20th Aug 2018

CHESTER-LE-STREET 50ao (31.3o) George Harrison 19, Jacob McCann 11, Jonny Wightman 12-7-11-3, Sean Tindale 10-2-28-2, Michael Craigs 5.3-3-7-3, Lee Crozier 4-3-1-2

SNCC 52-2 (12o) Sean Tindale 17*, David Edwards 12, Peter Borren 15*

South North 22 points CLS 0

On what turned out to be a surreal Sat 18th August at Ropery Lane, with a strong wind drying the ground and the sun shining, the visitors won the toss and invited CLS to bat. Kyle Davis and George Harrison faced Jonny Wightman, from the North end into the wind, and Sean Tindale from Ropery Lane at 11:56.

Davis and Harrison were watchful as Wightman started with two maidens. With movement through the air and off the pitch, the disciplined lines and lengths of both opening bowlers kept the batsmen in defensive mode. The score had reached 20 in the 12th over when a confident appeal for a catch behind was turned down. Three balls later Davis (5, 27 b) drove to Cragg at cover and was caught.

The last ball of Tindale's next over had Smith adjudged lbw driving for 0, 21-2 after 14 overs. At 30 in the 18th over, Harrison (19, 67 b) was bowled by Tindale defending. At this point Jonny's analysis was 9-6-4-1. Remarkable! Home Captain John Coxon started positively with a brace of twos through the leg side but in trying to repeat the stroke offered a catch to mid on off Wightman, which Lee Crozier took, diving forward, inches from the turf. 35-4 in the 19th.

The next 6 wickets fell in 12.3 overs for 15 runs! Quentin Hughes (2) was lbw to Wightman on the crease, 41-5.  Michael Craigs, who had taken over from Sean (10-1-28-2), bowled Liam Simpson (1) driving, 44-6. Wightman's superb spell ended in over 21, 12-7-11-3.

Lee Crozier replaced Wightman and in his second over Liam Burgess (0) was smartly taken down the legside by w/k Rob Peyton. 45-7. A rare boundary from Andrew Bell brought only momentary respite for in trying to repeat the stroke he was bowled by Craigs for 4, 50-8. Jacob McCann (11 from 45 balls) had been dogged but in over 31 he skied Crozier behind the bowler and Peter Borren, running from straight and short mid on, took a good diving catch, 50-9. 7 balls later, Craigs completed the innings by bowling Stephen Cantwell (0) pushing forward.

Chester-le Street's lowest ever premier league total. Excellent bowling by all four, tidy fielding with good intensity, only three boundaries in the 31.3 overs, four minutes short of two hours. Who saw that coming!?

In reply, Simon Birtwisle and Sean Tindale faced the pace of Stephen Cantwell and Jack Campbell. Two no balls, 4 leg byes and a single was a good start but Campbell bowled Birty with the first ball of the second over, 7-1.

David Edwards and Sean, with solid defence and some playing and missing, moved the score along when possible with crisp drives, straight or through the covers, and good running. The total had reached 36 in the 10th when Edwards (12), punching off the back foot, mistimed to Coxon at cover in Andrew Bell's first over, 36-2.

Peter Borren entered at 4 and having taken a single in Quentin Hughes first over, hit Bell's second, the 12th - dot, dot, 4, 6, dot, 4, all to the legside boundary, to win the game, scooping the last, one handedly down to fine leg, Sean 17*, Peter 15*, a win by 8 wickets. The game was complete at 15:16. Only 43.3 overs had been bowled. An unexpected outcome perhaps but a tribute to the bowling discipline, accuracy and skill of Messrs Wightman, Tindale, Craigs and Crozier.

 A 65 point lead over CLS with 4 games to go, beginning with third placed Hetton Lyons (a) on Sat 25th August, who are playing well, followed by an always tough visit to Eppleton (a) on Bank Holiday Monday, 27th August. Sacriston (h) Sat 1 Sept and Felling (h) Sat 8th Sept, both with points to prove, complete the 22 game programme.

Undefeated in the league to date, we hope to continue the journey. The playing standard is set.  A strong team spirit drives us on. Twas a remarkable day. Come On You Bulls!!

Duncan D. Stephen


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