1st XI

Newcastle 235/2 dec (29 overs) drew with Ashington 129/3 (34 overs)

Report from Phil Hudson:

Newcastle travelled to Ashington hoping for a chance to make some gap up on the league leaders but were thwarted by the weather and obdurate opposition.

Having lost the toss and been asked to bat, NCC set about their task with gusto after the early departure of Collins. Mussett and McBride set about the Ashington attack, the former on one leg after a recurrence of a hamstring strain. Mussett fell for a great 92, and McBride was joined by fellow Scot and debutant Tom Mackintosh as he raced towards a hundred that in an all honesty felt pretty inevitable. T-Mac played the supporting role to perfection and NCC were able to declare on an obscene 235-2 off 29.

Despite some early wickets the second half was something of a non-event, as Ashington weren’t interested in a chase and Newcastle lacked the overs to bowl them out, the game petering out into a tame draw. A solid result when other results in the division became clear.

DoC MOTM – Chris McBride made a great hundred but Ben Mussett really set the tone


2nd XI

Newcastle 137/4 (34.4 overs) beat Ashington 136 all out (37.2 overs) by 6 wickets

Report from Rob Walker:

Newcastle second team continued their winning ways by easily bettering Ashington.

The players turned up at Medicals looking skyward. A forecast of impending rain was the main topic of conversation, along with how much nicer the fielding half would be without Pinnington being present.

Young Boaden entrusted with the captaincy following Walker’s kneecapping of regular King Carr (the very best of men, I’m sorry) threw correctly and chose to bowl. Score more runs than them were the words the team walked out to from our new leader.

Miller and Phillips took the new ball. Levison pumped them both through the off side a couple of times and then we went off for rain. Rinse and repeat three more times.

The match was reduced to 40/35 overs and from that point the rain stayed away. The introduction of Brown straight after the break reaped immediate rewards as Poll was hit square on the shin from the bat of Levison. People laughed.

Luke was bowled soon after by Brown. Jobling, introduced from the other end, promptly scared the left handed Potts who fended at one, caught behind by Stenhouse for a well made 1 from 2 balls.

Boaden followed Jobling and quickly removed Levison. He was playing securely and capitalising on his strengths before a brain fart to the first ball he faced from Boaden ended in his stumping for 37. Some suggested that it was an arm ball from the new skipper however he told the huddle that the wet ball slipped out as an away swinger. Say nothing and you’re a genius.

Wickets followed at regular intervals after this, with only a pair of Storeys causing any issues for the fielding team, scoring 45 and 20. Both were removed by Boaden to continue his excellent season and first game in the hot seat. Stewart was given the unenviable task of bowling leg spin with a bar of soap, Boaden’s only blot on the day.

None of the other batsmen made it past 5, Brown finishing with 2 wickets, Jobling 1, Boaden 3 and Walker with 3, showing the benefit of bowling at the stumps against the lower order. 136 all out in the 38th was the damage.

I’d use this column to have a pop at Gray’s fielding but the writer isn’t like that.

Law fielding in blue trainers did not escape ridicule on the day nor in this article.

Following a break for food from various Chillingham Road outlets, Boaden and Poll took up the chase. An immediate and ugly swish from Poll caused a chuckle from the onlooking Newcastle team. I’m sure one said ‘if you’re going to go, go hard’.

Poll did smite a couple of boundaries before falling victim to leg before air, the consensus that the ball was missing leg stump. 13 was his score, dismissed by Potts.

Stewart swiftly followed, bowled by Clark for 4. This brought Gray to the crease who immediately looked to continue his good form. Some good defence and very good stroke play from Gray and Boaden took us from 45 to 120 without much worry. The 3rd wicket only fell when Gray, for no real reason, ran himself out looking for a dicey second. His score of 34 taking the 2s close to the victory line.

Stenhouse came and went for 4, following a good shot with a bad one to sky Storey to cover. Walker was next in, a glorious partnership of 10 with the ever present Boaden taking Newcastle 2s to victory. The victory target achieved 4 down with a couple of overs unused.

Boaden finished with 67*, never looking troubled and cannonning cover dives and cuts with utmost ease. First day of captaincy, first win and comfortably man of the match. Well done young man.

Tributes to a departing Rory Law (TFC) were had at HQ with several sloppy looking individuals seen leaving late into the evening. Go well Tory.

Oh, and if you were wondering, the fielding effort was a much more jovial place without Pinnington’s much maligned verbals.


3rd XI

Newcastle 101/1 (21 overs) beat Benwell & Walbottle 93 all out (19.3 overs) by 11 runs

Report from Andy Goldsborough:

The 3rd team returned to their home away from home on saturday, seeking to end a run of successive league defeats and cancellations that saw their last victory come on the 3rd of June. Under gloomy South Hetton skies, both skippers were keen to bowl first knowing that the best way to force a result would be to roll the opposition and knock off the total before the rain came. It was Benwell & Walbottle’s skipper that called correctly though, and he duly elected to bowl despite only having 10 men at the start (thanks to Ed Holland for fielding as their substitute until the last man arrived). Having been in the captain’s ear all season, Marc Wood got his chance to open the batting with Frank Cook, and it was the latter that began proceedings well – dispatching the first ball of the game to the short cover boundary. Under strict instruction to ‘tip and run’, the opening pair did just that and rotated strike brilliantly. They built a solid foundation for the innings in spite of the persistent rain that forced the covers to come on and off no less than 4 times in our innings. Frank eventually fell to a good ball for a superbly crafted 45, while Wood protected his average at the other end with an enterprising 27*. Roberts was able to come in and keep the run rate at around 5 an over, and he finished on 19* by the time the innings was declared complete by the umpire who took us off for rain after 21 overs. Despite the fact it was cut short, we can take a lot of pride in the way we applied ourselves at the start of the innings – it is possibly the best we have batted all year with smart running and good risk-free cricket shots reaping rewards. Long may this intelligent approach continue!

Unfortunately, the heavy rain forecast for 1:30pm arrived on time and a result seemed unlikely. Armstrong and McLaughlin retired to the changing room to catch up on some sleep, while the remainder of the team found shelter in South Hetton’s well stocked bar. At 3pm, captain Goldsborough ignored the ire and protestations of all 21 players around him, and decided to have one last look at the pitch. After some persuasion the teams were back out to continue the match, and Benwell and Walbottle began their reply. Without any DLS adjustments, their target would be an eminently chase-able 105 in 21 overs to set up a tight finish. The decision to get the game on was vindicated only moments later when the sun appeared just as McMorran and Pearce marked their run-ups. Both bowled well from the outset, McMorran in particular was superb – returning figures of 5-1-7-1 as he had their opener caught at point by Ed Holland. Not to be outdone, brother Thom Holland took a fine catch on the boundary, as did McLaughlin at mid-off, which helped Fin claim his 2 wickets. This left B&W on 30/3 after 10 overs, and Newcastle were by far the happier side at this point in the game.

Some good slogging and some choice fielding followed, as B&W brought themselves right back into the game. At the start of the 18th over, Benwell needed just 15 runs from 4 overs (with 5 wickets in hand) to snatch victory away from Newcastle. Up stepped McLaughlin and Wood, who love bowling at the death, to turn the match back in our favour. McLaughlin bowled danger man Horbury for 34 and followed this up with another wicket the next ball. Wood claimed 3 wickets in total and also whipped the bails off during a sharp run-out chance to close out the game. Newcastle claimed the final 5 wickets for only 2 runs and victory was complete inside 20 overs.

While we did switch off in the field a bit, this was a great win and one that shows the value in persevering with the weather. All told, we claimed 27 points from this match whereas other teams that had to cancel or abandon this week could only claim a maximum of 8. This should go a long way to getting our league campaign back on track.

Many thanks as ever to Kev McNab for scoring; he was absolutely in his element this week!