Academic for Tynemouth as they ease relegation fears

Tynemouth hosted Durham Cricket Academy in the Premier League on Saturday and secured a four-wicket win.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat on the firm square with the outfield still drying out from Friday’s heavy rain.

There was 25 on the board when Andrew Smith had Jack Burnham caught by Nick Armstrong after Burnham had contributed 24.

There were further cheap wickets to see the Academicals at 45-4 before skipper Dylan Bridge started to get a grip of the situation.

He went on to make 101 not out, mainly in a partnership with John Boyle, who hit 32.

However, the rest of the batting line-up was blown away as Smith claimed 5-47 off 14.5 overs. There were two wickets for Tahir Khan and one for Phil Morse with keeper Matty Brown snapping up three catches.

Durham were well contained and declared at 180-9 off 59.5 overs.

The declaration meant that Tynemouth had more than enough overs to comfortably go for the much needed win.

They had 34 on the board when Armstrong was caught for 21 and fellow opener Ben Debnam was trapped lbw for 19 with only another six runs added.

Tynemouth’s top order continued to get established but not push on for a good individual score as Niall Piper (12) and Graeme Hallam (21) got themselves out.

However, Khan stepped up to the occasion with no mistakes in a crucial 57 not out batting at number six.

He lost three more partners, each out in the teens, but Tynemouth stuck to the task and won by three wickets in only 49.2 overs.

Main bowler George Harding claimed 4-67 off 17 overs.

The valuable win eases the threat of relegation for Tynemouth, which would be a tragedy for the club.

The third team hosted Berwick, who were given the all clear to travel down with the unprotected second square drying out well.

Skipper Richie Hay was back in the side and he promptly won the toss and invited Berwick to field.

Hay and Dan Storey opened with an all pace attack for Berwick’s young openers to face.

Progress against their accurate bowling was slow with Hay also encouraging a renewed sharpness in the field.

After 15 overs Berwick were 29-2 with both bowlers having taken a wicket.

The change bowling of Ed Snelders then claimed the third wicket, involving a second success for chief catcher in the team, Neil Bennett.

Don Catley joined the attack and induced a good low catch by Hay with only his second ball but then Mark Woodcock began to rescue the innings with some stubborn resistance and multiple scoring shots to the legside.

He went on to make 43, only stopped by the returning Hay who delivered a fierce Yorker.

Hay took 4-23 in 12 overs, three of which were maidens.

The innings still showed further resistance without building a big score and lasted until the 48th over with only 131 all out the score for Tynemouth to better.

Other bowling figures were Storey 1-28, Snelders 2-26, Catley 1-21, Tom Stoetzel 1-15 plus a catch, James Yeomans 0-13 plus two catches and finally Bennett 1-1 to end the innings.

Extras were again huge and top scored with 47, of which 43 were in wides; almost a guaranteed own goal for this Tynemouth team.

Hay was happy with the target and sent in youngsters Yeomans and Stoetzel to make a steady start.

Steady was indeed the case and this mirrored the Berwick innings with only 18 coming off the first 15 overs, including the loss of Stoetzel for three and then Yeomans for four.

New recruit Chris Grieveson impressed but was bowled for six, and Dave Mahan posted only 12 with Tynemouth reduced to 39-4 in the 24th over of the allotted 50.

Simon Ward made a solid start batting at number five, but soon lost Geoff Simpson lbw for one to Mark Woodcock who now had his third wicket, going for only 19 runs in his full allocation of 13 overs.

This was 42-5 and moved to 59-6 when Storey was bowled.

Hay accelerated the score but fell caught for 12 at 83-7.

All this time Ward was progressing sensibly and clearly becoming the only strong foundation for what was an increasingly unlikely victory.

Snelders assisted with 2 runs in a stand of 14 but when he was bowled 35 runs were still needed.

In came Catley for some tuition from Ward in playing forward sensibly and the score also began moving forward.

With increasing excitement around the well populated boundary and frustration in the Berwick ranks, Catley managed one and twos whilst Ward found the boundary.

A few wides were bowled and the target was reached in the 46th over with Ward a stupendous 65 not out and Catley a sensible unbeaten ten, and only the injured Bennett yet to bat.

Hay was elated and this the third win this season for Tynemouth’s third team.

By comparison with the Berwick innings, there were only nine extras recorded in the Tynemouth innings.

Upcoming Fixtures:

Saturday, August 22: 1sts v Gateshead Fell, away, 11am, NEPL Premier Division; 2nds v Gateshead Fell, home 12.30pm, NEPL Div 2; 3rds v Cramlington, away, 1pm, NCL Div 1.

Sunday, August 23: 1sts v Eppleton, away, 1.30pm, Banks Salver Final; 3rds v Brandon, home, 1.30pm, NEPL Sunday Div 1.