21st Jul 2022

                     Sat 16th July 2022, NEPL Premier Division SNCC v Felling (a)

SNCC 164ao (51.5o) Simon Birtwisle 108*, Calum Fletcher 13, Sean Tindale 9: Seb Allison 1-46, Paul Leonard 3-44, Harry Munton 4-41, Chris Goudie 2-12, Travis Norris 0-13.

Felling 167-3 (41.1o) Sean Dickson 73, Waqas Ali 50*, Alan Mustard 14: Jonny Wightman 0-42, Sean Tindale 1-17, Oli McGee 1-36, Lee Crozier 0-26, Simon Birtwisle 0-26, Calum Fletcher 1-7.

Felling won by 7 wickets- 24 points, SNCC 3.

Two possible milestones after Saturday's game at High Heworth Road, a second defeat of the season to Felling, the first occasion for the Bulls since Stockton's championship year in 2013 & positively, Simon Birtwisle carrying his bat for a magnificent 108* in a performance when all 10 SN wickets were lost.

The Bulls were invited to bat, the wicket seemed dry & used. Birty managed the conditions in style, others less so. Sol, after one handsome on drive, was bowled aiming a repeat at 11 from Allison's last ball of the third over. Birty looked in form, watchful but punishing anything loose. Alvin (6), used to faster surfaces, was caught at slip aiming to cut, 37-2 in the 12th.

Hewi (0) was bowled playing forward to Munton, Cragg (0) pulling, played on 4 balls later to Goudie, 54-4 in the 18th. Tindale (9) forward was bowled by Munton at 73 & Ruddick suffered the same fate one ball later, seeming to play down the wrong line, 73-6. McGee (0) cutting, played on to Leonard, 80-7 in the 26th, almost deja vu!

Birty sailed along looking to score & playing shots all round the ground. He was supported first by Wightman (6) who seemed to play on to Leonard at 101-7, a partnership of 20. Fletcher (13) played some nice shots & kept Birty company for 13 overs before top edging to sqaure leg, 147-9 in the 45th a partnership of 27. Crozier (7) rolled back the years with one boundary before he lifted a foot to be stumped by Hurst off Goudie in the 52nd, 164 all out.

Birty the first SNCC batter, we think, to carry his bat, certainly in the NEPL period, with all 10 wickets falling, for a magnificent 108* (139b, 206m, 18x4). Given that the wicket at High Heworth Lane is invariably slower & lower than Roseworth Terrace, did we adapt well enough ?

Norris & Mustard faced Wightman & Tindale bowling a decent line. Sean struck with the first ball of his first over, bowling Norris (5) with a quick, full delivery. Dickson joined Mustard &, decent lbw shouts turned down, after 9 overs of seam the score was 26-1. At 30 in the 10th McGee bowled Mustard (14) with one that turned sharply.

Dickson & Ali pushed the score along as McGee, Crozier & Birtwisle bowled short spells, aerial shots landed safely & there was enough inconsistency to score off.  After the break Wightman & Tindale returned & again lbw shouts made no impression so it was perhaps a surprise when Dickson, in control, (73, 92b, 8x4, 3x6, 123m) was caught at mid wicket off Fletcher in the 34th 138-3. Waqas Ali (50* 91b,9x4, 117m) continued in company with Easton (11*) to get the winning runs from the first ball of the 42nd over with a boundary off Crozier.

Not a good day, how adaptable were we in batting, how consistent with the ball? A need to bounce back tomorrow in the T20 finals day (we did!) & next Sat 23rd July v Burnopfield (h). We can do it ! Sill top of the Premier League by 13 points from Hetton Lyons, tough games to come. Onward !



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