Stobswood’s ray of hope

WET weather once again left its mark on the Northumberland Cricket League, with the majority of matches cancelled on Saturday, writes James Willoughby.

But there was a ray of light for Stobswood Welfare, as they picked up a crucial victory against Whitley Bay to lift them out of the Division One drop zone.

Welfare were inspired by a stunning bowling performance from Ian Watson, who finished with figures of seven wickets for no runs.

There was another defeat for Ulgham Village, though, as their miserable run of form continued.

Rain was the winner in the Premier Division, with five out of the six fixtures cancelled, including Alnmouth & Lesbury’s home clash with Clara Vale, Warkworth’s trip to Stocksfield and Tillside’s away match against Corbridge.

Blagdon Park v Berwick and the top-two encounter between Blue Flames and Bedlington also fell foul of the weather.

The only fixture to go ahead in the top tier was Bates Cottages (92-2) eight-wicket victory over bottom-side Bomarsund (89 all out).

Stobswood Welfare took a massive step in their battle against the drop, with a 10-wicket triumph over Whitley Bay.

Ian Watson took the plaudits as he dismissed Bay’s final seven batsmen, as the batting side crumbled to 42 all out.

Bay’s Ben Harris was the only one to offer any kind if resistance, as he finished unbeaten on 20.

But a quite incredible spell of bowling from Ian Watson saw him end with staggering figures of seven wickets for no runs from five overs, as he ripped through Bay’s middle and lower order.

Amazingly, his seven victims failed to score a run between them, as they were all dismissed for nought.

P Patterson (2-11) and Michael Beverley (1-10) also got amongst the wickets.

In reply, the Welfare batsmen made sure their side’s bowling efforts were not in vain, as they sailed over the victory line, winning with 43-0, hauling themselves out of the relegation zone.

P Patterson, and that man Ian Watson, were the unbeaten opening batsmen, scoring nine and 18 respectively.

But there was to be no such joy for Ulgham Village, as they slumped into the drop zone following an eight-wicket defeat to Blyth.

Opening batsman Colin Tait hit 61 as Ulgham closed on 172-7, with Antony Allen (4-41) and Surj Singh (3-32) taking the wickets for Blyth.

Blyth were never really troubled in the run chase though, winning with a score of 173-2. David Dent top-scored with 55 while Andy Clark was unbeaten on 43.

David Moore (1-66) and Gary Hall (1-10) struck for Ulgham, who are still looking for their first league win since the beginning of July.

Elsewhere in Division One, Ashington Rugby (29-0) beat struggling Gateshead Ethnic Minorities (28 all out) by 10 wickets while Kirkley v Monkseaton was cancelled.

There was no action in Division B2, as Stobswood Welfare twos’ trip to Bates Cottages seconds was cancelled, as was Monkseaton thirds v Civil Service twos and New Hartley Village seconds v Ulgham Village twos.