This years end of year team day at Outwood Oval saw the first annual (hopefully) cricket match between Durham (north of the region staff and relays) vs Yorkshire (south of the region staff and relays).
Here's the review of the 2 tests (only 6 overs per innings!):
Durham: Hamish Sneddon (C), Andrew Simmons, Chris Simons, Edwina Thorley, Matt Oliver, James Meredith
Yorkshire: Simon Oatridge (C), Ed Preston, Chris Burrows, Andrew Beattie, Naomi Locke, Hannah Dean
In the opening test Durham chose to bat first. Which looked like a very wise decision as Hamish Sneddon and Andrew Simmons began to find a steady rhythm and score some runs. Durham were looking pretty comfortable but a few sloppy mistakes lead to some nervous tension, but Chris Simons came up trumps with some helpful late run scoring before he was eventually all out for 48.
With nothing to compare that total to (this being the inaugural match) no one had any idea if it would be enough.
Yorkshire, lead by captain Simon Oatridge, took to the crease. Durham's bowlers seemed to have their eye in early and took a couple of crucial wickets in the opening two overs which left Yorkshire floundering. They recovered a little, but were bowled out for just 18 meaning that Durham could force the follow on. They duly did.
As Yorkshire psyched themselves up for for some high run scoring they were in for a huge surprised. Wickets tumbled left right and centre due to some excellent bowling and a fantastic hat-trick of run outs by the returning James Meredith. He hit the stumps directly from the field each time. Unfortunately for Yorkshire that meant they were all out for just 4 runs meaning Durham won the first test by an innings and 26 runs.
As the first test finished quickly, a second test was immediately declared and so Durham once again headed out to see if they could improve on what turned out to be an excellent first innnings score in the first test.
They continued their good form and reached 47 all out. The whole team contributed well.
Now it was Yorkshire's turn to see if they could get within striking distance. They acquitted themselves very well and reached 35 all out.
So it all came down to the final innings.
Durham began batting with a 12 run lead and the innings couldn't have started more brightly. Sneddon and Simmons setting and new opening partenrship record of 25 runs before the former was caught out by a slower ball which bounced twice and removed the bails. Another wicket fell almost immediately as Simmons went for a slog only to be caught. This gave Yorkshire some hope but Simons and Oliver steadied the ship and were aided wonderfully by Thorley and Meredith as Durham reached 59 all out.
Needing a mammoth 72 to win Yorkshire faced an uphill battle. Runs were hard to come by as Durham kept their bowling and fielding as tight as possible. But, Simon Oatridge persevered and turned in a captains performance leading his side well. With deliveries running out Yorkshire went for it. A great catch from Oliver saw Oatridge finally removed and some late session aggression from Simmons in the bowling attack saw the tail swiftly removed leaving Yorkshire 37 all out.
Bring on next year! Do you think you can do it Yorkshire?