30th Jul 2019

On a day when no other Premier league fixtures were played, & only two in the top two NEPL divisions, both SNCC, top, & Tynemouth, third, were grateful for the chance to play a shortened game from 1545 thanks to the efforts of groundsman Craig Thompson, assistant Liam Dodgson & the willingness of umpires Harry Stephenson & Allan Blackbird to 'get the game on' .


SNCC 152-5 dec (27o: Simon Birtwisle 37, Oli McGee 54*, Jacques Du Toit 18, Adam Cragg 38*: Finn Lonnberg 3-13, Martin Pollard 2-39, Barry Stewart 0-18)


Tynemouth 123-0 (21o: Matthew Brown 50*, Nick Armstrong 69*: Jonny Wightman 0-12, Sean Tindale 0-34, Oli McGee 0-18, Lee Crozier 0-19, James Ruddick 0-17, Simon Birtwisle 0-19)


Match abandoned at 1930 : SNCC 7 points, Tynemouth 7 points.


The visitors won an important the toss & invited SN to bat. On a greenish wicket with moisture about it was never going to be easy as Simon Birtwisle & Chris Hewison faced the seam of Finn Lonnberg & the slow left arm of George Harding. Lonnberg struck in his first over as Hewison (0) got one that lifted & appeared to glove gently to Michael Jones at second slip. Following a maiden, John Harbottle (2) was bowled by Lonnberg as the ball jagged back. In his 4th over Lonnberg gained an lbw decision against Sean Tindale (2). 10-3 after 7 overs. Repairs required.


Oli McGee joined Simon Birtwisle, & the pair patiently rebuilt. Barry Stewart's medium pace took over from Harding & went for only 14 off 5. Lonnberg's outstanding 6 over spell ended 3-13. Bedja took over from the Grove end & Birty cover drove for 4. After 16 overs, 4 of which were maidens, the score was 42-3.


Between over 17 & 27, when the declaration came, 110 were scored as Birtwisle (37), McGee (54*), Du Toit (18) & Cragg (38*) attacked splendidly. McGee drove & swept Martin Pollard for two boundaries & then hoisted David Mansfield's spin for two maximums in three balls over wide long on. At 83, with Oli on 45, Birty drove high to long on in Martin Pollard's second over where Wesley Bedja took the catch. Jacques Du Toit (18) took a liking to Harding's second spell hitting consecutive boundaries then one off Pollard before being stumped by Brown down the leg side, advancing to the same bowler.


Adam Cragg then hit 38* in 18 balls reversing with gay abandon & smiting 6's off both Bedja & Pollard before a bold declaration at 152-5 aimed at seeking the win & giving Tynemouth 27 overs to get the runs.


Openers Matthew Brown & Nick Armstrong faced Jonny Wightman & Sean Tindale. A first over maiden belied what followed as both batsmen batted positively, 25 off 5. McGee & Crozier had some control but leaked 4 runs per over as the batsmen found the gaps regularly, often singles with the occasional boundary. 54-0 after 12, by which time the rain had set in again but the umpires agreed to stay on. 


James Ruddick began a two over spell from the Grove end & was unlucky to see both Armstrong, by a diving Rob Peyton, & Brown, at deep mid wicket by Birty, dropped, a very greasy ball in mitigation. Brown had reached 40*( 4 x4 ) & Armstrong  his 50 (66b, 65m 5x4), 91-0 after 17 overs. 


After an agreed ball change Tindale's return saw Armstrong driving mostly down the ground such that 23 came from his two & a further 9 from Birty's two, taking the score to 123-0 after 21overs, Brown 50* (5x4, 50b, 86m), Armstrong 69* (76b, 86m). In what turned out to be the last over there was time for another missed chance as, in saving a likely six, James failed to cling on at deep square leg off Birty.


A second ball change was agreed as the rain fell & the light worsened further. Then, to the frustration of the visitors, scenting a win with only 30 needed from 6 overs & all 10 wickets in hand, the umpires took the players from the field & abandoned the game 8 minutes later at 1930.


A tense end to an enthralling game. The Bulls, a bold declaration then saved by the weather, fight on. Seven difficult games to come, greater run scoring consistency, bowling penetration & fielding certainty needed to stay at the top, currently 6 points ahead of Burnmoor & 24 of Tynemouth. Chester-le-Street lurk only 40 points adrift. Absolute determination required to make the most of our undoubted ability, to play well & battle.


Sat 3rd   August     SNCC v Newcastle                  (h)       1200

Sat 10th August     SNCC v Burnmoor                  (a)       1200

Sat 17th August     SNCC v Benwell Hill               (a)       1200.

Sat 24th August     SNCC v Chester Le Street      (h)       1130


We hope to see you there.




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