The new cricket season finally got off to a delayed start on Saturday – but only for some of the local sides.
Alnwick 2nds Wooler, Warenford, Embleton and Warkworth 2nds all saw their games cancelled, while Alnmouth 2nds and Rock were both without fixtures, and will be hoping to get back to the crease this coming weekend.
Following last season’s promotion to Division 1 of the Northumberland & Tyneside League, Alnmouth & Lesbury 1st XI got their season off to a great start with a convincing win at Stocksfield.
The home team won the toss and elected to bat, a decision they must have regretted as they soon found themselves 8-4 wickets, with Cameron Batey claiming three victims, including the important wicket of Dan Wylie.
There was also a stunning slip catch by Tom Vickers to dismiss Richard Mannion, off the bowling of Nick Denton.
Things got even worse for Stocksfield as they were pinned down by the rampant Alnmouth pace attack and they collapsed to 23-7. At one stage 43 balls were bowled without a run being scored.
A mini recovery was staged before they were dismissed for just 79 in the 42nd over. The wicket takers were Nick Denton 2-8, Ed Brunton 3-26, Paul Straker 1-12 and debutant Nick Robertson 1-6, with Cameron Batey the pick of the bunch with 3-8 from his eight overs.
Paul Straker and Tom Vickers put together a steady opening partnership of 68 to put the Seasiders on the brink of victory. Straker’s dismissal for 21 was followed by the loss of Ali Batey, but Vickers (not out 40) and Charles Anderson saw the visitors home to a comfortable victory and maximum points.
Alnwick 1sts lost by five wickets away to Ponteland in Division 1.
Alnwick batted first, and with Jamie Guy hitting 61 and opener Michael Brewis 21, they managed to put on 159 all out, with the wickets shared between six different bowlers.
In reply, Ponteland, despite losing opener Paul Lindsay for a duck, saw fellow opener Stuart Taylor hit 71, and with David Ling on 31 and Ben Harris on 23, they eased to 160-5 in the 37th over.
Also in Division 2, Tillside 1sts made a losing start when they travelled to face Bates Cottages.
The home side batted first and put on a decent score of 230-6 with Ross Symington hitting 96. Liam Hindmarsh claimed 3-42, but in reply, Tillside were all out for only 51 in the 21st over with opener Liam Hindmarsh hitting 33. Gary Dennis took 3-3 for Bates.
In Division 3, Warkworth 1sts had a seven-wicket win over Benwell & Wallbottle 1sts.
Nick Tomlinson top-scored on 32 as Benwell made 94 all out, with Martin Clark taking 4-15 and Michael Renfrey 3-19.
Matthew Hall hit an unbeaten half-century (52) as Warkworth replied with 95-3 in 27 overs, Rory Wilson chipping in with 22.
In Division 5 North, Tillside 2nds went down by 148 runs at home to Bates Cottages 2nds. Bates hit 204-6 in their 45 overs with Tillside all out for only 56 in reply.
Howick went down to an eight-wicket loss at Kirkley 1sts.
Adam Reilly hit 28, but with Andrew Horner and Kieran Douse each claiming four wickets for the home side, they were all out for only 65.
Kirkley replied with Christian Rowe top-scoring on 21 as they hit their target of 66-2 in only 16 overs.
Fixtures for the Northumberland & Tyneside League for this Saturday (April 28) are:
Alnmouth & Lesbury 1sts v Lintz 1sts; Alnwick 1sts v Bates Cottages 1sts; Tillside 1sts v Morpeth 1sts; Blagdon 1sts v Warkworth 1sts; Backworth 2nds v Alnmouth & Lesbury 2nds; Bates Cottages 2nds v Alnwick 2nds; Morpeth 2nds v Tillside 2nds; Warenford v Blagdon Park 2nds; Howick v Embleton; Monkseaton 1sts v Rock; Stobswood 2nds v Wooler; Warkworth 2nds v Ulgham 2nds.