UYCC curtain raisers ruined by rain

If April showers are anywhere at the moment, they are most definitely present in York. The start of the cricket season is a moment that many look forward to, and for the members of the University of York Cricket Club this weekend was primed to provide moments where two terms of training would be showcased both on 22 Acres and in Durham. However, a rain soaked pre-season week has culminated in games for all three teams this weekend being called off due to waterlogged pitches and outfields.

Here’s a taste of what is in store for York’s cricketers this season when the rain subsides:

UYCC 1sts

Captain: Andrew Kirkwood

After a season of unheralded success last year, the UYCC 1sts will be looking to carry on their excellent form into the 2012 campaign. Promotion last year means they will compete in the BUCS Northern 2B league against the likes of Durham, Leeds, Newcastle, Hull and York St John’s. The squad sees many changes from last year, with graduates Jimmy Oldham, Ed Wilson, Richard Hoggart and Will Felgate making way for an influx of fresh faces. Last year’s top run scorer Fraser Crawford will be a key figure with the bat again this season and there are hopes that he can continue where he left off last year. Other notable figures include all-rounder Joel Hughes and captain Andy Kirkwood, whose century in the 2011 Roses game against Lancaster saw him crowned player of the tournament.

2012 captain Kirkwood (wk) in action last season ©The Yorker; Image credit: The Yorker

The Yorker’s One to Watch- Sam Illingworth. The UYCC fresher production line seems to constantly churn out quality batsmen, and York have found another this year in Illingworth. The 1st year is a powerhouse opener who strikes the ball extremely cleanly, and he will take some stopping this year.

The Yorker’s prediction – Very tough to call. This is a talented group of players who should be very capable of winning back to back promotions. I think that they will come close to winning the league and will also have a strong run in the cup.

UYCC 2nds

Captain: Ben Cooke

Whilst 2011 was a fantastic year for the 1st team, it proved to be a disappointing season for the 2nds, who failed to secure promotion from the BUCS Northern 5B league. This year sees a much improved 2nd team squad with regular 2011 first team squad members such as Alex McDonald, George Richards and Nick Townson making the drop. Charlie Alsop provides the spearhead to the bowling attack and fresher Tom Witherow presents a good spin option.

The Yorker’s One to Watch – Nick Townson. Providing batting quality to UYCC for many seasons, Townson will once again be relied on for runs this year. His technique and temperament are second to none and should prove difficult for bowlers to dislodge. In addition to his batting skills, Townson also brings experience into the squad which could prove invaluable.

The Yorker’s prediction – Anything other than promotion will be seen as failure for the seconds this year. They have the strongest squad in the league and should secure the title comfortably.

UYCC 3rds

Captain: James Tompkinson

An unknown quantity this year, the UYCC 3rds will be looking to improve on a season which saw them win just one game in 2011. The squad has seen a vast improvement in quality this year and should provide strong competition to the second team, who compete in the same league. A vast influx of fresh faces will line up alongside more experienced players such as Dave Brunyard, Andreas Papadolambakis and captain Tompkinson.

The Yorker’s one to watch – Ed Booth. A first year with serious talent, Booth’s bowling has vast potential. A classic swing bowler with good pace, Booth will be difficult for batsmen to play and could thrive in early season conditions.

The Yorker’s prediction – Almost impossible to say as the squad has been completely overhauled. There is no doubt that the 3rd team is much better than it was last season and they should win more matches than they managed last season. Ever the optimist, I’m backing them to finish second behind the UYCC 2’s.

Be sure to follow The Yorker throughout the summer term as we keep track of all things UYCC.

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