25th Aug 2018

SNCC 201-6 (58o) John Harbottle 54, John Graham 67, Adam Cragg 25, Simon Birtwisle 16: Jonathan Malkin 3-38, Carl Watson 2-29, Chris Ralston 0-38, Ben Whitehead 1-51, Cameron Grimwood 0-17, Robert Talbot 0-17.


HETTON LYONS 90ao (30.2o) Stuart Walker 47*, Ben Whitehead 12: Jonny Wightman 5-21, Sean Tindale 1-32, Michael Craigs 1-13, Lee Crozier 3-15.


SN 23 points Hetton Lyons 2


Although the sun was out at Lilywhite Terrace & the outfield in perfect condition, signs of recent rain lingered & the hosts invited SN to bat. Simon Birtwisle & Sean Tindale faced the seam of Chris Ralston from the Lane & the off breaks of Jonathan Malkin. It became apparent that batting was not easy with both bowlers finding movement, bounce & turn. Patience was the order of the day & it was only in the 10th over that Malkin got the breakthrough having Tindale taken at short leg by Martin for 7, 19-1.


Birty (16) was equally cautious & the score had reached a hard fought 30 in the 18th when extra bounce & a steer off the hip found Winn at leg slip, 30-2. John Harbottle, playing his first 1st X1 game in 2018 after finger injuries, settled in well, firm in defence & John Graham joined him. Ralston (0-15 off 9) was replaced by the leg breaks of Durham's Ben Whitehead.


Malkin had taken 2-15 in 11o of testing off spin when he was also replaced by the sla of Cameron Grimwood. After 26 overs the score had risen to 46, John H (11 off 50b) & John G (18 from 50b), & only 70 in the 34th, as both batsmen were watchful & disciplined. Having bowled 9o for 20 Whitehead was then deposited over deep mid wicket for 6 by John Graham & in his next over, two boundaries to John Harbottle, saw the Durham bowler replaced by Ralston with the score at 94 off 40o. A crucial partnership was fashioning a recovery.


Malkin returned & in over 46, having reached a deserved 50 by taking 10 off Ralston's previous over, Harbottle, down the wicket to Malkin, was bowled for an excellent 54 (8x4, 117b, 116mins). This was the highest third wicket partnership of the season, 95, a vital platform after a difficult start. Captain Adam Cragg joined John Graham & accelerated.


Talbot's 3 over spell went for 17, 15 coming from the 50th over, his third, including 6 byes as reversing was attempted, after which the score was 142-3. Carl Watson began & having lofted him for 6 & 4 to the deep mid wicket fence, Cragg skied another to be well held by w/k Jarvis Clay running towards square leg, for a breezy 25 in 24 balls, 175-4 in the 54th.


In search of runs, John Graham's pivotal innings ended, pulling a catch to deep mid wicket for 67 (6x4, 1x6, 109b, 126 mins), 180-5. Rob Peyton (6*) & Alex Weetman (4) scampered & the latter was unlucky when launching Watson to deep backward square leg to find a leaping Jack Burnham take a stunning catch above his head. Sam Dale (9*) scored off every ball he faced & the innings closed after 58o at 201-6, 20 coming from the last three.


Rain in the interval reduced the overs available to 48 from 52. Curry & chips were consumed with relish.


In reply Stuart Walker & Chris Winn faced Jonny Wightman & Sean Tindale from the Lane. Wightman's first over set the scene. Winn (0) bowled fourth ball & Malkin (0) 2nd, both having off their off stump rearranged.  In the 6th over Sean Tindale had Jack Burnham (5) lbw, & in the 7th Wightman pinned Jarvis Clay (1) on the crease, also lbw. 11-4 after 7. 


Martin & Walker resisted but at 29 in the 12th, Martin (2) drove Wightman to Cragg at short extra who held the catch. In his next over Jonny c & b Talbot as the ball lobbed back to him. 31-6, Wightman on fire, 5-11 in 8 overs with three maidens. Meanwhile Walker (21 from 50 b) was showing appropriate shot selection as best he could amid the carnage at the other end.


Michael Craigs joined the attack from the Lane & in his third over bowled Whitehead (12) with one that swung & moved in off the pitch, a veritable jaffa, 47-7 in the 20th. In over 23 Lee Crozier replaced Wightman (5-21). Needing three for 1000 1st team league wickets, since the journey began at Ryton in 1990, he had Ralston caught by Wightman in the covers from the 5th &, next ball, bowled Watson with one that turned ! 54 -9.


The rain that had been falling for a good while, then got worse & at 27.3 overs, Tindale's 9th, 45 mins were lost such that the HL innings was reduced to 35 overs. On resumption, Grimwood (10)  & Walker (47*) batted nicely to advance the score to 90 in the 31st over, as bowlers struggled a little with a wet ball, when Grimwood, pushing forward to Crozier, gave a catch to first slip, to end the innings & spark huge celebrations as Lee achieved his 1000th 1st team league wicket !! A magnificent achievement.


23 points for the Bulls, a 6th consecutive win & 14th in all. 410 points, 59 ahead of the Cestrians with three games to go. The main bowling figures of the last five games are worth recording. Jonny Wightman's last 4 spells amount to  43o-11m-55r-14w. In the same period, all 5 spells, Sean has taken 10-117, Michael 10-85 & Lee 11-75. An complementary & unrelenting quartet.


The NEPL Premier Division road continues with a tricky visit to Eppleton on Mon 27th August followed by two home games, at the earlier start time of 1145, on Sat 1st Sept v Sacriston & Sat 8th Sept v Felling. The Smithson County Cup 1/4 final is at Ashington on Wed 29th August & the Tyneside Charity Bowl final v Consett at Tynedale CC on Sun 9th September, a T20 match from 1400. 


Sadly the 2nd X1 T20 finals day, featuring SN, Tynemouth, Sacriston & Washington, at Roseworth Terrace, was abandoned due to rain on Sunday 26th August. This will take place on Sunday 2nd September at a ground to be announced, but not SNCC or Washington. The Academy T20 cup Finals Day, featuring SNCC, is on Sun 9th September also at a venue to be confirmed.


Plenty to get excited about, do come to cheer the Bulls on. We aim to continue !!




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