1955: Glamorgan win for the first time in Yorkshire

Glamorgan`s victory at Harrogate in 1955 was their first ever on Yorkshire soil, and was even more creditable given that they were without Wilf Wooller, had just lost to Hampshire and Leicestershire, and had only just avoided the follow-on in their first innings in this match against Yorkshire

The home side had batted well on the first day, with Billy Sutcliffe and Doug Padgett dominating proceedings with a stand of 138 for the third wicket. Jim Pressdee caught and bowled Padgett when the Yorkshire opener was in sight of a hundred, but Sutcliffe remained undefeated on 161, hitting three sixes and twenty two fours.

It was not long before Glamorgan were in trouble, subsiding to 40-4 with Willie Jones being the only specialist batsman to offer any resistance against the accurate Yorkshire attack. When the experienced left-hander was finally dismissed for Brian Close for 79, Glamorgan were on 189, and still short of the follow-on.

But against almost everyone`s expectations, Hugh Davies and Don Shepherd then shared a remarkable last wicket stand of 56, with Shepherd unleashing some furious blows to take Glamorgan past the follow-on target. His brave fusillade eventually ended when Norman Yardley recalled Philip Hodgson into the attack, and the opening bowler had Shepherd caught behind by Jimmy Binks for 48.

Despite this tail-end resistance, Yorkshire still had a first innings lead of 136, and by the second evening, they had extended their lead past the 300-mark, thanks to some aggressive blows from Vic Wilson and, for the second time in the match, Doug Padgett. Norman Yardley eventually set Glamorgan a target of 334 on the final day, and with spinner Johnnie Wardle taking the first four wickets, a Yorkshire victory looked on the cards.

Jim Pleass, whose hundred at Harrogate clinched a famous victory. Photo – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

But Glamorgan`s fortunes then took a definite swing for the better, as Jim Pleass was dropped before he had scored. The 32-year old batsman from Cardiff prospered from this life, and he led the run chase with useful support from Jim McConnon and Jim Pressdee. The Yorkshire bowlers started to tire as Pleass got closer and closer to a maiden century, and right-hander was at the crease when the winning runs were made, and all with just twenty minutes to spare, to give Glamorgan one of their most historic and unlikely of all victories.

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