Newcastle City (128 all out) v Alnmouth and Lesbury I (133-4)
Northumberland and Tyneside Senior Cricket League, Division A2
The boys from the coast took their enigmatic talents of the round-ball game to another new ground on a fine but windy day in the heart of town.
Again the hapless Vickers, in a miserable run of form with the pin, like his beloved Newcastle United, lost the toss and the away side were asked to field.
Oliver, thriving after a shoulder injury, continually had the opponents under pressure, and quickly had two of the town players back in the pavilion.
Nick Denton, only half-fit, bowled with little luck, but got his rewards with a superb catch for skipper Vickers, whose day was starting to look up.
The recalled gulley specialist again showed that age had only taken his hair, but not the reactions as he took a good catch from Ridley.
Then the feat was to be out-done by the athletic Callum Batey, who, with both feet off the ground, made a superb take off the hard-hitting Whalid.
Johnny Ridley, after a few weeks of nurturing back into the fold, finally found some superb form with the ball and looked fitter than ever.
‘Johnny is back’ was the call. One bouncer unsettled the Newcastle batsman and, with the aid of Paul Straker, added another good six overs.
It took Tudor to finish the day and also a good spell from Paul Straker to help complete the batting of the City boys, who were all out 128.
After a light tea, the sight of Straker and Pearson at the wicket was not rare for the old league, but fresh meat for the Newcastle bowlers.
In the first few overs, they caused all sorts of problems for the openers and it was not long before Straker was taking his pads off.
However, the looming sight of top-order batsman of late, Rich Neil, took to the crease. In the shrill wind, big Chubb felt the shelter of the pavilion more appealing, as his stump was up-rooted second ball.
Skipper Vickers, assuming responsibility, and Pearson, against whom the opposition have never bowled, baffled and frustrated the bowlers with some great fresh-air shots.
But, eventually, the Simon and Garfunkel double-act started to play the duet we were used to, after troubled water. Vickers lobbed up a caught and bowled and went to console the batsmen in the hut.
With Batey ready to come in, he was cruelly overtaken on the way out to the wicket by the club chairman clearly pulling rank on the youngster and, needing to dash off for another social occasion, cracked a six, a four and one and, after a quick departure did a quick wheelspin, then left Callum to do what was on the original script, finish the game off with Pearson.
A fantastic six-wicket win and another ground off the list of places to play.
With the side in total harmony under enigmatic skipper Vickers and with the team ethos that has been instilled over the years in a side made up of juniors and old juniors all coming through the system, the season ahead will be enjoyable on and off the pitch.
l Alnmouth and Lesbury Seconds couldn’t match their first-team counterparts and slumped to a 26-run defeat at home to Leadgate twos.
Batting first, the away side made 135, in large part thanks to scores in the 40s from Ainsley Turner and Peter Dobson. The Alnmouth attack was led by Patrick Ford-Hutchinson who took 5-53 off 13 overs.
In reply though, Jordan Bell did likewise, ripping through the home side’s batting line-up for 5-36. Alistair Batey top-scored with 31 for Alnmouth, who at one point were languishing at 4-2.
H Hussain c&b Oliver 9
N Rashid c Vickers b Denton 23
S Khalid c Vickers b Oliver 0
A Rana LBW b Oliver 6
F Hussain c Hodgson b Ridley 10
U Khalid b Ridley 25
A Waheed c Batey b Denton 19
E Praveen De Rodrigo c Straker b Ridley 0
H Singh not out 13
A Mukhtar LBW b Straker
S Shah LBW b Tudor 11
Extras 13 Total (all out) 128
Bowling: B Oliver 13-2-30-3, N Denton 15-3-49-2, J Ridley 7-1-22-3, P Straker 6-2-22-1, R Tudor 1.3-0-8-1.
Alnmouth & Lesbury
I Pearson not out 63
P Straker c Rashid b Rana 1
RNeil b Rana 0
T Vickers c&b Khalid 32
A Hodgson c Rana b Singh 11
ABatey not out 6
Total (for 4wkts) 133
Bowling: A Rana 9-3-24-2, A Mukhtar 8-1-27-0, H Singh 7.5-1-35-1, S Khalid 6-0-28-1, EM Praveen de Rodrigo 1-0-5-0.