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1st X1 maintain top spot in NEPL Premier Division & progress in emphatic style in the RLCC

A splendid weekend yielded two emphatic wins for the 1st X1. On Saturday, after a shower delayed the start to 1320, inserted Eppleton found themselves 61 – 6 after 19 overs, against an attack spearheaded once again by the irrepressible Jonny Wightman (3-23) & wily Lee Crozier (2-9). Only Henderson (27) &Erasmus ( 29) resisted until Scurr, buoyed by being ‘dismissed’ three times by no balls, hammered 60 with 7 boundaries, which took the score from 94-8 to 153 all out in the 47th over. Wightman finished with 5-57, 17 wickets in his last 4 league games, Crozier, 2-22 & Simon Birtwisle 2-6. The ground fielding was again of a high order.

Losing Birtwisle to the third ball of the first Erasmus over did not deter Marcus North & Calum MacLeod from embarking on a match winning partnership of 114 by the 27th over which included 16 boundaries. North was caught for 55 (8×4, 1×6) & John Graham then kept MacLeod company as they eased to an 8 wicket win at 157-2 in the 32nd over, MacLeod finishing 82*, (11×4, 2×6), with an exhilarating display of stroke making. 24 points maintained a 7 point gap at the top from Benwell Hill.

Sunday saw the defence of the Royal London Club Championship begin in Round 2 against Yorkshire Premier League visitors, Sheriff Hutton Bridge. Winning the toss & batting SN soon dominated courtesy of a rejuvenated Marcus North. Despite losing Simon Birtwisle at 65 in the 14th over, North stroked 15 boundaries in his first 60 runs, remarkable ! MacLeod was bowled by Grose at 94 but John Graham, compiling a neat 58 of a stand of 132 for the third wicket, then kept North company as Marcus went on to record his highest score for SNCC of 164*, with 28 boundaries & 2 sixes off 137 balls in 183 minutes, in a final total of 292-3 in the 45 overs possible. Magnificent !!

As ever, Wightman (2), bowling with purpose & Humble put the visitors under pressure at 27-3 in the 8th over. Crozier had Grayson caught by Humble, 49-4 & then Wightman bowled captain Robinson 53-5 in the 12th over. Overcoming some nerves James Ruddick picked up 2 wickets for 32 (84-7) &, despite late resistance from Grose with a belligerent 62 (10×4, 1×6), Sam Dale’s slow left arm spin took 3-14 as the visitors were eventually all out for 166 in the 35th over. Four catches behind the stumps for Rob Peyton & two for Simon Birtwisle in a comprehensive win, adorned by an outstanding tour de force by Marcus North.

Next, in Round 3 of the RLCC, are Barnard Castle who feature Karl Turner, holder of the record innings score in the NEPL when playing for South North in 2015 & Josh Bousfield, ex Durham Academy & Stockton on Sunday 4th June at Roseworth Terrace. Come along, it should be a cracker !!

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