Stuart leaves Town to join Barnsley

Doncaster's Jonathan Redfern in action against Driffield. Picture: Andrew Roe
Doncaster's Jonathan Redfern in action against Driffield. Picture: Andrew Roe

DONCASTER Town’s batting frailties were all too evident as they slumped to a five wicket defeat at Appleby Frodingham.

More problems hit the club when highly rated all-rounder James Stuart left during the week to join rivals Barnsley.

And in his absence Town’s middle order failed to fire as Derbyshire star Greg Smith led Appleby to a comfortable win.

Stuart’s departure came after the fall-out following Doncaster’s disappointing defeat to Driffield the previous weekend, which left Town anchored to the bottom of the table.

The teenager has caught the eye of Yorkshire’s selectors this season and he scored a half century on duty for the county’s Academy side against Scotland last week.

But Doncaster will now have to do without his services after he chose to part company with his hometown team, following a frank dressing room exchange after the defeat to Driffield.

Town unquestionably missed Stuart’s presence with the bat at Appleby on Saturday when they collapsed from 96-0 to 148-6 - and with it went hopes of only a third league win of the season.

Openers Gareth Cox (39) and Felix Odell (48) had patiently laid the foundations for an imposing score.

But when Smith, contracted to county side Derbyshire, removed the pair in quick succession it all started to go wrong for Doncaster.

Amit Kundra (18) and Alex Gosney (19) both got starts before they were dismissed.

And it was left to Chris Cusack (23), promoted from the second team, and spinner Jonathan Redfern (18no) to edge Town up to a defendable target.

In response, however, the hosts never looked in any real danger of being stopped in their tracks.

Smith (40) got the innings off to a blistering start before he was stumped by Jamie Harrison off the bowling of Redfern.

And it was Redfern who also got rid of opener Brandon Handley for 33 - but by then most of the damage had already been done.

Youngster Curtis Free, who recently returned to Doncaster after his release from the Yorkshire Academy, bowled nicely and claimed 2-47 from 11 overs.

But he could not remove James Pickersgill, whose unbeaten 44 saw Appleby home with 11 overs remaining.

Town are without a Yorkshire League fixture this weekend.