2nd Sep 2023


          Sat 2nd Sept 2023: NEPL Premier Division: SNCC v Castle Eden (a) 50/50


Castle Eden 111ao (32.5o) Keith Bailey 45*, Ben Simpson 16, Oliver Sampson- Barnes 10, extras 17: Jonny Wightman 3-13, Sean Tindale 1-20, Will Alexander 1-11, Calum Fletcher 0-15, Oli McGee 2-27, Lee Crozier 3-19.


SNCC 114-6 (27.5o) Chris Hewison 37, Sam Ewart 16, Sean Tindale 13, extras 30: Bilawal Iqbal 2-27, Keith Bailey 0-22, JP Meade 4-36, Jon Malkin 0-17.


SNCC won by 4 wickets- 24 points, Castle Eden 2.


Winning an important toss on a green wicket with a wet outfield, a disciplined bowling performance was then backed up by the experience of Hewi, the brio of Sam & the steadiness of Sean to usher the Bulls to a 4 wicket victory. Despite being champions elect, the retention of an 84 point lead at the head of the Premier Division, after Monday 28th August's match at Chester was abandoned after water got under the covers at Ropery Lane, (5 points each), underlined a desire to suffer only two defeats in 2023. Will Alexander (15) made his 1st X1 debut, took a wicket, held a catch & batted for 3 balls, the last of which went for 4 leg byes to win the game!


Malkin & Simpson faced Jonny & Sean. The 5th ball of the first over from Jonny moved in to take Malkin's (0) off stump. In his second Iqbal (1) swung & lost his leg stump, 2-2. The same over saw 4 leg byes & cover driven boundary to Brown. But in his third Meade was lbw on the crease, 14-3 in the 5th, all to Jonny.


7 wides in over 8 but in over 10 after a boundary to midwicket Brown mistimed Will to cover of the backfoot where Adam made good ground to his left to take the catch, 44-4. Cal & Oli took over the attack & in over 16 Simpson (16, 37b, 2x4) inadvertently chipped back to Oli to complete the c & b, 55-5.


The left handed Bailey then played with some assurance, stylishly driving though extra cover off Oli but at 73 in the 21st, Lee's first, Irwin drove in the air to mid on where Will took a good catch, 73-6. 75-7 when Whimpenny (1) seemed to play down the wrong line to be bowled by Lee two overs later.


Bailey & Oliver Sampson-Barnes pushed on selectively,  6's from a lofted drive to Bailey and a slog sweep to Sampson-Barnes; next ball the latter aimed again to the legside but was lbw to a quicker one from Oli, 96-8. A Lee maiden saw Sean re-enter the attack in over 32 & he bowled L Simpson (1) off stump. In the next Lee finished off as Dunn pushed forward to edge to Hewi at first slip, 111 all out in 32.5 overs.


A couple of dropped catches but a difficult surface to bat on with variable bounce, the ball often keeping low & with the w/k Rob standing up to all the bowlers except Sean, tough to stop wides.


Shayne & Hewi faced Iqbal & the left arm medium of Bailey. 4th ball of over one from Iqbal, Shayne drove past point for 4 but next ball edged low to second slip where Bailey took a sharp chance.


Sam batted with composure & in over 4 pulled Bailey on the front foot to mid wicket for 4. Hewi drove Iqbal for another in the next, 5 wides in over 6 meant 28-1. 4 leg byes in the next & Sam flicked Bailey to the mid wicket fence in the 8th. In over 10 Bailey went round the wicket but Sam responded with an on drive that the mid on fielder's dive could only divert for 4. At 45 in the 11th Sam (16, 32b,3x4), forward, lost his off stump as Iqbal bowled from wider on the crease. He had batted well.


Hewi struck 4 then 6 to mid on off Meade in the 12th. Adam (3, 20b) battled but, at 65 in the 16th, aiming to pull, was undone by low bounce from Meade. Rob (5, 13b 1x4) cover drove a boundary in the 18th but next ball was also undone by no bounce & was lbw to Meade, 72-4.


Malkin's off spin & Meade's medium pace continued in overs 18-23. In the 23rd Sean straight drove Malkin for 6. At 99 in the 24th Sean (13, 25b, 1x6) was bowled by Meade as he seemed to aim to leg, 5 down. Oli joined Hewi & the pair moved in singles until with two to win Hewi (37, 59b, 2x4,1x6) played on when a ball from Meade cut back a lot, an outstanding innings on an uncertain surface.


Will Alexander joined Oli & from the 5th ball of  the 28th over, 4 leg byes won the game.


Workmanlike on a difficult surface where battling qualities were required & the Bulls still 84 points clear at the head of the Premier Division table with one game to go. The team were delighted to see John Tindale for a few minutes during the day.


The last  NEPL league fixture of a wet summer is on Sat 9th Sept  SNCC v Hetton Lyons (h) 1130, 50/50. We hope you can be there to help celebrate another Premier Division championship season, the 15th  since 2000.



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