Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League round-up
In Division A1, Alnmouth and Lesbury I secured an excellent five-wicket victory against Ponteland I.
Ponteland won the toss and elected to bat in exceptionally blustery conditions, but were kept in check by tight bowling, Nick Denton striking first, having James Whitely caught for 1.
Ben Oliver kept up the pressure and took three middle-order wickets as the visitors struggled with the exception of Australian Wayne Ritzema, who survived an early dropped catch to score 79 before he was the sixth wicket to fall.
A late flurry by John Gardner, who hit a quick 29 not out, took the total to 175-7 before a heavy shower brought the innings to an end after 46 overs.
The Alnmouth wicket-takers were Denton, Ed Brunton, Paul Straker (two) and Oliver (three).
In reply, Alnmouth got off to a great start and despite another rain-shower interruption, Russell Hughes and Paul Straker put on 61 for the first wicket before Straker departed, caught and bowled for 27.
After the dismissal of Ian Pearson for five, Tom Vickers joined Hughes and added 52, before Hughes was out to a great diving catch for an excellent 64.
Vickers was on his way back to the pavilion just four runs later, again to another well-taken catch for 32.
Jonny Ridley was the fifth wicket to fall when he was bowled for nine, but Charles Anderson (26no) and Ben Oliver (6no) saw the home team to victory with almost three overs remaining at the rather later finishing time of 8.15pm because of the rain interruptions.
By contrast, Alnwick I struggled in Division A2 at Lintz, eventually going down to an eight-wicket defeat.
Batting first, the visitors managed to post a competitive score of 230-8 from their 50 overs, thanks to 91 from David Forrest and a half-century from David Wright.
However, the Alnwick attack failed to make in-roads into the Lintz batting line-up after tea as they chased down the total for the loss of just two wickets inside 43 overs.
Opener Kieron Gohery scored 88 not out, well supported by Jordan Clennell (52) and Ryan McVittie (72no).
In Division B1, Alnmouth’s second team couldn’t match their ones and were well beaten at Ponteland.
The away side batted first and the early hurdle to cross was the loss of Peter Robinson who, with a huge gust of wind, played down the wrong line and was bowled.
He was followed to the safety of the pavilion by Burnett, who went fishing instead of playing a shot.
Archie Elder had played some decent strokes and started to looked assured when a customary gust of wind blew him, the stumps, and bails toward the pavilion which was now becoming a bit of a graveyard of top-order batsmen.
Thankfully, Leon Midgely, a master stroke player aged 14, showed his teammates how it was to be done, with some great shots bringing some good boundaries and he got a well-earned 24 in quick time.
Lucas Robinson went in and steadied the ship, where others failed.
He was a lot more resilient than most and, joined by his skipper, they made the Ponteland players endure some of the wind a bit longer, adding a small but productive partnership before the innings ended on 96 all out.
With the wind behind him, Alex Robson was bowling at a fine speed, but with few runs to spare, the attacking field struggled to contain the cavalier opening pair from Ponteland. Then Robson struck, bowling an absolute gem at their opener who knew very little of the fact his stumps were scattered.
Rich Neil, lumbering up the hill into the gale-force wind, looked like a pioneer in the Arctic Circle leaning against the strong elements, gurning with effort as he tried to get to the wicket then make the ball swing.
He managed this well and as his opening partner was causing mayhem at the other end, it was a good start. Robson bowled another batsman to get his second wicket.
Lucas Robinson was brought into the attack and on another day would have had a couple of wickets. Joe Tudor, at the windy end, also bowled well without success, again on another day he may well have had a wicket.
But Pont made it to 106 for the loss of just two wickets inside 19 overs for a comfortable eight-wicket win.