23rd September 2015, Wednesday
2015 Season Review
Season Build-upAfter narrowly avoiding relegation on the final day of the 2014 season, we worked hard to recruit for the 2015 season with the new ECB Yorkshire Premier League North structure on the horizon. Finishing in the top 6 in the league would guarantee a spot in the new structure which was sure to be a huge challenge giving the struggles of the previous year.
Our first signing was all-rounder Jake Murphy from York CC. Jake had masses of experience playing at a high level having been a mainstay of York CC's 1st team in the 2014 season where he took 27 wickets at 17 a piece. He also boasted an ever improving batting ability which he was keen to utilise in a new role of a top order batsman, whilst still being the excellent new ball bowler he was.
In addition to Jake, we also saw the return of the ever-popular Harwood Williams from Caribbean CC in the Central Yorkshire League. Harwood has repeatedly shown his class over a long period for the club, having been with us for 19 years; his best season coming in 2009 where he annihilated the league batting averages, scoring 1108 runs including 5 hundreds.
Initially these were our only 2 signings with other targets proving hard to prise from their clubs. Wicket-keeper Dan Barrett also committed to playing a full season which was a major boost for us with both the gloves and the bat.
How we started...Our start was indifferent to say the least. In our first game against Clifton Alliance, our bowlers were put to the sword by some fine batting from the away side with Joe Ashdown striking a superb century, ably supported by Kevin Bradley and John Gilham who also made sizeable scores. We ended up falling short of their 278 for 3 by a massive margin of 177 runs. Over the next 5 games, we were regularly beaten easily which we could only put down to a hangover from the previous season where we were essentially the league's whipping boys. Our solitary win in the first 6 games was against the formidable Scarborough on the May Bank Holiday Monday where we dramatically managed to pull off a winning draw despite being massive underdogs throughout the whole contest.
Although we picked up 27 points from Scarborough, we were dead bottom after 6 games and the new Yorkshire League North looked light years away. There were some heavy home truths to be made with our own personal performances with senior members of the team making it clear how much we had to improve.
Improvement on the horizon...These home truths seemed to do the trick for the whole team and our luck seemed to change thereafter. We went on a dramatic run of 6 wins on the bounce, including beating future champions Sheriff Hutton Bridge and reigning champions Woodhouse Grange. During this period we signed 2 new players, spin bowling all-rounder Hugh Husbands and seam bowling all-rounder Mackey Moven (who we unfortunately lost to serious injury after just 2 games). Hugh made a solid contribution with the ball, picking up 9 wickets during his time with the club between April and June. Notwithstanding some good performances, Hugh just wasn't a good fit for the club and we parted ways.
As luck would have it, we managed to pull off one of the scalps of the season by picking up ex-Driffield captain Dave Brent from North Dalton after he played against us in the midweek Foss League. Things were looking bright for us as we continued a strong cup run, and despite 2 losing draws against Stamford Bridge and Acomb, were were still optimistic with our form and aspirations for promotion. We also picked up another excellent scalp in Heworth's Olly Sherwood who would come to open the batting for us alongside Adam Sutcliffe. Olly proved his worth almost instantly with 69* vs Studley Royal to win us the game.
League Cup RunThroughout this longest of seasons we also kept up a strong cup run, defeating Hull Zingari, Sheriff Hutton Bridge and Scarborough on our way to the cup final where we would eventually face old nemesis Woodhouse Grange at North Marine Road. We went on to win this final in front of a superb crowd, made up of a large group of boisterous lads from Dunnington, with Adam Sutcliffe and Collis King putting in solid performances with the bat. This only built the anticipation towards the end of the season as to whether we would make the top 6 or not.
End of the seasonThe back end of the season saw us put in some extremely strong performances, particularly against Sheriff Hutton Bridge, Woodhouse Grange and Scarborough where we picked up 87 points out of a possible 90. Our eventual promotion was sealed after the victory against Woodhouse Grange thanks to Easingwold failing to pick up the necessary 30 points to stay in the race. The boys went into the final game vs Scarborough playing for nothing but pride and indeed did themselves proud again with another win against the ex-Yorkshire League boys, 14 year old Harrison Mussell the stand out performer with 36* on his first team debut.
SummaryWhat can be said about such a brilliant season? We finished 5th in the strongest YDSCL Premier Division for a number of years, and with a more convincing start we would have had an excellent chance of winning the league. We picked up the League Cup for the second time in three years, we saw the emergence of some young DCC stars such as Tom Loten who picked up 20 wickets in the league and 29 in all competitions in his first season as a front line bowler, and finally we have found a superb group of lads that we can go into the new Yorkshire League North being confident that we will compete and challenge Yorkshire's best.
Here's to 2015.