Newcastle took on Tynedale at a packed and raucous Jesmond on Sunday in the final of the Smithson Trophy, with NCC looking to retain the cup won in 2019.

Tynedale batted first and were quickly under pressure with Mussett inducing a mistake from the opener and Mcbride making a routine catch look more difficult than necessary. The Tynedale number 3 then tried to take on Jesse Tashkoff in the field and was rewarded with a long walk back to the pavilion, Kieran Trevaskis surprising everyone by getting up to the stumps in prompt fashion to finish the run out. There followed a brief period of consolidation by the batting side with Quirk rotating his bowlers to good effect. Mannion was briefly an aggressor before holing out off the skipper with Bobby Green taking a good catch on the line.

At halfway Tynedale were 53-3 and looked way below par but Cant and Barber launched a counter attack. Cant batted beautifully in making 80 before being bowled by Quirk in an excellent last over and Barber rode his luck in making 43*, much to the chagrin of Will Taylor who was very unlucky not to pick up his wicket on more than one occasion. Tynedale finished on 150-4.

McBride and Mussett went out to open the innings for NCC and were pegged back to a disciplined start, although Mussett in particular was unfortunate to hit a lot of good shots at fielders. McBride perished to his favoured reverse sweep which brought Jesse Tashkoff to the crease. Jesse immediately looked in control, scoring off most balls and punishing when bowlers erred in line and length. Mussett departed caught on the line having finally timed one, and when Frankie Collins came and went Newcastle were 59-3 just before halfway. Kieran Trevaskis waddled out and gave the innings great impetus with some clean hitting, including one of the biggest 6s seen this season. Tashkoff was well into his work at this point and combined with Bobby Green was putting NCC in a strong position. However Green departed caught on the line to bring Matthew Stewart to the crease. The GOAT displayed typical GOAT like behaviour, giving strike to Jesse and generally being the calmest man on the ground. When Jesse departed for 67 off 44, NCC required 29 off the last 3 overs. Matty Stewart and Will Taylor again stayed calm and pushed and nurdled the ball around, leaving 13 required off the last over. Will then blammed the first 2 balls of the over for 6, showing the ticker and courage that have characterised his first season with the club. The next ball showed his over exuberance as he tried to do it again and got a top edge, departing for a match winning 20 off 10. This got the GOAT back on strike who calmly flicked the next ball for 4 over square leg to spark celebrations on the balcony….

Commiserations to Tynedale and Tom Cant in particular who was excellent. A really great game of cricket that could have gone either way. Naturally the plaudits go to Jesse Tashkoff who played beautifully for his 67, but this was a full team effort from a young side who really have stood together all season. As Director of Cricket I am really excited about the direction this group is heading in, and am particularly proud of how they play their cricket and conduct themselves as a group in and around the club. We host Boldon next week knowing a win would give us the tiniest slither of a chance of promotion but either way, this has been a great year for this team.

DoC MOTM – Jesse Tashkoff