Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Race for Title Not over Yet saysBen

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Race for Title Not over Yet saysBen

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Wilkinson

Ben Usher expects more twists and turns in the Darlington Building Society NYSD title race over the coming weeks.

And the Bishop Auckland all-rounder said: "If we lose it, we have only ourselves to blame. We've done well against some of the top teams, but blown it against the lower sides."

Last weekend, even though Ben scored over 150 runs and Amul Mazumdar almost 200, Bishops failed to beat either Hartlepool or bottom club Blackhall.

Ben's unbeaten 109 against his former club Blackhall was a sweet moment as it was only his third century - the other two coming for Norton.

"It was fun, but when we saw that both Northallerton and Guisborough had won, we knew we had lost further ground," he said.

Ben brought up his ton with a six back over bowler Asif Jan's head, but was even more pleased with his half century against Hartlepool, because it came on a tougher pitch against better bowling.

But the downside of the double weekend was that he didn't pick up any wickets, and admits he would have swopped his big scores for a couple of wickets if it had brought a win.

"What's so enjoyable about this title race is that it is going to go to the last couple of games again, and there are several teams still in it," he said.

"The top teams have easily beaten each other, which is unusual. We skittled Northallerton in one game, and we easily saw off Guisborough.

"Saltburn, however, have twice beaten us. But if we miss out by a few points we will look back on the Richmond game.

"We had six overs to score around 20, and had seven wickets in hand. Yet we failed. If we miss out, that's the one that will haunt us.

"But, as it stands, the title is winnable, with 100 points to play for. If Saltburn win at Northallerton tomorrow then all the top teams are back in it. …

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