Alnwick I (142-7) v Alnmouth & Lesbury I (141-7)
Northumberland and Tyneside Senior Cricket League, Division A2
Alnwick Cricket Club was home to the season opener against newly-promoted Alnmouth and Lesbury Cricket Club in the big local derby.
The game marked the first fixture since the sad death of Alnwick stalwart Bobby Dodds, the home side marking their respect by wearing black arm bands.
The home side, winning the toss and bowling first, had Alnmouth under pressure from the word go with Gareth Bateman removing the first wicket with the score on just 12. Tom Vickers survived quite a few lbw appeals before being finally removed for eight.
That wicket was crucial for the home side as the runs totally dried up and the weak middle order of Alnmouth’s batting line-up struggled to get to terms with a strong bowling attack.
Jonny Denton, Robin Tudor and Jonny Ridley scoring nil, nil and two respectively left the away side reeling on 53-5 after 28 overs.
Paul Straker, Alnmouth’s hero last year, provided two chances which Alnwick couldn’t take advantage of and scored a very patient 45 in 40 overs. Without that innings, Alnmouth would have struggled to pass 100.
Ian Clough scored a more fluent 40 not out, to rescue the newcomers to a below-par 141-7.
There were excellent bowling spells from all bowlers; Gareth Bateman, Jamie Guy, Michael Threlfall and David Wright all taking one wicket, with Andrew Scott impressing with 3-45.
After the break, Alnwick continued their dominance with Duncan Ayre and Michael Brewis having no problems in getting the home side to 28.
Then, similar to last year, both openers were removed in quick succession, Ayre falling to yet another lbw decision while Brewis failed to judge the length and was bowled for nine.
Daniel Graham fell cheaply to an impressive stumping from Tom Vickers, leaving the home side on 42-3.
That brought Jamie Guy and Michael Threlfall to the crease. Guy looked extremely impressive before he fell to a catch by local hero Jonny Ridley, but Threlfall, returning from Australia for his second season at Alnwick, looked as though he’d never been away.
A couple of quick wickets from Paul Straker left the home side with a few anxious moments, however, a little cameo from captain Rob Woods and a solid innings of 22 not out by Andrew Scott had the home side jumping for joy over the result.
Alnwick this year have the potential to be one of the top teams in the league and more performances like this will ensure their ambitions are fulfilled.