Alnwick (182-8) v Backworth (130 all out)
A much-depleted Backworth side travelled to Alnwick over a fight for second place with all hope resting on their IPL star Ravi Teja.
Alnwick were also hoping that neighbours Alnmouth and Lesbury would take points off leaders Ashington in a bid to reduce the gap between first and second.
After losing the toss, Alnwick were asked to bat first on what looked to be a slow and low track. Brewis, however, found no difficulty with scoring two boundaries in the first over to get Alnwick under way.
Stubbs took the wicket of Brewis with the score on 13 to bring Threlfall and Graham together with the intention of continuing their recent form.
This time it wasn’t to be as the change in bowling led to the downfall of Graham when he was lbw for 18.
The dismissal brought Green to the crease and as a result the run-rate seriously dropped with only 46 runs being scored in 20 overs.
Threlfall was on course for yet another 50 before he fell to Ansari for 48, the spinner then claiming another wicket in quick succession as Guy was bowled for four.
The introduction of Scott brought the impetus that Alnwick needed as both he and Green moved the score on to 122-4 going into the last 10 overs.
Green and then Reeves fell quickly while Scott was at ease hitting the ball hard and straight to guide Alnwick to a par score of 182-8, Scott finishing off on an unbeaten 38.
After the break, Alnwick needed to claim early wickets to be in contention of winning; in particular claiming the key wicket of Teja.
Alnwick claimed Backworth’s first victim as Bateman trapped Duncan lbw for four. Teja hit two fours before the huge breakthrough that Alnwick so desperately needed came when Guy had Teja caught for 10 by Graham.
An enterprising innings by Khan eventually came to an end as he skied a catch to Woods off the bowling of Bateman for 30, leaving Backworth 52-4 inside eight overs.
Things got worse for Backworth as Guy took his third wicket before Race took the attack to the Alnwick bowlers. But Race (41 not out) frequently lost batting partners and Backworth’s innings finally came to a close 52-runs short of Alnwick’s total with a run out from Brewis to leave the home side sitting comfortably in second place.
N’land and Tyneside Senior League, Division A2
Alnwick I v Backworth I
M Brewis b I Stubbs 8
D Graham lbw M Ansari 18
M Threlfall lbw M Ansari 48
R Green lbw b I Stubbs 36
J Guy b M Ansari 4
A Scott not out 38
L Reeves b I Stubbs 1
R Woods c R Teja b I Stubbs 4
G Bateman s M Race b R Teja 0
D Wright not out 1
Total (8wkts) 182
Bowling: I Stubbs 14-1-65-4; S Ali 6-2-16-0; M Ansari 15-2-37-3; R Teja 15-1-44-1.
J Duncan lbw b G Bateman 4
R Teja c D Graham b J Guy 10
D Khan c R Woods b G Bateman 30
M Ansari b J Guy 5
M Race lbw b D Wright 9
I Stubbs lbw b J Guy 5
T Race not out 41
M Amin lbw b D Wright 2
J Scott b A Scott 0
J Veitch b D Wright 6
S Ali run out M Brewis 10
Total (all out) 130
Bowling: G Bateman 7-1-36-2; J Guy 8-0-45-3; D Wright 7-0-20-3; A Scott 5.1-0-25-1.
Burnopfield II (152-3) v Alnwick II (151-7)
Alnwick’s Harry Lobb hit 46 but the Northumbrians lost by seven wickets.
Derek King was unbeaten on 58 in the victors’ run chase.
Ollie Holst (2-30) and Tom Woodburn (1-27) took the wickets for Alnwick.