• In first-class cricket
  • at Headingley
  • 1895-2018

For Yorkshire’s first home Championship game of 2019 Paul Dyson looks back at a previous home match against Hampshire. The photo is of Harry Hartington.

July 13, 14, 15 at Huddersfield: Hampshire 142 (DM Evans 64, GH Hirst 5-54, MW Booth 5-60) & 234 (CP Mead 120*, HE Hartington 5-81); Yorkshire 355 (BB Wilson 86, D Denton 81, MW Booth 58) & 22-0. Yorkshire won by ten wickets.

In 1908 Yorkshire had won the County Championship for the eighth time but had slipped to eighth place in the table in 1910. Hampshire, who would not win the title until 1961, finished above them in sixth place. However, Yorkshire had begun the 1911 season in brilliant form, winning 10 of their 15 games played thus far and losing only three. No less than eight of these victories had come in consecutive matches. Hampshire, meanwhile, had won four and lost four of their 11 games.

Fartown, Huddersfield is not one of Yorkshire’s most celebrated venues but it staged 72 first-class matches – all of them involving Yorkshire – in the period from 1873 to 1955 as well as nine John Player League matches between 1969 and 1982.

Hampshire won the toss and decided to bat; they began solidly enough with a stand of 25 but three wickets then fell while only one run was being added. Two of these wickets went to George Hirst, the third to Major Booth and other similar collapses to the same two bowlers saw the visitors slump to 77 for eight as they gave ‘a wretched display’ (Wisden). A rescue act came in the form of tailenders Dudley Evans and Jack Newman who shared a ninth-wicket partnership of 60, Evans – an amateur – comfortably top-scoring with 64. The visitors were then soon all out for 142, Hirst and Booth each taking five wickets. In reply, Yorkshire started with an opening stand of 66, this ending when Wilfred Rhodes was caught off the bowling of Evans for 35. This brought Benny Wilson and David Denton together and the pair took their side past Hampshire’s total. They shared a stand of 117 together before Wilson was caught for 86. Two more wickets fell before close of play, including Denton for 81 and Yorkshire ended the day on 237 for four and ‘Hampshire were practically a beaten side before the first day’s play’ (Ibid.) had come to its conclusion..

Day two was not all such plain sailing for Yorkshire as it had been on the first day; Alec Kennedy soon added another wicket to the two he had taken on the previous evening but the bowling heroes from the first day added 46 together then Booth, with 58, shepherded the tail so that the lead passed the 200-mark to raise the possibility of their fourth innings-victory of the campaign. Newman took wickets in the lower middle-order and finished with the best figures of three for 32. Yorkshire then ate into the Hampshire line-up gradually and the score showed 80 for four – three of these to the fast-medium of Harry Hartington – when George Brown joined the prolific Phil Mead who had been demoted in the batting order. Together they added 55 precious runs but yet another collapse saw four wickets fall for nine runs to take the score to 144 for eight. Mead, however, was standing firm; Newman joined him for a while but when last man Hamilton Smith came to the crease his side were still 38 in arrears. Run by run Mead and Smith knocked off those arrears and the passage of play also included Mead reaching a well-merited century – his third of the week! Frustratingly for Yorkshire the pair were still batting by close of play, the lead having reached 19, and the county’s ‘reputation…was somehwat redeemed’ (Ibid.) with the scoreboard showing 232 for nine.

The final day brought very little hold-up forYorkshire. Two more runs were added before the tenth wicket fell and Mead remained 120 not out. Hartington took the final wicket to give him five for 81. It was the only five-for of his ten-match career. Yorkshire needed just 22 to win which they accomplished without losing a wicket. Wicket-keeper Arthur Dolphin, who was not out 20 in the first innings, scored 21 of them to bring Yorkshire a very convincing victory.

The White Rose county had 12 games remaining in which to reinforce their quest to be title-holders again but victory was achieved in only three of these matches. Although a final position of seventh was one place higher than in 1910 their performance over those crucial final games was disappointing. Hampshire continued their poor campaign and finished in 11th position – a drop of five places.

Man of the Match

With Booth, Denton, Hirst and Wilson having previously been profiled in this series attention turns to Harry Hartington. Born in Dewsbury in 1881, his first clubs were Dewsbury (1902-05) and Chickenley (1906-07) but he joined Featherstone in 1908 and had a long association with it, eventually becoming president in 1929.

An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

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