Seconds Win by 2 Runs Again
For the second time in this year’s Banks Bowl, Newcastle 2nds won by 2 runs when they overcame local rivals South Northumberland in an absolutely thriller at Osborne Ave.
Batting first Newcastle got off to a fine start through Alex Nicholson (30) who looked particularly fluent in the powerplay overs, ably supported by Dan Humble (32). A brief middle order wobble was then well steadied by Matt Hammond, playing his first game at Jesmond. Hammond struck a composed 57 which included some fine back foot play which edged Newcastle to a competitive total. His was the main contribution but the 2nds showcased their batting depth with solid contributions from the tail, with an unbroken final wicket partnership of 32 from 17 year olds Mark Fearon (13*) and Jack Sinclair (16*) proving particularly eye-catching. Added to 34 extras from a profligate Bulls bowling attack, Newcastle ended up posting a competitive 236-9 from their allotted 45 overs.
In reply, South North got off to a fantastic start with openers Doig and Harbottle laying the foundations of the chase. Harbottle was lbw to Common and the door seemed open for Newcastle but it was quickly shut again as Sidney-Wilmott (37) combined with Doig to take the score to 166-1. The introduction of Jack Sinclair into the attack changed the game, his off spin proving very difficult to get away and he finished with 4-38 off his 9 overs. Dan Humble picked up the key wicket of Jones Lee, and Doig was then run out for a fine 105. Newcastle scented blood and Phil Hudson brought himself back into the attack and picked up a couple of wickets as South North collapsed to 218-9 with 2 overs remaining. Goodfellow clubbed several blows off the penultimate over to leave his side requiring 3 runs off the final over. Captain Phil Hudson took the responsibility to bowl the final over and was rewarded when his first ball spun past Goodfellow’s attempted drive to bowl him, to spark jubilant scenes on the field and the terraces and give Newcastle victory by 2 runs, the skipper finishing with 3-44.
This was a truly fantastic game of cricket that was particularly pleasing not just because of the win but also because of the pivotal part played by the youngsters in the NCC side. This bodes well for the future!