Alnwick prepare for final with a fine league victory

Jamie Guy(5-54) bowling v Cowgate on Saturday
Jamie Guy(5-54) bowling v Cowgate on Saturday

Alnwick I (264-3) v Cowgate Sports I (174)

Northumberland and Tyneside Senior Cricket League, Division A2

A century from Michael Threlfall helped Alnwick return to winning ways with an emphatic victory against Cowgate and will now be full of confidence as they play Ashington in the Wellstream Division A2 League Cup Final tomorrow evening.

Alnwick captain Woods won the toss and had no hesitation in electing to bat first and take advantage of another extremely good pitch.

Alnwick lost Ayre for two, as another LBW decision went against the opening batsman, bringing Threlfall and Graham together early.

Both batters rode the early pressure from a good opening spell of bowling by the Cowgate duo, although once they found their feet boundaries came frequently.

A tiring Cowgate attack suffered in the heat as Graham and Threlfall punished anything loose.

Runs were flowing freely and at the 25-over mark Alnwick were looking comfortable at 105-1.

Both Graham and Threlfall passed their half-centuries with ease and put on a huge second-wicket partnership of 157, before Graham was caught for 79.

The wicket did not affect the run-rate as Brewis continued where Graham had left off and Alnwick moved into a commanding position at 181-2 with 10 overs left.

Soon after, Alnwick’s 200 was brought up and the personal milestone of Threlfall’s 100 was greeted with a huge standing ovation.

Threlfall then found fifth gear as he looked to continue Alnwick’s dominance, although couldn’t see it through to the end as he was bowled for 120 from 129 balls, including 16 fours and one six.

A late onslaught from Guy helped the cause and Alnwick finally finished on 264-3.

Cowgate had no choice but to go for it from ball one as Aslam (30) and Moss (25) attacked and put on an opening partnership of 49 off eight overs before Guy got the breakthrough.

One wicket caused a panic in the Cowgate top-order as three further wickets fell for just eight runs; Roxburgh brilliantly running out Shad and Guy claiming the other two to leave Cowgate 57-4.

This brought Singh to the crease with an uphill task, but he was able to clear the ropes with ease as he put Roxburgh into the car park, followed by Scott into the Rugby Club to leave Cowgate still in with a chance of an unlikely victory.

The return of Guy brought a sigh of relief to the home support as Singh was bowled for a very aggressive 66, including six sixes, to leave Cowgate on 148-5.

Following Singh’s departure, Alnwick turned the screw, bowling four maidens on the bounce while also picking up two wickets courtesy of a fifth for Guy (5-54) and one for Wright.

Wright cleaned up the tail to finish with very respectable figures of 4-15 and leave Cowgate all out on 174, some 89 runs shy of Alnwick’s total.

Alnwick travel to Ashington tomorrow for the cup final – their first in many years.

Places are available on the bus which will leave Alnwick Cricket Club at around 4.30pm. Tickets are £3pp. Call Rob on 01665 511495.

Cowgate Sports II (285-9) v Alnwick II (62)

Alnwick II had a day to forget, falling to a heavy 223-run loss.

Cowgate’s Daniel Foster (106) and Humais Eshan (79) did the damage with the bat before Usman Murtaza (5-23) and Sagar Chadha (5-10) struck with the ball.

Alnwick’s Andrew Wright took 5-57 while Harry Lobb (21) was the only club batsman to reach double figures.