Pressure on village cricket sides

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Johnnie Johnson Housing Alnwick and District Cricket League

THE problems in running a small village cricket team in the present day were again highlighted when Howick were forced to cancel their scheduled match away to Tillside on Saturday.

For a variety of reasons, but mainly injuries and unavailability, they were unable to gather together a team and duly conceded the points.

Club official Robert Jamieson said one of the problems they faced was getting young players to commit to playing regularly, but he hoped this would resolve itself as the season progressed.

He added: “There isn’t a lot of young players coming in and the future looks bleak.

“They don’t play cricket in the schools now so they don’t bring them on from that standpoint.”

He was hopeful that they would have a team to play at Warenford this Saturday and for the games ahead.

On Saturday, the top match was at Wooler where current champions Warenford took on last season’s runners-up who were without key player Andrew Aitchison.

The visitors took first knock and started confidently, Kevin and Brian Thompson putting on 90 for the first wicket.

But once the partnership was broken wickets fell regularly with the scoreboard showing 138-6.

At this point, Dan Patterson and John Hogg came together and halted the collapse, the innings eventually closing on 204 after 42.2 overs.

Brian Thompson (51), Dan Patterson (47 not out) and Kevin Thompson (39) all made valuable contributions.

In reply, Wooler struggled to get the upper hand and at the close were still 38 in arrears with eight overs remaining.

Elsewhere, Mitford comfortably beat Rock by seven wickets and Warkworth’s Mark Spoors with 7-39 set up an eight-wicket victory over Embleton at The Castle Field.

But it wasn’t the best bowling performance of the day. That belonged to Berwick’s Duncan McCreath who claimed 9-27 in a seven-wicket away victory over Alnmouth and Lesbury.

Details in brief:

Rock 130 (R Bell 46, A Gray 24no, B Dougal 20, N Gaynor 4-14) Mitford 134-3 (M Ellinor 38, T Dunn 38, M Parrish 20); Embleton 78 (G Davison 25, R Alsept 21, M Spoors 7-39, S Lee 3-7) Warkworth 82-2 (M Robson 38, K Puddephatt 21); Alnmouth & Lesbury 61 (D McCreath 9-27) Berwick 62-3; Warenford 204 (B Thompson 51, D Patterson 47no, K Thompson 39, M Murray 4-46) Wooler 166 (M McLean 29, T Burston 24, M Murray 20, M Thompson 4-36, J Hogg 3-26).

Tillside v Howick (Howick conceded).