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WINNING DRAW KEEPS BULLS 34 POINTS CLEAR AT TOP OF NEPL PREMIER DIVISION

Saturday saw the highest opening partnership of the season en route to the highest total of 268-6 dec in 52 overs. Chester’s 169-5 was a tale of rain delays, 50 minutes lost, missed chances and sadly a serious injury to Tom Hodnett’s right shoulder. But 13 points matched Newcastle’s so the gap is still 34 at the top of the NEPL Premier Division.

Losing the toss and being inserted, SNCC made a steady start against Andrew Bell and Liam Simpson. Simpson’s injury after 1 over meant a long spell for Jack Harrison. Marcus North, with test match head firmly in place, stroked a magnificent 122 from 167 balls in 195 minutes with 10 x 4 and 2 x 6. Simon Bitrwisle’s 87, of the highest opening partnership of the season of 182 in the 41st over, contained 12 x 4 & 2 x 6 in 143 minutes from 108 balls.

11 more overs saw a further 86 runs as Adam Cragg (18) and Rob Peyton (11) accelerated. The declaration came at 16:15 on 268-6 after 52 leaving CLS 58 overs, Coxon 2, Smith 2, J Harrison and Bell 1 each.

Jonny Wightman bowled George Harrison with the score at 10 in the 4th over, but thereafter it was a case of what might have been, as Andrew Smith was caught off a no ball in Wightman’s 3rd over and in Stephen Humble’s 4th, Kyle Davis edged between a motionless w/k and 1st slip. The partnership had reached 68 before Smith (41) was caught by Rob Peyton in Humble’s 10th over, 78-2 in the 19th. Frustratingly, two other chances had gone begging during Humble’s 9th & Wightman’s 8th.

After a burst from Tom Hodnett, (0-15 in 5), the introduction of Lee Crozier saw John Coxon caught at backward short leg by Michael Craigs for 3 in the 23rd. Tom Hodnett’s right shoulder injury, slipping as he moved to his right at backward point to field, was concerning.  Michael Craigs, Birtwisle and North all sought the breakthrough but none came. Carter (23) and Davis took the score to 146 when Carter was bowled by Crozier. An over later, the 38th, Adam Nairn saw a similar fate at 154 but with only 43 overs available Davis and Simpson added 15 in the remaining 5 overs.

News that DCA had held out against Newcastle was heartening but chances will need to be taken if the ultimate prize is to be achieved.

Saturday 12th August sees the 1’s visit an inform Hetton Lyons and on Sunday 13th August, face Sandiacre Town in the ECB Club T20 regional final, effectively a national 1/4 final, 14:00 start, one game away from Finals day at Derby on Monday 11th September. Sandiacre have some pedigree being National Club Champions in 2014 and Club T20 finalists in 2016. A tough contest is expected. Do come along, your support will be much appreciated.

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