17th Sep 2019

On a blustery day a sublime century from Jacques Du Toit, strong support from Chris Hewison & Sean Tindale, 4 wickets for Jonny Wightman & 3 for Oli McGee, propelled the Bulls to 30 points at High Heworth Lane & a second placed finish, 18 points behind champions Burnmoor who defeated Chester-le-Street at Ropery Lane. Injuries to Lee Crozier & Rob Peyton saw David Edwards & Alex Weetman step in. Adam Cragg took the gloves.

SNCC 243-8 dec (49o: Sean Tindale 30, Chris Hewsion 55, Jacques Du Toit 125: Paul Leonard 4-82, Chris Nicholls 3-50) 

Felling 216ao (51.5o: Joe Carroll 54, Eddie Hurst 38, Gavin Paton 38, Tony Trotter 32*: Jonny Wightman 4-50, Sean Tindale 2-33. Oli McGee 3-54, Simon Birtwisle 1-30, James Ruddick 0-30)

SNCC 30 points Felling 7.

Although in some scenarios mathematically possible, it was always going to be a tall order to overtake events at Ropery Lane so winning the toss & batting was the only option. Simon Birtwisle & Sean Tindale faced the seam of Paul Leonard (Pavilion) & Dale Shaw (Lane). The wind blew & the cover drive for 4 from the first ball to Birty was followed by an lbw decision against him from the second when seemingly well forward to Leonard.

In form Chris Hewison struck his second ball for 4. Shaw (0-16) was replaced by Tony Trotter who suffered as Chris & Sean cut loose &, after 4 overs for 26, he too was replaced by captain Chris Nicholls from the Lane. Nihal Shilar's off breaks replaced Leonard at the Pavilion end. Rolling his fingers over the ball & moving it away, the home captain had Tindale (30, 3x4, 1x6)) caught by w/k Hurst standing up, 73-1 in over 18.

Adam Cragg (1) soon followed, bowled by Nicholls pushing forward. Jacques Du Toit joined Chris. JDT hit 4 boundaries in his first 13 balls as Shilar & Nicholls suffered equally. The lovely 'breakfast lunch' score of 139 -2 after 33 overs saw Chris on a well deserved 50* ( 7x4, 2x6, 88b, 114m) & Jacques 48* (7x4, 1x6 40b,45m), the latter surviving a dropped chance on 47 as Gavin Paton, running in from long off, just failed to hang on to a skier. 

Nicholls & Leonard bowled unchanged for 14 overs after lunch as the score rose rapidly to 221. Chris was bowled by Nicholls for an accomplished 55 in over 38. An exhilarating  partnership of 81. Jacques on 59 survived another chance. John Graham (3) was adjudged lbw to Leonard & 6 runs later David Edwards (4) suffered a 'yes/no' run out at the striker's end, 167-6 in the 41st.

Oli joined JDT & the pair put on 32, including 3 consecutive JDT 6's off Leonard before Oli (4) was bowled by the last ball of the 45th over, 199-7. Another life off Leonard was not taken so a 6 & a 4 from Nicholls' next over took JDT to an outstanding century, the first by a 1st X1 batsman for over two seasons. Nicholls completed a tidy 15 overs, 3-50 before Shilar returned & was promptly hit for 13. From the first ball of the 49th, moving across his stumps to attempt another maximum to the road, JDT was lbw to Leonard for 125 (14x4,5x6,87b,116m). Magnificent ! 

James Ruddick hit two glorious extra cover drives from his first two deliveries & when the declaration came at the end of the same over, Alex Weetman was 1* & James 9*, 243-8, the highest SN 1st X1 total in 2019.

Alan Robson & Joe Carroll faced Jonny Wightman & Sean Tindale. 61 overs were available. The score had reached 27 when Wightman had Robson (11) caught by w/k Adam Cragg standing up. Next ball Shilar (0)  was yorked. At 38, Shaw edged Tindale to second slip where Birty held a sharp chance. 58-3 at tea after 21overs JRW 8, SJT 8, OFM 3, JMR 2.

After tea both Eddie Hurst & Carroll showed positive intent & the score doubled in 10 overs, a boundary an over at least as Ruddick, McGee & Birty sought control unsuccessfully. Perhaps losing patience Hurst (38, 6x4)) lofted McGee to mid off where John Graham took the catch, 117-4 in the 31st. Carroll reached his first 50 of the season with 10 fours, many through the covers, before Wightman, now from the Pavilion end, held a sharp, low c & b, one handed in his follow through, 126-5. 3 runs later Sam Witherspoon(2) was caught at cover by Tindale off Wightman from a leading edge. In his next over a Leonard snick to slip was dropped &  a deserved 5 fer did not materialise.

McGee then caught & bowled the dangerous Graham Wright (2), 133-7 after 37. But no plain sailing as Gavin Paton & Leonard put on 39 for the 8th wicket in only 4 overs before Leonard rather needlessly reversed McGee to point where Wighters took the catch. 172-8, 20 overs remained !!. The mayhem continued as both Paton, swinging mightily & Tony Trotter, hitting straight or through extra cover to good effect, saw their  partnership reach 33 & only ended when Birty switched to the Lane & Chris took the catch off Paton on the  deep mid wicket boundary for 38 (3x4, 2x6, 35b). 205-9 in the 49th. 

There was time for Trotter (32*) to loft Tindale to 3rd man for his 6th boundary & Birty through extra for his 7th when Nicholls (2) was bowled leg stump by Tindale to end the innings at 216 in over 52. A win & 30 points but frustrating to watch, seemingly powerless to prevent the concession of over 200 for the second consecutive week, 3 times in the last four league games & but only 4 in the season. More maidens needed.

So a tale of what might have been in 2019 for the 1st X1, leading the table from week 5 to week 17 & only 4 points adrift after week 18, but no daylight because only one win in 7, including three winning draws & 3 abandonments followed by the loss at home to CLS, with 4 regulars missing, meant that 89 points from 90 in the last three league matches was not enough.

To finish positively ! Congratulations to Sean Tindale for his 43 wickets at 15.19 to finish 2nd in the NEPL averages, Lee & Oli 29 each for 11th & 12th, Jonny with 26, 18th. Jacques 4th in the batting: 544 at 30.22, Chris 9th: 465 at 24.47, John 18th: 375 at 26.79, Adam 20th: 353 at 29.42, Birty 27th: 327 at 19.24. 

Some outstanding w/k by Rob Peyton (12c/6st), leg side stumpings to the fore, plus 203 runs at 29. Tinners match saving 90 at Burnopfield (315 at 17.50) & Oli (199 at 22.11). Important cameos from James Ruddick, Parth Mannikar, John Harbottle, Andrew Doig & James Miller. 

We have the finest cricket ground in the region & for this we thank Craig Thompson & Liam Dodgson wholeheartedly. Managing the demands on the square, especially in the wet summer we have had, has tested their & Fixture Secretary, Gordon Halliday's resourcefulness. We also offer the finest match catering in the NEPL &  thus are equally indebted to Bill & Susan Kidd, Janice Ramsey, Tom & other bar assistants.

We celebrate the season at the Presentation Evening on Sat 28th September in the Clubhouse from 1930. Please let Brooky know if you can be there. Winter well, the hard work begins in January at nets as we seek to go one better in 2020. Thank you for reading these notes, your feedback & ideas for improvement would be welcome.


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