10th Sep 2019

Simon Birtwisle's magical spell of 6-18, John Graham passing 11000 NEPL runs & a 101 run partnership for the 6th wicket between John & Rob were highlights of a tense win over battling Sacriston on a sunny Saturday at Roseworth Terrace. 

SNCC 227-6 dec (53o: Simon Birtwisle 26, Chris Hewison 39, Jacques Du Toit 20, John Graham 67, Rob Peyton 42*: Will Gidman 2-37, Jonny Bushnell 2-37, Chris McBride 1-17, Craig Robertson 1-57)

Sacriston 209ao (54.3o: Ross Williams 34, Jonny Bushnell 20, Sol Bell 31, Daniel Anderson 32, Will Gidman 25: Jonny Wightman 0-39, Sean Tindale 2-85, Oli McGee 1-28, James Ruddick 1-11, Lee Crozier 0-11, Simon Birtwisle 6-18).

SN 30 points Sacriston 5.

Winning the toss & batting on a slightly less brown wicket, Simon Birtwisle & Sean Tindale faced the seam of Callum Appleby & Will Gidman. A bright start as both opening overs went for 8 in boundaries. In Gidman's third over Sean (7) seemed unlucky to play on via bat, pad & bat again ! 22-1. Chris Hewison began watchfully & when Bushnell began a spell from the Grove end Birty took two fours before he was adjudged lbw for 26, hooking. 48-2 after 11 overs.

Adam Cragg (15) punished Bushnell's variable length before a checked drive lobbed to cover in over 19, 69-3. Jacques Du Toit (20) then stroked 5 glorious boundaries before being caught down the leg side aiming to hit McBride for three in a row. 96-4 in the 22nd. At 125 Chris Hewison (39) & going very nicely, 4x4 1x6, was adjudged caught by w/k Wrightson off Robertson's slow left arm. John Graham & Rob Peyton got to lunch without further loss at 127 after 31 overs, Graham 10* Peyton 0*.

Nathan Hall's off spin (Park) & Robertson's slow left arm (Grove) continued for 16 overs unchanged as the score rose steadily, Peyton hitting down the ground for 4 & 6 against Robertson & Graham sweeping Hall for 6. John's 50 came up in 76b, 82m & 3 runs later he joined Birty in passing the 11000 NEPL run mark. Allan Worthy needs 29 to join them. 

Gidman for 2o & Appleby for 3o returned but the run rate continued until in the last, Graham found square leg from a high Gidman full toss for an accomplished 67. Rob ended 42*, both struck 5x4, 1x6. 227-6 dec in 53, giving Sacriston 57 to get them.

Ross Williams & Jonny Bushnell faced Jonny Wightman from the Park end & the rapid Sean Tindale. A good start saw 53 come up in 16 overs before Williams (34), aiming to repeat a successful drive in McGee's previous over, drove Oli to deep mid off where John Graham caught a tumbling catch. 4 runs later Bushnell,  tempted to hook Tindale again, skied toward mid wicket where Cragg, retreating from short leg, took the catch. 57-2 in the 17th.

Daniel Anderson joined Sol Bell, the tea score 69-2 from 20o. On resumption the tactic of short pitched bowling by Tindale on a flat wicket saw the score rise rapidly as Bell hooked & drove very well, 22 coming from over 21. After another boundary & a drive which hit the bowler's stumps, Bell (31, 5x4, 1x6, 17b) hoisted to deep mid wicket where Birty held the catch a foot from the rope. An important dismissal! Gidman joined Anderson & seemed determined. Anderson was watchful but then scored freely through the legside as the short pitched tactic remained.

James Ruddick started a good 4 over spell (4-2-11-1) from the Grove end & with the 3rd ball of his third over persuaded Anderson to loft to mid wicket where Jonny Wightman took the catch above his head. 126-4 in the 30th, 27 to go, 102 to get, 6 wickets in hand. Making himself available, despite injury on Thursday in the cup tie at Newcastle & fielding with difficulty, Lee Crozier tried three overs but was struggling with a side strain. Enter Birty from the Grove end with Wightman switched to the Park. In Jonny's third over Rob Peyton took a blow on his left thumb & Adam Cragg took over w/k duties. 

In Birty's third Nathan Hall (9) was bowled swinging to leg, 150-5. 10 runs & 2 overs later Gidman (25), seemingly in control, was adjudged caught behind by Cragg & three balls later captain Graeme Wrightson (0) suffered the same fate. 161-7 in the 42nd, a crucial double breakthrough. McBride & Dixon put together a useful partnership of 28 before, with the field brought in, McBride (17) swept & was lbw to Birty, 189-8 in the 48th. Tindale replaced Wightman at the Park end.


Andrew Dixon (16) struck two nice boundaries before, pushing forward, being bowled off stump by Birty, 194-9 in the 50th. Callum Appleby was joined by last man Craig Robertson & the pair seemed determined to hold out. Wightman switched to the Grove end, Birty to the Park &, after 8 byes & one delightful Appleby straight drive, with the score at 209 in the 55th, Robertson (0) was lbw to Birty. 10.3-4-18-6 a magical, match winning spell !! 

30 hard won points against a determined Sacriston's 5. But still 26 behind leaders Burnmoor & 2 adrift of CLS since all three teams earned maximum points. So even a deluge over CLS on Sat 14th Sept for the last league game, when CLS entertain Burnmoor, (5 points for an abandoned game) will mean that the title is between them. However a strong finish at now safe Felling, following Newcastle's demise, will ensure second or third place. The last league game begins at 1115 at High Heworth Lane, NE10 8XD. We aim to finish well & hope to see you there.

MANY CONGRATULATIONS TO SNCC 2ND X1, captain Ru Fletcher & all the team, who are now 2019 CHAMPIONS OF NEPL DIVISION 2 after a 75 run win at Sacriston. 

SN 186ao: David Edwards (41), Sam Dale (36), Parth Mannikar (29). 

Sacriston 111ao: Owen Hollins (4-32), Ru Fletcher (2-19), Sam Dale (2-25), Richard Brook (2-35)

55 points clear with one to go, at home to Washington on Sat 14th September, 1215 start.

Sam Dale leading NEPL Division 2 run scorer with 538 (hs:120) & Richard Brook leading NEPL Division 2 wicket taker with 49 ( bb:7-17), 7 more than the old SNCC 2nd X1 record, 42 by Chris Campbell in 2009. Slow left armers rule !

Please come to celebrate their achievement prior to the evening Karaoke ! '500 miles' with ginger wigged Crozier & Wightman may feature a reprise !! Who could possibly want to miss that !!

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