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South North go top after tense winning draw at Newcastle.

Losing the toss & being asked to bat SN lost Marcus North at 2 but a partnership of 95 between Simon Birtwisle (54) & Calum MacLeod (45) laid the platform. But from 97 -2, tight bowling by Quirk, McGee & Du Toit & 3 LBW’s, saw the visitors slump to 137-7 at lunch. Enter James Ruddick (45, 7 x4) in only his second NEPL Premier league game to compile partnerships of 25 with Sam Dale(19) & 63 with Jonny Wightman (24) for the 9th wicket to secure a defendable 224 all out in the 52nd over.

Newcastle began with a bang & Appleby hit 34 in quick time before a superb diving left handed catch by Rob Peyton off Wightman saw the home team 42-1in only 7 overs. This became 81-3 at tea as 8 maidens in 10 overs from MacLeod, Crozier & Humble built pressure. McGee continued & with the impressive Philippe took Newcastle to 135 before McGee hit his wicket hooking at Wightman for 34. Philippe was LBW to the persevering MacLeod (2-46 in 15) for 38.at 152-5.One or two chances had already gone astray so these were important wickets.

Du Toit (37) was looking in dominant form, & his partnership with Tindale reached 43 to take Newcastle within sight of victory at 195 with 8 overs remaining, before he succumbed to Crozier, again, attempting to hit over mid off, the catch was taken by James Ruddick. Wightman had Roseby LBW & Birtwisle caught Harding off the returning Humble to set up a tense finish as Richardson & Quirk survived three overs to secure the losing draw. The ground fielding of both sides was excellent, saving many runs over a fast outfield. Adam Cragg set an outstanding example.

15 points for SNCC, lifted them to the top of the Premier league table by 7 after Benwell Hill’s defeat at Whitburn.

Next weekend Eppleton, Sat 13th May & Sheriff Hutton Bridge, Sun 14th May in the second round of the RLCC, both tough games at home. Come along it will be exciting !!

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