Newcastle 1st XI 273/9 (50 overs) beat Willington 1st XI 233 all out (43.2 overs) by 40 runs

Words from Phil Hudson:

Newcastle travelled to Willington in good spirits following week 1’s commanding win over Lanchester. Their opponents had also enjoyed a great first game, having beaten highly fancied Sunderland relatively comfortably to start their season.

The ground at Willington is fantastic, and the pitch looked true as ever – as such Ben Quirk had no hesitation in batting first upon winning the toss.

Newcastle openers Ben Mussett and Bobby Green started in determined fashion in the face of some disciplined and skillful bowling from the home side. Green in particular played some attractive strokes in his 22 but departed to a loose shot to point. Chris McBride was unable to continue his fantastic form from last week and departed cheaply. Mussett had hitherto been the more restrained partner and this continued as he was joined by Liam Trevaskis. Together they put on 51 before Liam slashed to backward point, having looked in great touch. His brother Kieran also looked in great touch before a misjudgement led to a skier being offered and taken. This brought Jesse Tashkoff to the crease who set about the Willington attack with absolute relish. Mussett continued to play the support role before perishing for a dogged 60. He had been troubled by cramp of the left arm (onlookers thought it was possibly a heart attack at one point) but his determination and defiance of the Willington attack laid a fantastic foundation for the innings and set the stall out for us. Tashkoff at this point was playing a different game to everyone else and looked certain to race to a 100 before offering an unfortunate caught and bowled, having previously hit the best shot this correspondence has seen just the ball before. This brought Jonty Barnes to the crease who played quite beautifully for 39 off 26 balls; taking the total up to an imposing 273-9.

Defence of the total started poorly; our seam attack confusing advice to ‘bowl into the pitch’ with ‘bowl long hops’ which were feasted on by the Willington batsman Bhabra. Salvation came from an unlikely source; with the score on 68 the batsman decided to take on a dicey single to the imposing figure of Ross Sinclair, who unbeknownst to them was like a coiled spring at short fine leg. A direct hit later and the lad was cursing his luck in the pavilion. The new batsman had made his presence known in the field to the Trevaskis family in particular and his dismissal ‘c K.Trevaskis b L.Trevaskis’ proved the cricket gods have a sense of humour. Liam and Jesse bowled with great control as the game ebbed and flowed but Jesse’s dismissal of Bhabra to a long hop caught on the boundary was important. As our spinners tightened our group Will Taylor got his 1st wicket, to a great catch by Kieran. Willington were well poised at 148-4 when captain Quirk brought himself on and produced the obligatory wicket taking long hop, but the key dismissal of opposition captain Carr for a well made 60 in marshalling the chase seemed to extinguish home hopes. Quirk finished with 3-31 and helped mop up the remainder of the innings with wickets for Luke Mussett (creating a pleasing symmetry with a ‘c B.Mussett b L.Mussett’, Liam Trevaskis and Will Taylor to see Newcastle to victory by 40 runs.

All in all, a great win against a very good Willington side who will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. Our batting, spin bowling and catching were excellent today, and it was pleasing to see a reduction in bowling extras from last week. Our seam bowlers haven’t quite clicked yet, and the powerplays are a thankless task on a flat pitch. Special praise for Ben Mussett and Jonty Barnes who were excellent today but the DoC MOM this week goes to Jesse Tashkoff, who scored a quite sensational 81 (63) and took 1-35 off his 10 overs, including the key wicket of Bhabra.

We look forward to our next home game vs Shotley Bridge next week.

Newcastle 2nd XI 176 all out (48.3 overs) lost to Tynemouth 2nd XI 177/4 (33.4 overs) by 6 wickets

Words from Dan Humble:

Saturday saw another sunny day at HQ for the 2nd team be Tynemouth. The terrace was a sell out and both teams had very strong sides out.

After the great win from the week prior confidence was boosted further by skipper Carr winning the toss and electing to bat on the same track that we had compiled over 300 vs Washington.

Pinnington and Allen opened the batting, and it wasn’t easy going with Tynemouth bowlers exploiting the variable bounce. Allen succumbing for 7. Pinnington took the game to Tynemouth and blazed 57 off 46 balls but after he chipped one to mid-off things started to unravel. Sliding to from 73-1 to 100-6. Carr (34) and Darwood (24) rebuilt and got us up to 176 all out with Bennett for Tynemouth taking 4-27 by just bowling straight and making us make the mistakes.

Overall a disappointing return after last week’s batting display but it was certainly defendable on a pitch that offered bowlers some assistance.

In truth we didn’t really get going with our bowling, too full and too short meant the Tynemouth batters were able to score runs freely throughout their innings with Piper falling for 47 and Barry Stewart finishing on a classy 69*.

2 late wickets again for Matty Stewart could have made things interesting but Tynemouth reached the target 4 down in the 35th over.

A highly disappointing day after last weekend’s performance and a lot to be learnt from it.

Next weekend sees the 2s take a trip to Whitburn to get things back on track!

Newcastle 3rd XI 239/7 (40 overs) beat Leadgate 2nd XI 88 all out (32 overs) by 151 runs

Words from Isaac Howell:

Buoyed by an emphatic victory at Benwell and Wallbottle the previous week, Newcastle were put into bat on an unusually bouncy medicals wicket. Openers Alex Gray and Tiger Roberts continued their recent good form and reached a 50 partnership in under 10 overs, with Alex peppering the legside boundary with an array of powerful shots. After Tiger was bowled for 12, miserly bowling from Leadgate slightly slowed the scoring rate in the middle overs, though the score still ticked over. Hamza Amin and Nick Green both made starts before falling to disciplined and accurate bowling, while runs continued to accumulate. As the innings neared its conclusion, Alex Gray brought up his second century in as many games, showing his exquisite stroke play, before Alex Hardy was unfortunate to be run out on 10. Scott Armstrong’s 15 contained some entertaining shots, but he and Will McLaughlin fell in successive balls. Undaunted by the hattrick ball, Rory Law made good use of all parts of the bat in the late overs, combining well with Alex to boost the score, before Marc Wood’s determined running saw Newcastle finish on a stratospheric 239-7 off 40 overs.
With Leadgate requiring 6 an over for victory, a quick start would have been their ambition, but the skilful opening partnership of Will McLaughlin and a (Seam bowling) Marc Wood never gave them a sniff. Both bowlers hit their areas early, applying pressure from ball one. Wood struck in his second over, with Andrew Goldsborough taking a good catch to set the tone for what turned out to be an excellent day in the field. Will’s stellar 9 over spell was littered with half chances, and he was unlucky to finish unrewarded. Isaac Howell’s dubious away swingers secured regular wickets from one end, as he built pressure with Rory Law throughout the middle overs. Rory’s leg spin also reaped great rewards, claiming a well-deserved 5 wicket haul, including a passionate stumping from wicketkeeper Hamza Amin. Goldsborough’s tight spell closed out the innings well as Leadgate were dismissed for 88.
Fielding was consistently strong and backed up the efforts of the bowling outfit superbly by holding catches (Tiger 2, Andy and Scott) and consistently saving runs. This was symptomatic of the top-quality team performance throughout the day, giving Newcastle confidence for future games…

Newcastle Academy XI 116/1 (19.5 overs) beat Tynemouth Academy XI 114 all out (36.2 overs) by 9 wickets

Words from Ali Poll:

The Academy had their first fixture of the season at home to Tynemouth. A full range of experience was on display from 12-year-old Charlie Darwood, making his senior cricket debut, to veteran Keith Brown. Tynemouth won the toss and chose to bat on a glorious day at HQ, but it wasn’t long before George Darwood made inroads, the Tynemouth opener misjudging just how far George was bringing the ball back. A second wicket for G Darwood was followed by two in quick succession for Paddy McMorran, just reward for a good 8 over spell that returned 2-18. Ed Holland and Keith Brown were the first change bowlers, and with both taking a wicket early in their spell Tynemouth were reduced to six down with little more that 50 on the board. Another wicket for Brown saw Tynemouth in further trouble, before some resilience from Tynemouth lower order took them past 100. In need of the partnership breaking, up stepped Chas Darwood, and with just his 4th ball on senior cricket he brought to an end a resilient innings from Ashton. Having replaced his brother and been unfortunate not to have found the edge on several occasions, Tom Holland then picked up this first wicket of the year, before George Darwood returned to claim the final wicket and finishing with 3-13, with Tynemouth dismissed for 115.

In reply, Newcastle got out of the blocks quickly, with Ali Poll and Frank Cook securing a 50 run partnership inside the first ten overs. The loss of Poll brought George Darwood to the crease with 45 still needed, but the young left-handed pair batted with great maturity, driving, cutting and pulling well, including Frank’s first six in senior cricket. Frank stroked a drive through the covers for three to win the game and bring a well-deserved half century up, as George finished 13*.

All in all, a great start to the year for a very promising academy side, with a near ideal team performance securing a nine wicket win and maximum points. Solid ground fielding and catching aided some accurate bowling, whilst the batting was sensible (mostly…) and showed great promise for the future. Lots to build on for next week’s trip to Blaydon.