Off to a winning start, finally

Alnwick II (178-6) v Burnopfield (151-8)

Wellstream Northumberland and Tyneside Senior Cricket League, Division B2

ALNWICK seconds finally got their season under way on Saturday with a hard-fought 27-run victory at home to Burnopfield.

After two previous wash outs, Burnopfield – relegated to the B2 Division last season – won the toss and elected to bowl first.

A patient start ensued, in which only five runs were scored from the opening nine overs, and the visitors made the breakthrough when Allen Thompson miscued to square-leg.

Laurence Reeves immediately timed the ball nicely and struck the first six of the campaign, before losing his captain Andrew Stewart, who was bowled for 16. Vice-captain Chris Woods joined Reeves (56) and the pair showed guts and determination with a solid stand of 69.

Woods (38) departed in the latter overs and, once Michael Bateman added a rapid 16, Alnwick had set a competitive total of 178-6.

The Burnopfield innings began in similar fashion, with just 14 runs coming from the opening 12 overs bowled by Woods and Andrew Wright, who both bowled with accuracy and skill, despite the bitter conditions.

Wickets were at a premium and it was not until the 20th over that the impressive Tom Woodburn made the breakthrough thanks to a diving catch by Stewart.

Kyle Hollingworth was introduced into the attack, picking up three crucial wickets and finding himself on a hat-trick to no avail.

Woods returned to claim dangerman Davey, and then continued despite a blow to the face.

Burnopfield were struggling on 134-5 when Stewart returned to the attack, and promptly he too found himself on a hat-trick to no avail.

The victory margin was 27 runs for Alnwick, who, after a encouraging start to the season, head to Cowgate on Saturday.