Having driven through showers and arrived at a cloudy but dry Cleethorpes Will Rhodes asked Cleethorpes to bat after winning the toss.
Prolific Cleethorpes run scorer Bill Kirby was caught out by keeper Barney Gibson off opener John Shaw’s third over with only 10 runs on the scoreboard. Prithvi Shaw, a promising 14-year-old batsman was pouched at first slip by Ryan Gibson off the bowling of Matthew Fisher with only 11 more runs on the board. Better was to come, when two balls later, Fisher’s pace bowling shattered David Mansfield’s stumps.
Jared Warner replaced Matt Waite at the scoreboard end and clean bowled Patrick Hughes who had a stand of 27 with opener Harry Warwick. 48 for 4 became 50 for 5, when Carver had Warwick caught behind.
Ian Mansfield and Johnny Keast shared a partnership of 39 – the highest of the Cleethorpes innings, but this was ended when Fisher, at deep mid-off, took a catch to give Karl Carver his second wicket.
Skipper Will Rhodes replaced Jared Warner and had Keast caught at fourth slip, when the rain became too heavy to continue.
Following the tea break and stoppage, Willerton scored his 19 runs at a run a ball, but couldn’t cope with the pace of Matthew Fisher who saw his captain Rhodes snap up a catch at second slip. Fisher then bowled last man Baker to finish with the excellent figures of 4 for 30. It was a very competent display by the fielding side.
The skies had darkened again when the Academy and openers Callis and Rhodes scored at a run a ball. After six overs the score had reached 47 when Cleethorpes had their first success James Keast clean bowling Rhodes.
Mosun Hussain and Callis then added 54 runs in 10 overs – Callis scoring at a run a ball. Eventually he was stumped by keeper Hughes off the bowling of spinner Joe Baker. Ryan Gibson upped the scoring rate with a forceful 21 in 14 balls before eventually being caught in the deep off Cook.
It was left to Hussain and Thompson to score the six runs needed for the Academy to overtake the Cleethorpes total and take the side to victory.
Eight valuable points took the team to the league title. Only one further league match remains and the team cannot be knocked off their leaders perch.
All that’s required now is a victory in next week’s Yorkshire League Cup Final at Barnsley after Will Rhodes’s men overcame Castleford in Sunday’s semi-final.