Newcastle 1st XI 263/6 (41.5 overs) beat Shotley Bridge 1st XI 270/8 (42 overs) by 4 wickets (DLS Method)

One of the best games of club cricket you could ever see was the verdict of our 1stXI vs Shotley Bridge on Saturday, with both sides trading punches in an enthralling contest in which Newcastle would ultimately emerge victorious.

Shotley Bridge batted first and were quickly in trouble at 17-3. Some injudicious batting and some good catching allowed Sinclair (2) and Luke Mussett to share the wickets. At this point, the sides were forced off for rain for approximately 45 mins. When they came back out we were treated to an excellent innings by Matthew Potts, who scored 142. With initial support from Burdon, Potts punished some wayward bowling, with the Newcastle spinners struggling to exert their usual control on a flat pitch with a wet ball. After Burdon’s departure to Tashkoff, Potts held the SBCC innings together and struck the ball very cleanly on his way to a great hundred. He allowed Shotley Bridge to score an imposing 272 from 42 overs. Sinclair came back into the attack well and was rewarded ultimately for his changes of pace with 5 wickets. Mussett bowled better than his 2 wickets suggested.

Newcastle were disappointed with bowling performance, but equally felt that the pitch was extremely flat and one boundary was short. We were slightly buoyed by the DLS calculation that we were only to chase 262 from 42 overs, due to Shotley having had a longer powerplay than we would be afforded. We felt that we needed to keep wickets in hand for the chase, confident that we could chase down a relatively large score in the final 20 overs so long as we had plenty of batting to come.

Our openers Mussett and Green went to face Shotley’s high class opening attack from Durham CCC, Matthew Potts and Oliver Gibson. The two openers did their best to blunt the attack in the opening exchanges, with runs hard to come by. As they began to get in they looked more positive in their approach, with Green playing some eye catching shots straight to fielders! After 21 overs of great by these two to put on 83 Green was bowled trying to up the rate. It can not be stressed enough how important this partnership was in laying the platform for victory. Liam Trevaskis entered the fray and immediately set about the Shotley Bridge bowling, cutting and pulling ferociously and running hard to the delight of his playing partner Mussett. Ben himself was particularly emboldened and unleashed some eye catching shots on his way to an excellent 83, continuing his recent run of great form. Trevaskis himself perished around this time for an outstanding 75 off 45, including 3 huge sixes. At this point a large crowd were in attendance and were enthralled by the chase that would go down to the wire. For the NCC batsman to come it was simple, play shots from ball one. Frankie Collins slapped 15 off 7 balls to give impetus that Kieran Trevaskis matched in consecutive boundaries off Gibson. After they departed Barnes and Taylor were at the crease with 7 wanted off the last over. Taylor looked to exploit the short boundary but when Gibson bowled wide of off stump it was crunched for 4. A scampered single later and then Barnes hit the winning runs over mid wicket to get us home with a ball to spare to spark celebrations all over the ground.

Commiserations to Shotley Bridge who played their part in an outstanding game played in a great spirit.

DoC MOM goes to Liam Trevaskis, given our strategy we knew that one player had to get 70 off 40 if we were to win the game. Liam showed amazing talent but also huge responsibility to win the game for us. An outstanding professional’s performance. Special mention to Ben Mussett who was again excellent and Ross Sinclair.

Newcastle 2nd XI 134/3 (22.4 overs) beat Whitburn 2nd XI 130 all out (34.3 overs) by 7 wickets

The 2nd XI returned to winning ways with a dominant performance by the seaside to defeat early season strugglers Whitburn by 7 wickets.

Losing the toss for the first time this season, there was some disappointment in the visitors ranks as the home side opted to take first use of a fine looking surface.

Young seamer George Darwood set Newcastle away to the ideal start, continuing his impressive early season form by removing home opener Mallaby in the first over, driving injudiciously against the swinging new ball.

Whitburn rebuilt solidly within the opening power play, Ryan Parkin with a series of attractive drives helped to home side past 50.
Chris Miller was finally rewarded for a probing opening spell, removing the watchful Wood via a spooned catch to the ever alert Brown at cover.

The hosts were firmly on the back foot as wickets in successive overs reduced them to 61/4, Parkin cleaned up by Phillips for 27 before Stenhouse took a smart catch at the wicket to give the returning veteran Brown the first of his scalps.

Brown at his miserly best (2/20 in 10 overs) stifled any aggressive intent in the home innings before a sparking double wicket maiden from Phillips left the innings in tatters at 77/6 as Sherburn was defeated by a ball that decked back in and Quinan was trapped lbw.

A sensible partnership between Chambers and home skipper Elliot confirmed there were no demons in the surface and it took the introduction of Joe Boaden to wrap up the innings, Chambers tempted into a lofted drive was well caught by Darwood. The off-spinner managed to keep his front foot behind the line to bowl Elliot through the gate before removing last man Bell in identical fashion to finish with 3/14.

A strong performance from all 5 bowlers used, with only the extras (27 with 23 wides) leaving some room for improvement. Six of the wickets being clean bowled would also seem to justify the captains endless droning on about the virtues of attacking the stumps.

An ultra positive opening salvo from the two Steve’s broke the back of the run chase, Allen (30) capitalising on 2 free hits depositing Hearn over mid-wicket and long-off.

Pinnington (33) also looked to be in fine form before being controversially judged not to have hit the cover off one, to the obvious frustration of the home side.

The opening partnership was finally ended on 64, Allen receiving a superb send-off when nicking behind. Pinnington followed in quick succession to the relief of the hosts who were concerned they may run out of names to call him.

Young Matty Stewart and the in-form Alex Gray had the unenviable task of containing the Wearsiders fired up attack. Their partnership of 47 with measured stroke play and well-judged running the perfect response to quell any thoughts of an unlikely collapse.

Stewart (21) was removed by Wood with victory in sights and Gray (28*) was joined by Stenhouse (8*) wrapped up victory in just 22.4 overs.

A trip to Denton Bank next week to take on the only side in the division boasting a 100% record looks to be an attractive fixture where we will have to be at our best to upset the early season pacesetters.

Newcastle 3rd XI 286/5 (40 overs) beat Whitley Bay 2nd XI 120/5 (40 overs) by 166 runs

The 3rd team travelled to Whitley Bay looking to continue our unbeaten league record this season. After winning the toss and electing to bat on a decent surface, both openers were dismissed early on after a good spell from Whitley Bay’s opening bowler. At 13 for 2 Hamzah Amin and Alex Hardy went about rebuilding and put on 59 for the 3rd wicket before a smart catch on the boundary saw Amin out for 30. Hardy chipped one back to the bowler soon after, for another well made 30, which brought Rory Law to the the crease.

Law, accompanied by Wood, batted sensibly, ran well and picked off the bad balls to keep the score ticking over. Rory brought up his 50 in the 30th over and then decided to to take advantage of the opposition’s change bowlers; at one point hitting four sixes in a row and racing to his ton in the blink of eye.

Wood was another victim of a ball that stopped in the pitch, as he was caught and bowled for a useful 21. Undeterred, Rory set about punishing loose deliveries and continued to launch the ball to all parts of the ground – finishing on a magnificent 161 not out (including 14 fours and 10 sixes) of the teams total of 286. Truly putting the ton in Eton.

In reply, Whitley Bay’s openers batted very well against tough opening spells from McMorran and Wood, who were unlucky to go wicketless in the first 10 overs. Andy Goldsborough came on as first change and bowled well, taking 3 wickets while Tyagi and Sarfraz kept it tight at the other end.

While Whitley Bay never threatened to knock off Newcastle’s imposing total, their dogged determination to secure batting bonus points was admirable and proved a stern test for our lads in the field. A wicket apiece from Wood and Law (who could do no wrong) left the opposition on 120 for 5 off their 40 overs. A good win from a game played in the right spirit, which also capped off a superb Saturday for the club.

Newcastle Academy XI 169/5 (35.4 overs) beat Blaydon 3rd XI 164 all out (40 overs)

The academy travelled to Blaydon this week on the back of a great result. Losing the toss again, we fielded first on a track offering some indifferent bounce. A good early spell from George Darwood and Harry Phillips kept things tight early on, taking a wicket each in the process. Blaydon rebuilt slowly, as first change bowlers Isaac Howell and, on his senior NCC debut, Tomas Boothroyd both bowled with great control and were unfortunate not to be rewarded with wickets. With overs ticking by and Newcastle needing wickets, the skipper turned to golden arm Frank Cook, who snapped up a fiercely hit rerun catch to remove the Blaydon captain. This set the wheels in motion for wickets to tumble, with 12 year old Chas Darwood picking up two crucial wickets, including that of Blaydon’s other set batter, the catch being completed by brother George. George returned to claim another wicket, and with Frank claiming another scalp, two wickets were needed in the final over to bowl Blaydon out, and after what was definitely an accidental miscalculation, skipper Poll bowled the final over, claiming the two wickets needed, including a great steepling catch by C Darwood.

With Blaydon dismissed for around a par total of 164, Newcastle knew they would have to bat well to win. Having seen off the opening bowlers well, Frank Cook eyes lit up at the first change bowling and was caught behind for 16. Poll (40) and Walker (16) continued to up the rate, before both fell in consecutive overs, Walker to a return catch which would likely still be travelling had it not been plucked in the bowler’s follow through. This brought Scott Armstrong (21) and George Darwood (31) at the crease with 80 still needed, and they accumulated well despite their best efforts to run themselves out… Scott fell trying to finish the game quickly, and by the time George top edged a sweep, academy debutant Callum Graham-Rack and keeper Connor Ryan needed 25 to win, which they knocked off with a minimum fuss, Conor finishing the game with a six over square leg.

Another great team performance, with contributions throughout the side against a side who comfortably beat South North last week. Fantastic to see our junior players all contributing – Isaac and Tomas proving how much bowling depth we have available in our junior ranks, George continuing his fantastic development into a genuine all rounder, Chas showing the strong future the club is building, and Frank’s measured approach to batting and golden arm moon balls showing a maturity beyond his years.

Next week will see us play South North away.