We arrived at Aysgarth to a slowly lifting fog which became a beautiful sunny day by the start. Borderers won the toss and put the Headmaster's XI in to bat on a grassy but firm pitch, looking to avenge their defeat last year.
It turned out to be a good choice as opening bowler Lachie Stove got the the ball moving nicely to dismiss the headmaster in the first over. James Alderson, the new science teacher (and former Durham County Cricket Coach) played a beautiful innings to retire at 50 whilst his batting partner A.
Ben hit the ball with gusto until he thought he had beaten the fielder at short extra for four only to find the ball plucked out of the air and returned over the stumps before he could turn to get back. Batsmen 4, 5 & 6 all played a good sound innings, with No.6 Sam Byker hitting a strong 43, and things were looking difficult for the Borderers until the 30th over when Richard Thomson was brought on to bowl taking two wickets in his first over and one extremely sharp run out by Lachie Stove, hitting the bowlers stumps directly from short extra. A late cameo from Paul Barlow saw the Headmaster's XI finish on 197.
The Irving brothers opened the batting for the Borderers and were looking steady against a very fast spell of bowling from Sam Byker until his got a lifting ball and was caught behind.
Paul Irving and kiwi Rhys Petrie then built a good platform before Paul was caught for 18. William Ritchie, having not played for two years, never really got going as he gently lifted one back to the bowler off a length.
Kiwi Lachie Stove struck some lovely shots around the ground including one beautifully driven six over wide mid off to the pavilion and these two looked like they would build a good platform until Lachie was caught at deep mid on. Jamie Farr played some classic shots but struggled slightly with his timing and was joined by his father George who stabilised the innings with a sensible controlled display and held it all together with Alex Pearse until the 34th over when Alex was dismissed with 10 runs required for the win.
Captain and last man, James Ritchie came in with 10 balls left and got a lucky thick edge through gulley off his opening ball for 4 whilst George ran a couple of quick singles to score 6 off the penultimate over. Aysgarth then brought back their opening bowler Sam Byker to wrap up the match who gave James a welcome bouncer for his first ball of the last over. The next ball was promptly cut to 3rd man for 4 to secure a very close victory for the Borderers.
Mark Irving caught wicket S Biker 4
Paul Irving caught A Ben 18
Rhys Petrie caught Unknown 46
William Ritchie caught & bowled O Foster 2<
Lachie Stove caught O Foster 32
Jamie Farr caught Haslam 10
George Farr Not Out 29
Justin Dempsey Bowled C York 4
Richard Thomson LBW Haslam 5
Alex Pearse (wkt) caught P Barlow 19
James Ritchie (c) Not Out 8
R Thomson 3 wickets for 14
Aysgarth 197 for 7 off 35 overs
Borderers 198 for 9 off 34.2 overs