Bowlers rusty in 28-run revenge defeat

Alnwick II (154-8) v Burnopfield II (182-7)

Alnwick II suffered a revenge defeat to Burnopfield in the long-awaited return to league action on Saturday.

With the previous outing against Seaton Burn a distant memory some seven weeks ago, Alnwick clawed their way back in the field and looked to be in a winning position before falling 28 runs shy of Burnopfield’s 182-7.

Andrew Stewart inserted the hosts on a soft, green surface, knowing that his bowlers needed to keep things tight amid short boundaries on either side. Immediately the Alnwick openers, Andrew Wright and Chris Woods, looked rusty, perhaps understandable due to the lack of match practice, or even the chance of a net to hone their skills.

Woods found consistency and control to concede just five from his opening seven-over burst, but from that moment on, Burnopfield seized the initiative and were set for a score exceeding 200 in the wake of an inexperienced Alnwick attack.

To their credit, Alnwick maintained focus and can be encouraged by debut performances from youngsters Michael Kirkup, 0-22, and Ryan Kelly, 0-24.

Stewart also bowled with control to snare three wickets, and Woods returned to pick up two more, while Tom Woodburn,1-15, impressed as the youthful visitors managed to salvage respectability in restricting Burnopfield to 182-7.

Alnwick lost Laurence Reeves (nine) and Woodburn (five) early in their reply, so Allen Thompson and Woods looked to rebuild.

The pair punished the wayward deliveries in a stand of 40, but once Thompson (17), and then Woods (29), departed in the space of three overs, Alnwick seemed in trouble.

Michael Bateman soon followed, but that brought in Tom Lakey, who played an enterprising innings which looked to get Alnwick back on track.

Lakey smashed four boundaries and an enormous six in his 30 and was well supported by Stewart, but once the former was clean bowled by Young, 5-62, defeat was inevitable.

Skipper Stewart continued despite illness and injury to remain unbeaten on 34, but Alnwick ran out of time and were 28 short on 154-8.

Alnwick host Cowgate next Saturday hoping for more fine weather, but an upturn in fortune.