On a dramatic day at Roseworth Tce a last wicket stand of 26* between Fletcher and Crozier secured the Bulls 15th NEPL Premier Division title

28th Aug 2023


Ashington 105ao (43.4o) Jack Jessop 17, Ben O'Brien 50, Jack McCarthy 9, Ian Sharkey 8: Sean Tindale 2-26, Calum Fletcher 1-9, Oli McGee 4 23, George Gray 0-15, Nikhil Gorantla 0-11, Lee Crozier 3-16.

SNCC 106-9 (43o) Shayne Moseley 9, Chris Hewison 17, Nikhil Gorantla 1, Rob Peyton 7, Adam Cragg 12, Sean Tindale 23, Oli McGee 0, Sam Ewart 3, George Gray 0, Calum Fletcher 13*, Lee Crozier 9*.

SNCC won by 1 wicket- 24 points, Ashington 3.


On a dramatic day, when 16 year old off spinner George Gray made his 1st X1 debut, the Bulls were indebted to an undefeated last wicket partnership of 26 between Cal & Lee, who faced 88 balls between them, to edge past the Ashington total of 105 all out.

In over 44 , facing O'Brien's leg breaks from the Park end, Lee had two good offside shots well fielded, before drilling the last ball through the covers to the boundary in front of the houses to secure a one wicket win & with it the Bulls 15th NEPL Premier Division title. Cue scenes of unbridled joy among spectators & players alike.

Ashington had bowled well &, with SNCC at 42-4 & then 82-9, seemed on course for the win but they had used all their front-line bowlers (4x10) in search of the vital wicket. Every ball was cheered as the crowd became engrossed in the finish knowing what was at stake.

Both teams were not at full strength on a sunny day but with a heavy dew on the grass & possible rain forecast, the visitors were invited to bat. The right handed Jessop & O'Brien faced the seam of Tindale (Grove) & Fletcher (Park). Three consecutive maidens as the ball swung & moved off the seam, sometimes extravagantly, batting was not easy.

25-0 after 10 overs Oli bowling the 9th, then George on debut bowling 5 overs for 15 in a very steady spell, singles, 2x2 only & one close lbw shout. Three overs from Nik, 60-0 after 20, but in Lee's first the 22nd Jessop (17, 58b) sweeping, was adjudged lbw 66-1, an excellent opening partnership in the conditions. 76-1 after 25 & in the second over after drinks Oli trapped McCarthy (9) lbw sweeping, 82-2.

Oli & Lee bowled in tandem for 13 overs. O'Brien got a deserved 50 (97b, 3x4,1x6) but edged Oli to w/k Rob Peyton in the 31st. Louis (2) swung to leg two balls later but only succeeded in skying into the offside for Nik to take  the catch, 87-4. 88-5 when one turned & bounced from Oli for James Harmison (0) to edge to second slip where Adam took the catch. Standing up, the usually safe hands of Rob put down a sharp chance off Lee in the 32nd.

In the 34th 90-6 as Potts (0) pushed Lee to short mid wicket where Craggy obliged again tumbling to his left. Rob's misfortune continued in the next as another edge off Oli fell to earth. 98- 7 in the 40th as Nicholls (2) advanced to  Lee, drove, but the ball skied to backward point where Nik took a comfortable catch. At the same core Sharkey (8) had his off stump flattened by Sean bowling very briskly from the Grove end.

Walker (6) aimed two offside blows off Sean but in trying a repeat, skied to short extra where Adam completed the catch, 104-9. Cal returned in the 45th & 4th ball bowled Watson (0), 105 all out. New batters not finding it easy to attack.

Moseley & Hewison faced the off spin of Nicholls (Park) & the fast medium seam of Louis (Grove). A boundary to Shayne (9) in over 2 & another driven straight in over 3 but next ball mistimed to wide mid on for Sharkey to take a very good catch running & diving to his left.

A straight driven boundary to Hewi in the 7th but 3 balls later Nik (1) was lbw to Nicholls on the crease, 18-2. 27-2 after 10 overs, Nicholls 2-14. From the first ball of the 13th over, Rob (7) wishing to assert, advanced, swung but missed & was stumped off Nicholls, 32-3.

Storey's medium pace had replaced Louis at the Grove end & in his 3rd gained an lbw decision against Hewi (17, 36b,1x4). In his 5th he found some bounce which Adam, (12) aiming to cut, could only glove onto the stumps, 58-5.

Sean had settled well &, driving through the offside for two boundaries, pushed the score along. But at 62 Oli (0) somewhat inadvertently chipped to mid wicket off Storey to be caught by Louis, 6 down. Sam (3) the fell lbw to Harmison aiming to reverse sweep, 69-7.

Sean & Calum batted calmly but at 82 Louis got one to come back in to take Sean's (23, 46b,2x4) inside edge for w/k McCarthy to dive low to his left to take the catch. A vital innings for the Bulls.

Two balls later George (0) was comprehensively bowled by a swinging full length delivery from Louis, 82-9. Enter Lee Crozier for only his 4th innings of the league season, to join Calum. Louis had bowled 10 & Harmison & Storey wheeled away in search of the last wicket, the number of lbw appeals diminished & singles were the order of the day, over 33- 3, 34- 1, 35- 2, 36 - 1, 37-2. In over 38 Calum pulled Storey to the mid wicket boundary amid much acclaim from the crowd !!

Over 39, a maiden, over 40-2, then as all front line bowlers had bowled out, O'Brien & Potts took up the attack. In over 41, Calum hit a single to cover off the back foot, a wide followed & Lee dabbed two to third man, 102-9. Potts bowl a maiden as Cal pushed forward. In the 43, bowled by O'Brien, Lee twice struck nice shots to cover & backward point both of which were well fielded. Emboldened, from the last he stretched forward & drilled a drive to the cover boundary to the enthusiastic acclaim of the watching supporters. Tense!! Some tears flowed.

A 24 point win meant a retention of the 74 point cushion at the top of the table with three games to go. The maximum any other team could achieve being 72, SNCC were therefore Premier Division champions in 2023 & for the 15th time since 2000. 

We are indebted: to the players for their skill & commitment, Groundsman Craig Thompson & Liam Dodgson, his assistant, for all their hard work in ensuring that more games than most are played at Roseworth Terrace; to John Ruddick for scoring & to John Tindale for his coaching efforts: to Bill Kidd & team for preparing lovely teas for the Bulls; to all the families & friends who have followed the fortunes of the team home & away during the season.

We are searching the archive to see if we can discover if any champion team has won the title with three games to spare.


Mon 28th Aug   SNCC v Chester-le-Steet (a) 1130, 50/50

Sat 2nd Sept      SNCC v Castle Eden (a) 1130, 50/50

Sat 9th Sept       SNCC v Hetton Lyons (h) 1130, 50/50......


 ...........after which there might be a bit of a party !!  We do hope you can join us to celebrate the 2023 season.




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