This weekend, Hartlepool's first XI drew their league game, the second XI were beaten but the third XI won to complete a 'hat-trick' of results.
The first team welcomed league leaders Darlington to Park Drive on a glorious sunny day. Winning the toss and electing to field the home team took regular wickets to restrict the visitors to 204 for seven.
In reply the ever youthful John Barnes showed why he is a living legend in the NYSD league. After taking a hat-trick in his previous game he returned the miserly figures of 17-7-20-2 to severely restrict the home batsmen.
Skipper Pete Armstrong chipped in with four wickets as ‘Pool were strangled to 135 for nine after their 50 overs, hanging on for the draw.
Peter Rhoden’s men travelled to picturesque Great Ayton hoping to finally secure a victory in Division 1.
After winning the toss and asking Ayton to bat, Rob Walker made the early breakthrough to dismiss the dangerous John Russell. Walker and Anth Fawcett continued to bowl tidily and made regular breakthroughs to ensure ‘Pool remained on top.
The fall of the fourth wicket (60 for four) brought Andrew Liddle to the crease and from that moment the game changed. A tall man with 'long levers', he proved that it was to be his day and some grounds are just too small.
'Lids' smashed the ball to all parts; peppering the local gardens on a regular basis as he raced to 159 not out off only 94 balls (17 sixes). His hitting saw the home side score just under 180 off the final 18 overs to close on 277 for seven.
In reply ‘Pool started well, captain Rhoden and young Jake Richardson moved serenely to 80 without loss, scoring at five an over and the heads of the home side had visibly dropped.
Unfortunately the introduction of Thomas Leng, bowling a mixture of long hops, full tosses and the occasional good ball, proved to be too much for the batsmen and six wickets were lost for the addition of only 35 runs.
Late hitting from Darren Peek added some respectability to the score before they were eventually dismissed as Hartlepool lost by 113 runs, Leng finishing with 7 wickets.
Hartlepool 3rd XI secured another victory as they beat Guisborough off the final ball.
Nick Rathbone (Under 17s) and Finley Mullen (Under 15s) each took two wickets as The Priorymen could only total 166; Mullen being particularly impressive in the death overs.
In reply it was left to Rathbone to see his team home, finishing 55 not out and striking the winning runs to cap a fine all-round performance.
© Cricket World 2014