11th Sep 2022


          NEPL Premier Division, Sat 10th Sept 2022, SNCC v Hetton Lyons (h) 50/50.


Needing only 4 points for the title as a tie would then go to most wins, (before start of play SNCC 14, Burnmoor 12), it was a pity this last game was rain curtailed after a solid batting performance. On a day when only three Premier Division games saw any play, we were, as ever, indebted to the work of Craig & Liam in getting Roseworth Terrace fit to play.


SNCC 230-7 (50o) Sol Bell 51, Simon Birtwisle 18, Rob Peyton 7, Chris Hewison 46, Adam Cragg 58, Sean Tindale 13, Nathan Gough 6, Oli McGee 11*, Calum Fletcher 2*: Aaron Feroz 0-31, Patrick Stephenson 0-17, Chris Ralston 1-44, Rahatul Javed 2-44, Cameron Grimwood 1-49, Rob Talbot 2-36, Eathan Dixon 1-4.


Match abandoned at 1540 rain: SNCC 9 points, Hetton Lyons 8.


On a grey day, the rain of the previous 36 hours had left the outfield damp but the covered wicket & square perfectly playable, the visitors won the toss & invited the Bulls to bat at the delayed start time of 1217. Sol & Birty faced the spin of Feroz & the left arm seam of Stephenson.


A cautious start but in the 4th, Sol turned Stephenson to square leg for 2 & drove  straight for 4. From the last ball of the next Feroz over Birty took the single that gave him 12000 NEPL runs, the first to achieve this outstanding milestone. Sol celebrated with two boundaries in the next Stephenson over, one a touch fortuitous, one magnificent, 22-0 after 6 overs.


Ralston & Javed joined the attack, both suffering boundaries & wides in equal measure, 60-0 after 13 overs but in the 14th, sweeping Grimwood's second delivery, Birty (18) was adjudged lbw. Rob hit 2 & 4 backward of square leg off Javed but he also was adjudged lbw, leaving one, 67-2 in the 15th, Sol 38*.


Sol & Hewi were watchful as Grimwood & Javed wheeled away, Hewi breaking free to score 28 in 5 overs through extra cover, backward square leg, straight & a 6 over long on. Sol (51, 78b, 6x4) reached a deserved 50 in the 27th with 2 to third man when, to his dismay, he drove Talbot straight to Scott at mid wicket. Another accomplished innings from Sol, lovely to watch, 122-3 after 28. Not all plain sailing as the ball nibbled about.


Adam joined Hewi & the pair were busy, the total rising to 165 in the 37th with Adam cutting & pulling anything short, dominating the strike. Hewi had advanced to 46 (66b, 5x4, 1x6) when, somewhat out of the blue, he drove Talbot to Walker at mid off. Another good innings from Hewi which gathered momentum after he played himself in, 171-4 in the 40th.


Sean joined Adam &, running well, the rate was at 6's with Sean dispatching a short delivery from Talbot over square leg, way down Roseworth Terrace. Adam reached a deserved 50 with a well run 3 & 5 balls later struck a 4 off Javed to pass 200 & the title !! (run bonus points at 125, 150, 175 & 200). That the captain (& best fielder in the league) should strike the title winning run seemed entirely appropriate.


Ralston returned & having been cut hard for 4, found a yorker to bowl Adam 58 (67b,6x4) a splendid innings, 207-5 after 46. Nathan & Sean both perished in pursuit of runs caught nicely at long on by Martin, Sean (13) off Javed, 211-6, & Nathan (6) off Dixon, 223-7. Oli (11*) & Calum  (2*) pushed & the total became 230 -7 after  the 50 overs.


In the meal break the rain, which had been a fine mist for some time, became heavier the covers came on. After 40 minutes it seemed that the prospect of further play was remote without a significant break & an abandonment was agreed at 1540.


Photographs were taken with the league & 20/20 trophy as players & families celebrated the end of a long season. 


NEPL season 2022, only one game rained off, a 20 point winning margin over runners up Burnmoor. National cup runs ending disappointedly at Wallasey & Woodhouse Grange but with commitment, drive, team spirit, skill & will to win all evident, the Bulls can be proud of the achievement in claiming their 14th title. Losing Birty & Adam to injuries, losing two of the first three games, & in 10th position, then to be undefeated for 10, be top by 25th June & never relinquishing that spot, despite subsequent reverses to Felling, Burnmoor & Benwell Hill, says a lot for the character of the team.


In the early evening, after a splendid buffet, thanks were given to Bill, to Craig, to John Ruddick & John Tindale for all their support.


Some (unaudited) SNCC 2022 league stats: 

Runs: Sol 799, Birty 402, Hewi 677, Rob 544, Sean 361, Adam 432, Alvin 176, Oli 145, Parth 76, James 69.

Wickets: Jonny 41, Sean 33, Lee 23, Oli 44, Cal 11, Birty 11, Gavin 5, Ru 1, Nathan 1.

Catches: Rob 12/3, Adam 14, Parth 7/3, Oli 9, Sean 8, Hewi 7, Alvin 6, Jonny 5, Birty 4, Sol 4, Lee 2, Calum 1, Ru 1, Nathan 1, James 1.


The Bulls 2nd X1 are runners up in NEPL Division 2.

They started the day at Hetton Lyons knowing that the game at Ashington v ( leaders by 12 points), Tynemouth was off so a win & 20 points would secure the title. Winning the toss the Lyons had reached 77-3 after 17 overs when rain prevented further play. 2 wickets for Sadiq, giving him 45 for the season, & one for Ben. 


A most creditable second place in NEPL Division 2 after a poor start which saw three defeats in the first 4 games. More to come.


Presentation Evenings: Senior: Friday 7th October, Junior : Sat 8th October details to be confirmed.


NEPL Dinner: Friday 18th November 2022.


Your correspondent hopes you have enjoyed reading these match reports & would welcome feedback on any aspect.


'Proud to be a Bull'.




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