The Pocklington Pixies 2017 season was a season of change with Secretary, Malcolm Milne (55-62), and President, Tim Hughes (53-62) stepping down and Charlie Lambert (01-08) and Marcus Townend (72-82) taking on the respective roles. Our thanks must go to Malcolm for his incredible organisation for many years and his continued support running forward.
The Pixies first game was against Yorkshire Gents and featured many of the next generation of cricketers. With four current school pupils making their debuts, Rory Stephenson 2-28 and George Baty 4-26, proved useful bowlers as they restricted the Yorkshire Gents to 178 runs in the first innings. In reply the Pixies struggled as wickets fell regularly as they chased their target. Henry Bayston (19) played some lovely shots but lacked support until Tom Sowersby (05-12) (29) and Rory (21) came to the crease. Ultimately, the Yorkshire Gents were too strong for the young Pixies’ team and won by 40 runs.
The 30th Worsley Cup was played at Burnby Lane against a strong Pocklington Town side. The Pocklington openers made a solid start and the score quickly moved to 135-1. Once again the Pixies’ team contained some young players and Tom Kirby picked up the key wicket of Fletcher (48) before the father and son combination of Chris Talago (84-86) and Jamie Talago removed the middle order. Jack Bolam (96-05) as usual cleaned up the tail to leave the Pixies chasing 193 to win. The Pixies were under the cosh early doors as Connaire Brattan produced his best bowling for the town to decimate the top order. Only Bolam and Lambert offered any resistance as the town were victorious for the first time in a few years.
August saw 20 tourists travel to Kent and Sussex. At Holmesdale, their two overseas players scored heavily as they posted 286-4, only Adam Iyer (96-06) 3-29 bothered the Holmesdale batsmen. In reply there were contributions from all batsmen with special note to Chris Suddaby (02-10) (87). This allowed youngster George Baty to see the Pixies home with an over to spare.
Confidence from Sunday was taken into Monday’s fixture against Eastbourne and once again Iyer proved useful with the ball. Unfortunately, even with people travelling from Geneva for the game, the phrase ‘catches win matches’ was proved correct. Dropping the key men allowed the home team to score 252 off their 40 overs. First time tourist Adam Sutcliffe replied well scoring 72 before he was bowled. Other good knocks from the jetsetter Matthew Atkinson (85-93) (30) and Bolam (28) saw the Pixies towards their target, however they fell 20 runs short finishing on 232-9.
Tuesday saw Joel Hughes captain the side. After a few years not touring he won the toss and elected to bat. Of the top order only Iyer (74) made any progress and it was left to the Dunnington pair of Sutcliffe and Bolam to strengthen the innings before Baty and Hughes posted a 50 run 10th wicket partnership to ensure the Pixies finished on 203. The early pace bowling from the Pixies was despatched to the boundary and returns of 3-40 and 4-22 by Suddaby and Bolam respectively saw the Pixies to a 70 run victory.
Wednesday was nostalgic as the Pixies visited the old Marden ground for the last time as next year sees the Kent side move to pastures new. A good 72 from Miles Picknett (77-84) and 30 from Henry Bayston saw the Pixies reach 193-6 off 40 overs. Youngsters Ed Lambert and Jonty Goddard were unlucky not to take wickets as they bowled a restrictive ten over spell. The Marden batsmen scored well and needed 6 off the last over to win. Sutcliffe (4-39) held his nerve and saw the Pocklington side to a 3 run victory.
Thursday’s final match was rain delayed and saw the game reduced to 25 overs a side. All Pixies scored valuable runs and saw a total of 188 posted. In reply Hastings scored well and although the Pixies fielded well, runs continued to flow. The experience of Steve Burdett and Hughes proved vital however and with some smart keeping from Bayston saw Hastings fall short by 8 runs. After the match Hastings lived up to their reputation putting on a race night and food to keep the tourists fed and watered.
Many thanks to Dave Watton (Former staff, 87-16) and Malcolm Milne for driving and to Paul Lambert and Marcus Townend for giving up their holidays to umpire and score – without their support the tour would not happen.
The final two fixtures of the year saw Marden visit the North and the annual Men of Derwent fixture. Both were held at Woodhouse Grange and both were unique in their own ways. Against Marden a hastily organised yet strong Pixies side batted first and thanks to top knocks from Bayston (44) Holman (38) and the evergreen Mike Newhouse (Former staff, 83-14) (50) saw the Pixies make 211. Retirement has done Mike the world of good and his bowling returned figures of 7-41 to earn him a Man of the Match pint and a 55-run victory for the hosts.
Sunday was a Pixie first, seeing four of the same family (Phil Balderson OP 82-87 and his three sons, pictured above) appearing in a team together for the first time. The Pixies were slightly fresher than their opponents and used this to their full advantage bowling well and ensuring only two MoD batsmen reached double figures. Chasing 141 to win the Pixies set off quickly with George Balderson hitting 79, Chris Bilton 45 and Paul Van Dijk (92-03) 20 smashing their way to a 9 wicket win.
2017 was a highly successful year and the number of new Pixies encouraging for the years to come. Thanks to everyone who was involved.
Editorial courtesy of Charlie Lambert (Secretary to the Pixies)