1st Aug 2022

           ECB Club Championship 1/4 final Sun 1st July 2022, SNCC v Wallasey (a).

SNCC 161-8 (40o) Alvin Dithole 58, Chris Hewison 26, Sean Tindale 17, Oli McGee 19*: Harry Meehan 0-33, Samit Ruikar 4-13, Chris Bourne 0-48, Dan Beaver 1-39, Andy Beaver 2-25.

Wallasey 163-8 (38.1o) Dan Beaver 45, Alex Eagles 21, Samit Ruikar 23, Greg Beaver 19, Harry Meehan 14: Jonny Wightman 2-21, Sean Tindale 4-40, Calum Fletcher 1-41, Lee Crozier 1-19, Oli McGee 0-30.

Wallasey won by 2 wickets.

A 4 hour coach trip to the Wirral ended in disappointment for Bulls players & vocal supporters as the home team, winning the toss & fielding, not what they normally do, & taking full advantage of the knowledge of home conditions on a used wicket taking spin & bounce, gave an outstanding fielding display, took three excellent catches, saved many runs in the ring & in the deep, in support of the excellent slow left arm of Samit Ruikar, whose 4-13 in 8 overs swung the game to the home side & left the Bulls at least 30 short of a competitive total.

Bell & Dithole faced the seam of Meehan & the slow left arm of Ruikar. A boundary to square leg for Sol in over one but the bounce & turn evidenced in Ruikar's first over was going to be a challenge. Sol (4) was bowled by Ruikar's arm ball in the 4th which seemed to keep low, 8-1. Rob (4) hit one nice boundary before edging a drive toward point off Ruikar, where Rylance made good ground & took a tumbling catch, 14-2.

Hewi & Alvin were watchful. Bourne (rm) & Dan Beaver (ob) replaced Meehan & Ruikar. 35-2 after 10 became 50-2 after 12 as both Hewi & Alvin hit 6's to long on. Andy Beaver's sla replaced brother Dan at the Rosclare Drive end. Singles were the order of the day until both Hewi & Alvin hit 6's, one off Beaver & one off Bourne. AB seemed unhappy to have an lbw shout against Alvin turned down but bounced back in over 19 when a firm drive from Hewi (26) low to his left, was very well caught on follow through, 83-3.

Adam Cragg (8) joined Alvin on 38. A nice boundary & some pushed singles but then Adam, drove firmly towards deep mid off, where Eagles made good ground to his left & took another splendid, thumbing catch in two hands, 95-4 in the 23rd. Sean Tindale settled & then in the 26th hit consecutive 6's straight & to long off, Dan Beaver the sufferer. Two overs later Ruikar & Bourne were reintroduced. A pulled 4 brought Alvin to a deserved 50 in the 28th but in the next, having taken 1,1,2,2 off Bourne, attempted a reverse sweep & was bowled, 128-5, Alvin 58 (69b, 3x4, 2x6), having done the hard work, if only he could have gone on !

This became worse in the next when, after 5 dots, Sean's attempted drive skied to be caught at short point by Greg Beaver off Ruikar, 128-6, & 10 overs to go !! Two maidens in a row but in the 33rd Ruddick (7) lofted Bourne for 6 to wide long on only to succumb to Ruikar in the next, taken at slip by Davies 137-7. Wightman (1) advancing, was lbw to Dan Beaver in the 36th.

McGee & Fletcher took singles until McGee launched Dan Beaver for 6 to mid wicket in the 39th. 5 singles in the last over saw the close at 161-8. Work to do.

Crawley was absent on County duty so Rylance & Andy Beaver faced Wightman & Tindale. Ball 2 saw Rylance (0) essay a drive, edge to point where Sol took one step & dived to take an outstanding catch high in his left hand, you will not see many better. This became 14-2 as Davies (12), after three crisp drives for 4, was undone by a swinging Wightman delivery which hit leg stump.

Eagles joined Dan Beaver & the pair advanced the score to 32-2 after 7. Running in from the Rosclare Drive end posed a problem for those unused to running up a small incline next to the square, the result of many years of top dressing on the wicket area. So it was that Fletcher suffered, bowling three no balls & conceding 17 in his first over as his length suffered.

Crozier began another mean spell. From his 8 overs only 19 & the wicket of Eagles (21) lbw sweeping, 69-3 in the 13th. Ruikar joined DB & the pair took singles until in the 20th Dan Beaver (45, 64b, 6x4) launched Fletcher toward deepish mid on where Hewi took a good catch, falling to his right. So, 93-4 at drinks, SN had been 90-3.

Greg Beaver joined Ruikar, 4 overs only 10 runs including an edged 4. Mainly singles as Fletcher & McGee continued. Tindale returned in the 30th & took two wickets in three balls. First Ruikar (23) was brilliantly caught by Hewi one handed at backward point off a firm cut. two balls later Ward was yorked, 127-6, game on.

Meehan pulled Tindale for 6 to mid wicket to ease the home supporters' nerves, 138-6 after 32. (SN had been 129-6.) 9 singles off the next three overs, 147-6 after 35. In the 36th Sean again took two wickets in three balls. Greg Beaver (19) was mortified to cut to Hewison at point & two balls later Meehan (14) was bowled, 149-8.

After 5, leg byes & singles, off the 37th, W/k Leckey cover drove Fletcher for 4 in the 38th & from the first ball of the 39th, cut Wightman to the fence to the cheers of the home supporters. A tense win by 2 wickets, an exciting game in afternoon sunshine.

The post match hospitality offered was very well received as players & officials mingled with supporters of both sides. There was a raffle prize to win but we missed out on the tattoo parlour prize !!!  Amid much singing orchestrated by Scotty, & after two stops, the coach arrived back into Gosforth at 0010. 

Most grateful thanks our drivers on the day, to all the players for the 5 match Club Championship journey in 2022 & to the supporters who have been there throughout & were encouraging to the last delivery. It means something to be a Bull !

Another big weekend awaits, Sat 6th Aug 1st X1 v Burnmoor (h) & Sun 7th Aug at 1300, SN v Richmondshire in the Vitality Area T20 second semi final at Woodhouse Grange, near York. Details of the Sunday location will be posted, this will be a car journey. We hope you can be there to cheer the Bulls on !




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