1st XI

Bank Salver Quarter Final

Newcastle 222/8 (39.4) beat Benwell Hill 218/8 (40) by 2 wickets

Report by Kieran Trevaskis:

Newcastle hosted Benwell Hill for what transpired to be an enthralling Banks Salver Quarter-Final.

After winning the toss and immediately regretting his decision to bowl on what ended up being a scorching afternoon, Ben Quirk (fresh off his sublime Ouseburn away performance on the Saturday) set about letting his bowlers loose on a Benwell Hill top order littered with talent.

George Darwood struck early claiming the wicket of Schofield, caught well by Ben Mussett at slip after Stevie decided he didn’t fancy it. This brought Doneathy to the crease, who combined with Angus Guy, put on 49 for the second wicket. Quirk had Guy caught at deep square leg with a ball that Ben has asked I don’t comment on due to the fact he almost hit his own feet when bowling it. Halliday fell shortly after, caught well by Stevie off the bowling of Jesse Tashkoff who continued his good form with the ball (8 overs, 1-32). Doneathy was now well into his work, he and Bell then put on 45 for the 4th wicket before Bell was smartly held Caught and Bowled by everyone’s favourite player, Joe Boaden.

Nicholson came to the crease at 6, and the bowling unit knew that his and Doneathy’s wickets were the key to keeping the chase under 250. Doneathy fell after some lusty blows and crafty shots for a very well made 91, and the side knew they were in the hunt with the score 181-5 with the last 10 to play. Quirk smartly brought himself back into the attack (finishing with 4-36) and combined with Jesse and Luke Mussett (1-43) helped to restrict the Benwell Hill lower order to what was deemed a par total of 218.

This capped off what we felt was one of our better fielding performances, the youth of Matty Stewart, Will Jobling and George Darwood helped with bullet arms demonstrated by all. Catches were well held and bowling plans seemed to come together well.

The batting efforts didn’t get off to the best start, Ben Mussett (in his first game back from injury) struggled to find rhythm before falling to a great slip catch, his freshly minted opening partner Will Taylor looked more settled, cutting a couple of boundaries before being stumped for 12. Youngster Matty Stewart didn’t look out of place, but was unfortunate to knick one behind off the bowling of Hunter.

With the score at 20-3, Jesse and Kieran Trevaskis found themselves needing to rebuild. With the run rate never exceedingly high, the two had the goal of not losing any more wickets and trying to leave circa 140 from 20 overs required, which with a short boundary one side they felt was manageable. After surviving early pressure from the opposition bowlers the two found themselves being able to accumulate quickly against the spinners. At the 20 over mark they had the required runs down to 130. Jesse fell shortly after for a well-made 38 that included a hit into a neighbouring garden, much to the sunbathing resident’s disgust.

This brought Stevie Allen to the crease who spent most of his partnership with Trevaskis at the non-strikers end as Kieran played block block swing to reasonable levels of success. Trevaskis eventually fell for a brisk 72, in typical fashion hitting a ball that could’ve gone anywhere straight to the man at short fine leg. Stevie Allen, despite looking uneasy early in his innings now took control with Joe Boaden the man at the other end. The two ran well with some strong boundary striking included, Boaden fell for a handy 16, similarly to Stewart looking more than comfortable with the step up. Jobling came to the crease at 8, and looked to continue Boaden’s fine work, he and Stevie kept the run rate under control before Jobling fell. Captain Quirk strode the crease and set about ensuring his side came away with the victory. The equation was 17 required off the last 2 overs with Doneathy, the Hill’s best bowler on the day, bowling the 39th. Stevie Allen hit the second ball onto Osborne Avenue leaving the equation as 10 off 10. Stevie then saw his name in lights and looked to get it finished ASAP and tried to repeat with the ball after but unfortunately couldn’t create the same outcome, falling for an excellent 41.

Luke joined Quirk at the crease with the equation off the final over being 7 required; a dot followed by an edge for 4 left it at 3 off 4, a single and a wide them came, and all that was required was a single off 3 balls for victory. In fitting fashion, it was Luke who finished the game off against his former team.

All in all, a lot of positives to take from the fixture, as mentioned earlier I feel it was one of our better fielding performances this year, and despite the early wobble with the bat it was positive to get the result thanks to partnerships throughout the middle and lower order. Hopefully we can translate our positive orange ball form into some red ball wins as we face Ashington in the league this coming Saturday.

DoC MoM – Kieran Trevaskis (yes, the guy who wrote this). Whilst this might seem self-indulgent, I do have the messages from Phil to confirm that this was his choice and would happily provide to any doubters; he even said well done to me, finally some validation.

Academy XI

Newcastle 244/5 (40) beat South North 195/8 (40) by 49 runs

Report by Ali Poll:

The Academy travelled down the coast road to Tynemouth to face South North in a bid to maintain their 100% start to the 2021 league season. With South North having won 5 of their last 6 six, we expected a tough challenge. Winning the toss on an uncharacteristically warm day at the coast, we opted to bat first on what looked to be a good track. A good early pace was set by openers Ali Poll and Frank Cook with us reaching 25 in the first four overs, before Cook cut a wide ball to cover, which was taken on the second attempt. Despite the wicket, we progressed nicely, with Walker joining Poll at the crease. Twos were in relatively short supply on a warm day, but Poll and Walker accumulated by turning the strike over and putting the bad ball away, enabling Poll to reach 50 for the 4th time this season for the Academy , followed by the 100 partnership shortly after. With 142-1 on the board and 14 overs remaining, we looked to up the tempo, but Poll (75) drove Ward (3-44) back to the bowler for a return catch, also taken at the second go, to end the partnership. Walker brought up his 50 but then immediately perished to his favoured slog sweep, as Scott Armstrong (15) and Rory Law (8) also came and went in the hunt for quick runs. At 177-5 at the end of the 33rd, we risked not capitalising fully on the platform built, but Hamza Amin (31 off 24 balls) and Finlay Pearce (36 off 26) batted superbly, combining clean striking and aggressive running to add 67 off the last 7, and take our final total to 244-5.

We knew that South North would have to come out aggressively, and would pose a challenge to our openers. Isaac Howell, who has been impressively miserly this year, took a couple of overs to settle in, but then bowled with great control again, and was unfortunate not to pick up Khan at slip, with two catches going down in three balls. Howell took the initiative and decided to bypass the need for catches, bowling the dangerous Khan for 19 to leave the score 41-1. From the other end, Chas Darwood again bowled with excellent control to keep things tight early on without further reward. Pearce and Wood came on first change to keep a lid on the rate, and although both went wicketless, the brakes had been applied to the run chase, so that by the halfway stage the score was 88-1, with a further 157 required from the back 20. Ed Holland (1-25) came on and bowled with the best control he has shown this year, and was rewarded with the wicket of Alam, caught by Armstrong at cover. With wickets in the hut, there was always the chance for South North to accelerate, and so the skipper turned to Law (2-21), roared on by his fan club, in search of further wickets. “Bowling is easy” he is rumoured to have uttered, as his first ball resulted in an excellent return catch diving away to his left, followed by top edge third ball, a diving one handed catch completed by Poll to atone for the earlier drops. With both set batters accounted for, Newcastle took control of the game, and it was just a case of taking wickets to ensure the most points possible. Chas Darwood (1-34) returned and picked up a well-deserved wicket, with Law taking another good catch at mid wicket, and although Hameed and McDowell held up proceedings for a while, the result was now inevitable. Frank Cook (2-15) came on to pick up his customary two wickets at Tynemouth, his flighted off spin proving too much to resist as both batters fell LBW sweeping, before Walker (1-5) got in on the act with a good leg side catch off the glove completed by Amin. At 179-8 and in search of the last two wickets for maximum points, Wood convinced the skipper to let him bowl the last over, promising a successful return. Unfortunately with an aggressive field set, the edges wouldn’t quite go to hand, and 16 were plundered off the last to leave South North finishing 195-8.

Another positive result on the back of a solid batting foundation, and some good moments in the field and with the ball, taking us to 8 wins from 8. With a week off next week we have time to keep working hard and improving, before we take on Gateshead Fell in two weeks time.

Thanks again to Simon Holland for scoring.