Clough and Vickers make hay while the sun shines

Alnmouth and Lesbury I (235-4) v Whickham (220 all out)

Northumberland and Tyneside Senior Cricket League, Division A2

Newly-promoted Alnmouth and Lesbury entertained Whickham in their first home match in the Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League last Saturday.

Whickham won the toss and asked Alnmouth to bat.

Ian Pearson and Paul Straker made a tidy and confident start against accurate bowling, but both were out in quick succession with only 34 on the board.

Richard Neil and Tom Vickers then carefully repaired the damage, but having seemingly done the hard work, Neil was then bowled for 13.

Ian Clough joined Vickers and the pair made batting look easy as they enjoyed the afternoon sun and the firm wicket, putting on 158 for the fourth wicket. Both batted aggressively, ran well between the wickets and punished any loose deliveries.

Vickers was finally out having a swing in the last over, for an excellent 93, and Clough, who rolled back the years, was unbeaten on 84 as Alnmouth’s innings closed on 235-4 after their 50 overs.

The Whickham opening pair of Armstrong and Davidson made a confident start in their pursuit of the target although the Alnmouth bowlers ensured the run rate was kept in check.

Alnmouth had to wait until the 29th over to claim their first wicket when Armstrong was caught by Jonny Ridley off the bowling of Robin Tudor for 53.

Davidson and Parr ensured that Whickham stayed in the contest and with the score on 140-1 they were looking favourites.

However, two more wickets for ‘golden arm’ Tudor and two for Oliver including a great catch on the boundary by the athletic Ridley ensured Alnmouth were back in the game.

With five overs to go, it was still anyone’s game, but the Alnmouth bowlers held their nerve and tightened their grip on the game with each passing over and took the remaining wickets with eight balls to spare to secure a 15-run victory.

Clough, Oliver and Nick Denton all finished with two wickets.

It was a good, all-round team performance from the Seasiders as they claimed maximum points and got their season well and truly underway.

Alnmouth beat Whickham by 15 runs.