Blyth I (168-5) v Warkworth I (167-7)
Warkworth’s Northumberland Cricket League Premier Division campaign started in defeat as they fell to a five-wicket loss against Blyth on Saturday.
Blyth skipper Lawrence won the toss and invited Warkworth, shorn of a number of players who had moved on to pastures new, to bat. The two opening batsmen looked solid with Keith Puddephatt in particular punishing anything loose.
They moved the score along to 36 before the introduction of Dent brought immediate rewards with Puddephatt caught by Blackett for 27.
New captain Dargue was the next to go, dismissed for four.
Pringle and Doyle built a partnership of 53 before Doyle was bowled by Singh for 24.
Adam Hall then joined Pringle and with the score on 97-3 in the 35th over and wickets in hand these two looked to up the scoring rate.
A flurry of boundaries followed, helping to take Warkworth to 158 before Pringle was caught by Roberts for an excellent 67.
With three overs left the Blyth bowlers tightened things up and Warkworth lost more wickets as they tried to add to their tally. They closed on 167-7.
In reply, Blyth’s Dent was the first to go, dismissed by Hall, for four.
This brought Purvis to the crease to join Blyth’s new signing Harwood and they took advantage of anything loose from some rather rusty bowling from the Warkworth opening attack.
Purvis was out for 19 when he was stumped by Dargue off the bowling of Pringle.
Lawrence entered the fray having caused Warkworth damage in the past, but Carruthers found his outside edge to remove him caught behind for 10.
Roberts joined Harwood who was building an innings at the other end, but when Pringle bowled him and Carruthers bowled Quinn in quick succession, leaving Blyth 92-5, Warkworth sensed a chance if they could break through again.
However, the two Blyth batsmen, Harwood and Rowell, consolidated well keeping anything on the stumps out and picking singles up before Harwood, in particular, accelerated, punishing any increasingly loose deliveries.
A partnership of 76 took Blyth to victory in the 46th over to end a competitive game played in the right spirit.
○ Tillside also lost their Premier Division opener on Saturday, with Stocksfield winning by 63 runs.
Stocksfield’s opening batsman, Alex Brown, hit 79 as his side closed on 157-8.
Tillside’s Liam Hindmarsh (2-13), Luke Dickson (2-33), Alan Hindmarsh (2-18) and Matthew Whitty (1-41) got among the wickets.
In reply, Tillside were dismissed for 94, with Andrew Wood taking 4-23.