It was the start of the new cricket season on Saturday and there was a local derby in the Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League with Alnwick 1sts taking on Alnmouth and Lesbury 1sts.
Alnmouth Captain Tom Vickers won the toss and had no hesitation in asking the home team to bat first. His decision paid dividends as Alnwick lost their first five wickets for just eight runs as Alnmouth openers Matt Willcocks and Nick Denton reaped havoc.
The home team limped along to 62 all out in 45.3 overs thanks mainly to a resolute innings of 25 off 134 balls by Andrew Stewart. Denton finished with 4 -7 and Willcocks 3 -12 off their 12 overs and between them, they bowled an impressive 16 maidens. Ed Brunton (2) and Ben Oliver were the other wicket takers.
Alnmouth reached the target with ease in 23 overs loosing just two wickets with Paul Straker finishing unbeaten on 30. Max Harrison and Dave Wright were the Alnwick wicket takers.
Alnmouth and Lesbury 2nds also made a winning start, beating Swalwell 2nds by 158 runs.
Ian Pearson hit 110 as Alnmouth put on 246 all out, Richard Shotton taking six wickets for the visitors.
Michael Armstrong hit 50 in reply for Swalwell, but they were all out for 88, with Rich Neal taking 4-11.
TIllside 1sts travelled to Greenside for the season opener in the Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League, not knowing what to expect as this was unchartered waters for them following their switch from the Northumberland League during the winter.
TIllside were put into bat first and didn’t get off to the greatest start with new signing Sean Wales departing for a duck and Liam Hindmarsh out for eight.
Law Atkinson and Ross Hindmarsh then put on a 64 partnership before Hindmarsh was out for 34. Atkinson then fell for 48.
However, Jake Birkett and Duncan Sim kept the runs flowing, Birkett hitting 36 before Sim went on to record his maiden 50 for the team.
Inbetween, McGregor added a quick 21, but Luke Dickson was out for a golden duck and Gareth Hill only added one.
This meant Tillside posted 227-9 and with Sim and Calum Bickerton both claiming early wickets it put the home side on the back foot.
Bickerton went on to claim four wickets in total, with Wales claiming his first scalp in maroon as Greenside came back with 177, meaning Tillside won by 50 runs.
Tillside 2nds beat Greenside 2nds by seven wickets.
The visitors were bowled all out for 105, MSpears taking 3-34 with D and C Robertson taking two wickets apiece.
In reply Tillside chased in down at 106-3 with Keith Bickerton on 45 not out and Jamie Pick on 31 not out.
In the Northumberland League, Warkworth 1sts went down to a one wicket home defeat at the hands of Blue Flames.
Warkworth battled first and put on 133-9 in their 50 overs. This seemed like a reasonable target for the visitors, but they also struggled to match the run rate and limped over the line at 134-9.
In Division 1, Warenford went down to a narrow 11-run defeat away to Bomarsund.
The home side batted first and put on 150, with Warenford all out for 139 in reply.
Ulgham had a three wicket win on their visit to Kirkley 1sts.
Chris Farrelly top scored with 79 as Kirkley made 162 all out, with David Loxall and Darren Campbell claiming three wickets apiece.
In reply, Ulgham made 246-7 with Campbell on 68 not out.
In Division 2, Alnmouth and Lesbury went down by 89 runs to Tynemouth 3rds.
Andrew Davison hit 79 and Henry Malton 76 as Tynemouth opened up with a big score of 285-6 in their 40 overs.
In reply, Adam Riley hit 51, Chris Hinchcliffe 42 and Darren Gray 31 as Alnmouth made 196-5.
Wooler had a delayed start to the season when their opening home fixture against Embleton was called off the day before. Embleton were unable to raise a team and the Glendale side were awarded the full 30 points.
In Division 3 Rock had an eight wicket away win over Stobswood 2nds.
Dale Townsley hit 51 not out as Stobswood posted 153-7 in their 40 overs, with three Rock bowlers taking two wickets apiece.
Rock’s opening pair then hit 110 between them as they won the match on 154-2 in the 29th over.
Weekend fixtures are:
Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League - Alnmouth & Lesbury 1sts v Greenside 1sts; Cowgate Sports 1sts v Alnwick 1sts; Tillside 1sts v Bedlington 1sts; Morpeth 1sts v Annfield Plain 1sts; Newcastle City 1sts v Ashington 1sts; Shotley Bridge 2nds v Alnmouth & Lesbury 2nds; Alnwick 2nds v Leadgate 2nds; Bedlington 2nds v Tillside 2nds; Ashington 2nds v Newcastle City 2nds; Annfield Plain 2nds v Morpeth 2nds.
Northumberland Premier Division - Ashington Rugby 1sts v Berwick 1sts; Cramlington 1sts v Warkworth 1sts.
Division 1 - Warenford v Backworth 2nds.
Division 2 - Alnmouth & Lesbury v Embleton; Berwick 2nds v Cramlington 2nds; Bomarsund 2nds v Wooler.
Division 3 - Rock v Hebburn 2nds; Warkworth 2nds v Civil Service 2nds.