2nd XI Home v South Milford

By Skipper Alex Smickersgill

2nd XI Home v South Milford
11th May 2019

Is there a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than wrestling a humongous sheet of tarpaulin in the midst of a downpour? These were the major fun and frolics to be had at the Crossgates Oval this Saturday.

Through what Lemony Snicket might term “a series of unfortunate events “, we found ourselves short a man for the first time in about 3 seasons. After winning the toss, skipper Alex made the slightly dubious decision to insert the oppo. The logic, if that’s what it was, that track, outfield and everything else was very damp. A tidy opening spell by Sam and Zaheer produced a wicket for not too many. But certain worrying signs were already emerging; the ball was becoming like a bar of soap and hard for the bowlers to grip and, this was one of the less mobile fielding sides Crossgates had put out. Indeed as the afternoon progressed and South Milford wracked up a mighty score there was plenty of time to scrutinise the running style of all the players and I offer the following observations:

Rob Friend – he doesn’t do running.

John Mac – the original cartoon figure. His legs pump away with all the energy of Wile E. Coyote just before he realises he has run off the edge of the cliff and is about to plunge into the Grand Canyon.

Paul Harker – strains the sinews like a competitor in a “tough mudder” race whilst making slightly slower progress than a competitor in a “tough mudder” race.

Tahir Abbas – scuttles about like a head waiter trying to serve several angry customers whilst not wanting to suggest he is running, so as to conceal from irate patrons that other people are also fuming about the wait.

Simon Shepherd – approaches the ball like a hungry Maribou Stork chasing a particularly lively lungfish at a watering hole in the dry season.

Jojo and Sam – gambol about like a couple of colts released into a field after a long winter in the barn.

Abdullah – ran himself into the ground for the cause of the team

Zaheer – see description for Tahir.

Skipper – as befits an old timer, stumbles forward like an OAP who has just had his Zimmer frame yanked away from him.

Simon, Rob and Adil were honourable exceptions but catches were shelled and in the last 20 overs the fielding became a little ragged. Jojo got 5 overs under his belt and came back well in trying circumstances. Paul picked up a wicket as did Zaheer and so did Rob in a tidy spell that was a real bonus. Nevertheless South Milford made 242-3, which was probably more than a defendable total in the conditions.

So to Crossgates’ innings. 7 overs were faced with 3 ritual dances with the aforesaid tarpaulin before common sense prevailed and the game was abandoned. We lost an unfortunate wicket to a run out but otherwise looked comfortable without threatening to overhaul South Milford’s monumental score.

So 3 games in to a new division we remain unbeaten. Brighter days lie ahead. Up the Gates!!

Man of the match: Abdullah Mohammed

Fielding Point: Simon Shepherd

2nd XI Away v Long Marston

By Skipper Alex Smickersgill

2nd XI Away v Long Marston
4th May 2019

And so it begins… The damp squib of last week was replaced by an icy gale sweeping across the desolate moor of Marston. This on paper was a real challenge against a team that had come down from division 2.

Ever consistent the skipper lost the toss, but to the delight and astonishment of the Crossgates team Long Marston chose to bat. The reason for this choice became apparent pretty quickly as the early overs established that the track was very true. Wickets were going to be hard to come by. This is a challenge to a team’s nouse. On good tracks wickets have to be squeezed out by bowling dry and forcing the batsman out of his comfort zone to score runs. Backing the bowlers is also essential and this was demonstrated in the middle of Shabby and Ray’s tidy opening spell, when a fantastic piece of athleticism by Shabby left the Long Marston opener high and dry.

Then Zaheer applied the game plan to perfection. On the money every ball, his spell of 8 overs, 1 wicket for 8 runs really put Long Marston under pressure. At the other end Will was tempting and bamboozling the batsmen in equal measure. Will made the key breakthrough when he lured the number 3 into a hoick into the deep, where Ray took a good catch in a swirling wind.

The stranglehold was maintained until the 30th over. In the last 10 overs Long Marston gave us a lesson in tactical play. They scored at 7 an over for the last 10, yet only managed 4 boundaries. Credit to them, their running between the wickets was exemplary. Shabby and Ray picked up wickets on their return and crucially Paul winkled out their obdurate opener. For Long Marston, Hill made a nicely paced 50.

When the dust had settled, Long Marston had made 173-7, a total we were happy to restrict them to on a fine track.

Shabby and Adil opened. Their opening stand of 82 was aided by a plethora of wides. The junior opening bowler appeared to struggle for control in the wind tunnel in which the game was played. Between wides, the opening pair kept the scoreboard ticking over until Adil departed for a neat 35. Will joined Shabby and demonstrated once again his cricketing brain by concentrating on giving Shabby the strike, with just the occasional big shot. These 2 saw it home with minimal fuss and with 4 overs to spare. Shabby finished with a well compiled 87* and Will finished unbeaten on 19.

What did we learn from a comfortable 9 wicket win? Well, we can definitely compete at this higher level. Yet we know there will be sterner tests to come. The fielding was spirited, illustrated by Jojo’s fielding point winning performance for some great stops.  This was as good a start as we could hope. Now we must maintain it as tougher challenges arise.

Man of the match: Shabby

Fielding point: Jojo

2017 Awards Evening

2017 was a good year for Crossgates. The Managing Director of the Club Shirt Sponsor LITEtask, Mark Pears, was kind enough to come and hand out trophies to the 1st XI’s Danny Horry, and the 2nd XI’s Adrian Kennedy and Paul Harker. We also saw club caps being presented to up and coming youngsters Balraj, Sangeev, Sam and Jojo.


2018 Awards Evening

Our 2018 Awards Evening at the Barnbow Social Club was one to remember. Darryl, our victorious first XI skipper finally got his hands on the 2018 Divison Two trophy (having missed the Wetherby League dinner due to a badly timed holiday.

Paul and Mr Swallow also did a less than hilarious sketch as Dickie Bird and Peter Willey. It didn’t spoil the evening. Well, not completely, anyway.

Individual awards were handed out to Arvind (1st XI batting and bowling) and Will (2nd XI bowling), Rayhaan (2nd XI player of the year), Adil (4th Division wicketkeeping trophy).

A film of the year, was shown. Shot and directed by Andy Horry.

A good night was had by all.


Crossgates Events 2018

Our President’s Day held in May and our Family Fun Day held in August were two days where the Club opened its doors to everyone and anyone in 2018.

We had Bouncy Castles, fun games for kids, a bowling machine (using softballs sets at speeds suitable for the young ‘uns), a BBQ, Indian snacks and a highly competitive Slogathon 7s tournament and a game featuring an all-woman team (who won, incidentally).

See the pictures below, and hope to see you at one of our future events.


Wetherby League Awards 2018

Yes, Crossgates came, we saw, we took a lot of trophies home. The 1st team won the 2nd Division – presented to Vice Skipper Danny Horry by England legend Geoff Miller. Adil won the 4th Division Keeping trophy. Club legend Dave Horry spilt red wine on his new shirt. Everyone laughed and yet still Dave looked a player in the photo.

Some selected images of the shenanigans.


Match Report: 2nds vs Hillam, Sept 2018

Hillam & Monk Fryston A vs Crossgates A
15th September 2018
Crossgates A won by 10 wickets

Man of the match: Shared between Sanjeev, Will and Ray
Fielding point: Sanjeev
Rayhaan 5-14, Sangeev 45*, Will 23*

Reported by Alex Smickergill, Scribe and Second Team Skipper

With our chances of promotion having disappeared the previous week, it would have been easy to finish with a flat performance. Instead we produced a level of domination that marks out our progress this year.

Inserting Hillam after winning the toss we immediately began a procession of their batsmen. Whilst Shabby kept it tight at one end, Ray began chiselling out their line up. As prophesised by Mystic Meg Smickersgill, this has been a break through season for Ray. Admittedly when I looked into the crystal ball at winter nets, I was thinking of his batting. This has indeed progressed from attractive cameos to innings of real substance. But the real bonus is his conversion from a slightly erratic spinner to an accurate and aggressive opening bowler. To finish the season with a 5 for (5-12) was an appropriate reward. Ray was aided by two smart catches by Sanjeev.

Elsewhere Adil snaffled four catches to keep him in the hunt for the division wicketkeeping trophy. This is testimony to Adil’s solid glove work but also to the chances our bowlers have created for him all season.

Replacing Shabby, Kuli bowled with pace, bounce and impressive accuracy for someone who has played so little cricket this year. Hopefully we can get a full season out of him next year. His nagging hostility thoroughly deserved the three wickets he bagged.

Another to make huge strides this year has been Will. He has a real cricketing brain and assesses the game with a wisdom belying his youth. He quickly wrapped up the innings with the two wickets he needed to get into the league averages.

There was another bowling performance of note. Having trained assiduously, Jojo bowled an an accurate and disciplined first over in adult cricket. That is a real test and Jojo passed it with aplomb.

Rolling Hillam for 79 was a strong statement of how we want to play next year. The batting like the fielding was a vision of our future; being led by the young. With the minimum of fuss Sanjeev (45*) and Will (24*) knocked off the required runs in 15 overs for a crushing victory.

In a game of so many positives, recognition must be made of Paul’s captaincy. The blend of giving people chances whilst retaining a fierce competitiveness was spot on.

As this is the last match report of the 2018 season I would like to thank all players for the team. We play competitive cricket but in the right spirit.

Thanks as always to Gian for his guidance that has helped improve every member of the team. Thanks to Jason and Sue for scoring and constant support.

Bring on the 2019 season. I can’t wait.