Leadgate (288-7) v Alnwick (248-7)
Wellstream Northumberland and Tyneside Senior Cricket League, Division A2
A HARD-hitting 153 by the home professional, Barnes, allowed the home side to total an impressive 288 for 7 in the allotted 50 overs.
But a fine attempt by Alnwick with a half-century by Michael Brewis and an excellent undefeated 82 by teenager Andrew Scott kept the visitors in the hunt but losing wickets at the wrong moments meant that the total was just beyond them.
Alnwick won the toss and elected to field first, a decision that appeared to be the right one as both Barnes and Benfold found scoring difficult, with Barnes being dropped twice in the early stages of his innings which was to have serious consequences as he progressed.
Benfold was the first wicket to fall, well caught by Stanley. Greenwall followed caught by Scott. Barnes and Hockaday then moved the score to 127 after 30 overs at which time they both proceeded to attack the bowling, Barnes in particular being in destructive mood as they added 107 runs in 10 overs before Barnes eventually fell for 153, bowled by O’Hara.
Seven runs later, Hockaday departed in similar fashion.
Richardson and Fletcher continued to bat aggressively and eventually the innings closed on 288, much to the relief of the beleagured bowlers and fielders who had spent much of the afternoon in the adjacent scrapyard searching for the ball.
Alnwick, in reply, lost the usual early wicket when Stanley was out. Brewis, aided by Green, was in very good form striking the ball cleanly but, on achieving a well-earned 50, was out. Graham was then adjudged to have been caught at the wicket, leaving Alnwick at 76 for 3 which quickly became 82 for 4 as Green perished in the quest for quick runs.
Andrew Scott was joined by Peter Mattewson and this pair increased the scoring rate, adding 51 in 12 overs before Matthewson was out for 33. David Wright and young Scott, who was now hitting the ball cleanly with a fine array of all-round-the-wicket shots added a further 104 in 14 overs but they were never able to get to the required run rate before Wright was out for 32.
Scott had moved to a fine 50 and when the innings closed, he had reached 82 not out acquired off 100 balls in 93 minutes.
While this was a disappointing continuation of a poor season, the batting of Scott and Brewis assisted by Wright and Matthewson produced the highest score for over three years.
However, the bowling, apart from Steve O’Hara, was pretty average but this was not helped by missed chances in the field that have been costly this season. While we cannot be sure that had the chances been taken victory would have been achieved there is no doubt that chasing a much lower score would have been well within the capabilities of the Alnwick batting.