON (Away)
Mark Earle was Westow’s match winner as they defeated Ovington by 52 runs at Millthorpe School. After losing the toss, Ovington’s bowlers had done well to restrict the visitors to 83-4 but Earle’s chanceless 87, well-supported by Ali Fothergill (33) and Nathan Pratt took Westow to 208-7. Earle, who was run out in the last over, added 63 with Fothergill who hit some big sixes off Dick Buckley, while Pratt signalled his intentions from ball one, hitting it straight back for four on his way to a rapid 26. Simon Rogerson was the pick of the bowlers with 2-33 but Austrian debutant Kurt Dichter (1-34) did well to tie Earle down in the latter stages of the innings.
James Eckersley (25) and Sam Dixon (34) got the Ovington reply off to a good start, and after 11 overs the home team were 50-0. Jacob Stephenson (4-34) then began spinning a web, removing both openers and bowling David Smith for a duck. The following 11 overs yielded just 25 runs, and the loss of three wickets, with Adrian Upton keeping up the pressure with an economical spell at the other end. Andy Cole (29no) and Dom Everard (19) played some classy shots in a seventh-wicket partnership of 41, but the Westow total was too tall, and despite Buckley coming in to club the final ball for six, Ovington finished on 156-9.

WEEK 3 – Saturday 12 May 2018 - Division 1 - WHELDRAKE (Home)
Wheldrake could only muster seven players for the fixture at Westow and the captains agreed that the visitors should bat first. Although they lost opener Anthony Carter in the fifth over for 13, in-form batsman Martin Lambert and captain Nick Myers combined for a 43-run partnership. Myers took advantage of some short wide bowling from Nathan Pratt, dispatching him for 16 in one over, before being caught on 25 off the bowling of Mark Earle (4-28). The Wheldrake batsmen could only add a few more runs, leaving Lambert on 33 not out and finishing the innings on 81 runs.
Earle was bowled by Carter in the second over and Jacob Stephenson went the same way in Mark Cass’ next over to leave Westow on 14-2. A missed chance by Carter to catch Andy Welford off his own bowling could have been an expensive mistake, but Cass clean bowled him the following over with a total of 33 on the board. Any slim chance Wheldrake had vanished as Andy Phillips (30no) took advantage of big gaps in the field to finish the game in the 15th over.

WEEK 4 - Saturday 19 May 2018 - Division 1 - THIXENDALE - (Away)
Westow made it four wins out of four by beating neighbours Thixendale in a topsy-turvy game. Dale opener Les Milburn held up one end with a gritty 30 as Mark Earle picked up two early wickets. Milburn found some support from Nigel French (23) before he fell to Jacob Stephenson (5-35), who engineered a spectacular collapse with Adrian Upton (2-27).  Thixendale crashed from 81-3 to 91-9, however Jules Lawrence fought back and hit an attacking 57 not out. Supported by number 11 Paul Scothern (13no) they added 72 for the last wicket as Thix finished on 163-9. 
Westow struggled early on, slipping to 60-4 with their unbeaten record under threat from Ben Brown (2-41). Man-of-the-match Stephenson came to the rescue by smashing an undefeated 80 from only 54 deliveries to propel Westow to a comfortable victory in the company of Matthew Shipley (30no) with 10 overs remaining

WEEK 5 - Saturday 26 May 2018 - HPH CUP Round 1 - OVINGTON (Home)
It was a day to forget for Ovington as Mark Earle ran riot for Westow. At one point Ovington were 1-3, Earle picking up 5-14. With Nathan Pratt also collecting a couple of wickets, Ovington slumped to 32-8 before youngster Jack Walmsley hit 16 not out as Ovington were bowled out for 64. Westow backed up their bowlers with some great fielding, Shane Marshall and Adrian Upton taking great catches. Westow finished the game inside the seventh over thanks to Earle (23no) and Jacob Stephenson (30no) as Tom Irwin picked up the consolation wicket of Andrew Welford.

WEEK 6 - Saturday 2 June 2018 - Division 1 - SOUTH CAVE & BRANTINGHAM (Home)
ALL rounder Mark Earle propelled leaders Westow to a thumping 10-wicket victory against a weakened South Cave & Brantingham.
He’s made a great start to the season and on rain-hit Saturday scored a scorching century as the visitors’ bowling attack was taken to the cleaners.
Because of the weather it was agreed to play 24 overs and Cave opted to bowl first. With the visitors three men light, Westow went hard from ball one and Earle brought up his half-century with opening partner Andrew Welford helping at the other end. Earle brought up his century in just 39 balls and his knock of 134 not out included 11 sixes.
Welford ended up unbeaten with 74 as Westow made the most of gaps in the field to reach 216 without loss from 17 overs and declared to give themselves more time to beat threatening rain.
The run chase was never really on with only Adam Lucy (28) and some late hitting by Tony Scotter (19no) really threatening the scorers as Cave were bowled out for 83. Earle took a couple of wickets and Shane Marshall 3-17 in his six overs.

WEEK 7 - Saturday 9 June 2018 - Division 1 - BURN (Away)
Mark Earle picked up where he left off last week by racking up another century for leaders Westow. This time it was Burn who were on the receiving end on their own pitch.
After winning the toss, Burn elected to bat with Leigh Adamson and Ady Huetson looked solid against the new ball until Adamson toe-ended one to mid -off to give Nathan Pratt (2-48) his first wicket. Harry Cruise sprayed the ball around on a quick outfield, making a rapid 42 before being caught off the bowling of Adrian Upton, who kept it tight in the middle overs with Jacob Stephenson.
Scott Hunt continued his good run of form making 53 before being caught on the boundary by superb one-handed catch by Shane Marshall. Will Edwards, playing in his first game since returning from university, struck an unbeaten 26 to help steer Burn to 228 at tea.
Westow’s reply got off to a great start with 17 coming from the opening overs thanks to Earle and Andrew Welford (49). Welford was caught on the boundary going for his half-century but Earle looked unstoppable seeing off the new ball and first change bowlers. Some big hitting frustrated the Burn attack before George Stoker eventually dismissed Earle for 113. Stephenson (33no), in the company of skipper Matthew Shipley, saw Westow to a seven-wicket victory with 13 overs to spare.

WEEK 8 - Saturday 16 June 2018 - Division 1 - ASKHAM BRYAN - (Home)
WESTOW’S dominance of the division continued with a thumping nine-wicket win against Askham Bryan.
The Ryedale side were without prolific all-rounder Mark Earle but others stepped up to the mark. Shane Marshall took the new ball instead of the absent Earle and picked up 3-33 in his 12 overs. Askham were crumbling but a brilliant century by Dan Wheeler, who was run out by Will Hughes for 106, took them to 171 all out.
Captain Matthew Shipley was promoted to open the Westow innings with Andrew Welford. Shipley made the most of it, hitting the ball to all parts to score an unbeaten 103. Welford made 32 in an opening partnership of 138. A heavy shower did put the game in doubt but Shipley, supported by Jacob Stephenson (20no), saw Westow win with 18 overs left.

WEEK 9 - Saturday 23 June 2018 - HPH Cup Round 2 - THIXENDALE (Away)
Division one leaders Westow remain on course for a league and cup double after seeing off the challenge of Thixendale.
Despite Elliott Simpson (20) setting Thixendale off to a solid start, lack of composure led to Thixendale being skittled for 104, Jacob Stephenson taking 4-24 in the middle overs. Westow tried to blast Thixendale away in response and lost six wickets, four of them to good catches. They were four down inside eight overs but still sped to victory in 12.1 overs. There were two wickets each for Karl Wallis, Tom Brader and Richard Walker, who bowled top scorer Ali Fothergill (26) whose 50 partnership with Andrew Phillips (18no) calmed any nerves.

WEEK 10 - Saturday 30 June 2018 - Division 1 - CLIFTON ALLIANCE (Home)
Westow's Mark Earle, who normally hits the headlines for his heroics with the bat, this time starred with the ball as he bowled HPH York Vale Cricket League's first division leaders to a narrow win in a low-scoring top of the table clash with Clifton Alliance. After being bowled out for 90 he took 7-37 to tear through the Alliance batting order, to see his side to a 17-run victory. Earlier Matt Mellor's 5-35 looked to have given the visitors the upper hand by restricting the home side to 90. Jacob Stevenson being the game's top scorer with a fine 48 was the main stay for Westow.

WEEK 11 - Saturday 7 July 2018 - Division 1 - MELBOURNE (Away)
WITH World Cup football taking centre stage several games were rescheduled with early starts and limited overs but it did not disrupt Westow’s march towards the title.
They and Melbourne elected to play a T20 match with a 12.30pm start. Melbourne started well and had 86 on the board after 16 overs with Adam Thomas (30) and Andy Forman (28) leading the way.
Both fell to Ali Fothergill (4-24) to trigger a collapse which saw six wickets fall for no score. Fellow change bowler Jacob Stephenson (4-21) mopped up the bottom order as Melbourne closed on 102 all out after being 86-3.
Westow’s batsmen looked comfortable throughout although they lost Stephenson, to a run out in the fourth over for a rapid 32. Captain Matthew Shipley made 43 before falling to a catch off the bowling of 13-year-old Harry Forman. Brian Underwood also bagged a couple of wickets but Westow won with three overs in hand.

Sunday July 8 2018 - HPH Cup Semi-finals =- CLIFTON ALLIANCE (Away)
WESTOW’S dreams of a league and cup double melted in the Sunday heat at Clifton Alliance.
The unbeaten division one leaders lost at Shipton Road by seven wickets as Alliance reversed the league result of the previous week.
Westow lost star man Mark Earl cheaply and despite 53 from Ali Fothergill, slid from 144-3 to 182 all out, having not used up their full ration of 40 overs. After Jack Heartshorne and Tom Bews had put the squeeze on Westow’s top order, Matt Mellor (3-28) and Joe Hodge (3-29) wiped out the middle and lower order.
Although Earle, hero of the previous week’s league win, took a couple of wickets, Clifton took control thanks to a 103-run third wicket partnership between Alan Parkinson and Jake Atkinson (44). Parkinson, who made an unbeaten 74, then eased Clifton to victory in the company of Jason Gatus (30no) with six overs to spare.

WEEK 12 – Saturday 14 July 2018 - Division 1 - KELFIELD (Away)
Kelfield captured the prize wicket of Westow’s Mark Earle for nine in the second over but then a stand of 140 between Jacob Stephenson (94) and Matthew Shipley (44) changed the complexion of the game. Westow were racing along when Stephenson departed in the 22nd over then lost three wickets in two overs but a stand of 72 between Chris Inman (22) and Ali Fothergill (53) put Westow back in control. The best bowlers were Ben Atkinson (4-65) and Ryan Lorryman (4-80). Kelfield were always behind the game with Craig Lawson (71) and Jamie Wheeler (37) being the best scores. Will Hughes, bowling for only the second time this season, took 4-12 from four overs to add to a great catch in the gully to remove Matt Walker as leaders Westow made in ten wins out of then league games.

WEEK 13 – Saturday 21 July 2018 - Division 1 - OVINGTON (Home)
Runaway leaders Westow took another step towards the title with a comfortable win against Ovington. The Ryedale side, batting first, were made to work for their runs and after first 10 overs only had a modest score on the board. Openers Matthew Shipley and Andrew Welford started to build some runs and with 20 overs gone reached their century partnership. Welford fell for 49 to the first ball after drinks which brought in-form Jacob Stephenson to the crease and herapidly made his way to 55. Shipley brought up his hundred before departing for 110 to the impressive Jack Walmsley (2-34 off eight overs) as Westow closed on 284-5.
The total was well beyond Ovington, who lost Liam Herringshaw without a run in the scorebook. Only incoming batsman Walmsley (42) made an impression as ten-man Ovington were bowled out for 150. Will Hughes (4-51) and Nathan Pratt (2-29) were the standout bowlers.

WEEK 14 - Saturday 28 July 218 - Division 1 - WHELDRAKE (Away)
Westow’s game against Wheldrake was a victim of the rain.

WEEK 15 - Saturday 4 August 2018 - Division 1 - THIXENDALE (Home)
An unbeaten 117 by Andrew Welford held Westow together as they made 243-6. Mark Earle despatched the first ball of the innings for six over the road but bowlers Guy Scothern and Jonty Megginson were able to apply the brakes. Earle fell to a slower ball from Karl Wallis (3-77) but Matthew Shipley added 110 with Welford before Shipley was removed by Tom Brader. On a free-flowing outfield and good batting track Westow’s total looked a par score.
Thixendale didn’t get the best of starts as Nathan Pratt had Edward Simpson caught behind by Chris Inman and it soon became 28-2 when Les Milburn was out to Earle.
However, stand-in skipper Joe Robinson and Megginson put the pressure back on Westow with a stand of 68 which ended when Megginson was bowled by Jacob Stephenson for 22.  Robinson continued to blaze away at the other end, striking a 41-ball 71 but when Stephenson claimed his wicket, Thixendale’s challenge faded after being well ahead of the run rate. Stephenson finished with 4-46 and Adrian Upton took 4-59. Although Nigel French (30) wielded his bat towards the end, he lacked support and Dale were bowled out for 172 with ten overs remaining.

WEEK 16 - Saturday 11 August 2018 - Division 1 - SOUTH CAVE & BRANTINGHAM (Away)
Westow were severely tested at South Cave & Brantingham where they got home with eight balls to spare in a high-scoring game.
Cave were 16-2 but the recovery started with Sid Sharma and Mark Ash (35) putting on 71 before Ash was caught at square leg off Will Hughes. Westow felt the absence of regular bowlers Mark Earle and Adrian Upton as centurion Sharma (113) and Pranav Mishra (92) enjoyed a 160-run stand to help Cave to an imposing 299-9 at tea.
At 59-3 it looked like Westow’s unbeaten league record was coming to an end, Sharma continuing his good day by removing regular heavy scorers Matthew Shipley and Andrew Welford. The leaders rebuilt their innings with a partnership of 113 between Andrew Phillips (91) and Ali Fothergill (57) but when Phillips was out in the 35th over, Westow still required 42 runs to win.
Nathan Pratt stepped up to the plate by smashing three sixes in an unbeaten 49 to get Westow home in dramatic fashion with four wickets in hand.

WEEK 17 - Saturday 18 August 2018 - Division 1 - BURN (Home)
WESTOW moved within touching distance of their first title by beating Burn by three wickets in a low-scoring affair.
Visiting Burn won the toss and Ady Huetson struck an unbeaten 58 after he was earlier dropped behind. The rest of the batsmen struggled to provide any kind of recognisable support as Nathan Pratt (5-48) tore through the middle order. Graham Robson came in at number 10 and with nine overs to play, provided a solid defence to frustrate the hosts with an unbeaten 15 to ensure Burn made it to tea with only 8 wickets down and 128 runs on the board.
Robson dismissed Westow openers Mark Earle and Andrew Welford inside his first three overs and Alex Webster removed skipper Matthew Shipley shortly after to put Westow in some trouble at 23-3. Dan Robinson and Ben Steward claimed a couple of wickets each to keep the pressure on. Just as it looked as though Burn could sneak an unlikely win but a quickfire 53 from Jacob Stephenson pushed things back in Westow favour and the total was met inside 27 overs.
Westow hold a 77-point lead from nearest challengers Clifton Alliance and victory at struggling Askham Bryan this Saturday will secure the first division crown.

WEEK 18 - Saturday 25 August 2018 - Division 1 - ASKHAM BRYAN (Away)

WESTOW secured the title for the first time with two weeks to spare after defeating Askham Bryan by eight wickets.
Struggling Askham recruited former Fulfordgate stalwart Alan Baldock and he scored 26 to give his new side a decent start along with fellow opener Richard Exley (52). With Ben Lodge scoring 27 later in the innings, Askham made a reasonable 165-7. Jacob Stephenson, Dave Coverdale and Mark Earle took two wickets each.
Lewis Marden removed Westow opener Earle cheaply, but Andrew Welford and Matthew Shipley added 127 for the second wicket before Welford was bowled by Baldock for 57. Shipley (67no) and Stephenson (29no) knocked off the remaining runs

WEEK 19 - Sunday 2 September 2018 - Division 1 - CLIFTON ALLIANCE (Away)

CHAMPIONS Westow emphasised their superiority over the rest with a crushing away win against second-placed Clifton Alliance.
 After losing prolific openers Mark Earle and Andrew Welford cheaply, the Ryedale side powered to 283-2 thanks to a 248-run stand between Jacob Stephenson (153no) and skipper Matthew Shipley (107no). The pair smashed 205 from the last 20 overs, Shipley getting his third ton of the season.
 Stephenson followed up his super knock with 3-26 as Alliance were bowled out for 175, spinner Adrian Upton taking 5-52. Opener Jason Gatus was bowled by Mark Earle for a duck and Andrew Parkinson soon went the same way. Ali Wray (52) and Niall Tilsley (37) hit back and Alliance were not far behind the run rate before Upton and Stephenson teamed up to earn a 108-run win for Westow who avenged their HPH Cup defeat earlier in the season.

WEEK 20 - Saturday 8 September 2018 - Division 1 - MELBOURNE (Home)

Westow’s final game in the York Vale against Melbourne was a victim of the rain.

Final Table position

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