Cup-final line-up decided after two away wins

The final of the Vice President’s Cup in the Alnwick and District Cricket League will see a battle of the Ws as Wooler take on Warenford.

League fixtures were put on stand-by at the weekend as the cup semi-finals were played along with the semis in the Vice President’s Plate, which saw Embleton and Tillside II progress.

Wooler booked their place in the cup final thanks to a four-wicket away win over Howick/Alnmouth & Lesbury, who won the toss and decided to bat.

Whether this was the right or wrong decision, the bowlers certainly took their chances, ripping through the Seasiders for 83.

Archie Elder managed 11 before he was run out and Anthony Elliott top-scored with 20, but no one else made it out of single figures.

Indeed, the top-scorer was extras who contributed more than a quarter of the total - 22. Pick of the Wooler bowlers was Paul Murray who took five wickets for 13 runs.

In reply, Wooler did lose wickets at regular intervals, but 26 from opener Les Porteous alongside 15 from Aaron Scott and 14 not out from Robert Matthewson saw them to 86-6 and the win. Darren Gray took three wickets for 21 runs off his 5.3 overs.

Joining Wooler in the final are Warenford, who demolished Rock on their own ground.

Batting first, the away side posted a huge total of 206-4, largely thanks to a magnificent opening partnership.

Brian Thompson was still there at the end of the innings on 97 not out, while Kevin Thompson contributed 49 before he was caught. Gordon Stephenson added a useful knock of 32 not out down the order.

In reply, the pressure got to Rock who were bowled out for 32.

Graham Rogerson ripped into the top order, taking the first six wickets for just 13 runs off his eight overs, before the tail followed suit. Five batsmen were out for zero.

In another low-scoring semi in the plate competition, Warkworth II were bowled out for 46.

Only opener Graham Huitson (11) made it to double figures as a team effort from the Etal side’s bowlers made short shrift of taking wickets.

Craig Robertson took 3-18, Lee Dodd 3-6, Stuart Wright 2-19 and Jake Birkett one wicket for no runs off six overs.

In reply, Tillside lost a couple of early wickets, but had no problems in reaching 50-2, and the final, in just nine overs.

In the other semi-final, Embleton won by 119 runs at home to Mitford thanks to a huge first-innings total of 258-7.

Put into bat, the home side went about their business diligently with half-centuries from Paul Carss (59) and Gary Davison (60) and forties from openers Hedley Grey (44) and Liam Turnbull (40).

In reply, both Mitford openers were out for ducks and while Graham Potts scored 50 down the order, the away side were all out for 139.

It was a case of the fours for Embleton’s opener Grey, who backed up his 44 with the bat with 4-18 off eight overs with the ball.

The previous Tuesday, there was more semi-final action, in the Tate Cup, where Warenford and Tillside II made it two finals for the season so far. Warenford (123-7) beat Embleton (77) by 46 runs, while Tillside (139-6) had a four-wicket win over neighbours Wooler (138-7).