Batting collapse costs Tynemouth in defeat to Durham Academy

Richard Straughan batting for Tynemouth against Durham Academy. Picture by Colin Edwards

Richard Straughan batting for Tynemouth against Durham Academy. Picture by Colin Edwards

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A post lunch batting collapse at Preston Avenue on Saturday proved to be the undoing of the home side as an improving Durham Academy side took full advantage to record a deserved win.

Skipper Ben Debnam once again won the toss and on a balmy day and on a good wicket elected to bat first.

Richie Straughan was moved up the order and impressed. Together with Debnam the pair added 36 for the first wicket before the skipper holed out attempting a pull shot off the bowling of Davison.

Durham player Stu Poynter was back in the team after his one day series for Ireland against Afghanistan, but on this occasion he did not trouble the scorers. He was caught behind off the bowling of the impressive George Harding.

It was at this point that Indian trialist Vijay Vyshack was introduced to the attack at the Rugby Ground end, and the young speedster quickly had Straughan caught behind for a well-constructed 26. This saw Tynemouth struggling at 71-3.

The in-form Matty Brown played well for 38 but became Harding’s second wicket when stumped by keeper McCarthy.

Professional Tahir Khan was joined by the returning Andrew Smith and the two took the side to lunch at a respectable 122-4.

Just an hour later Tynemouth were all out for 144 following a batting collapse that had something to do with the fine bowling of Vyshack and Harding but perhaps more to do with some injudicious shots played by a middle order and tail that had previously done well this season.

Vyshack was all hussle and bustle. Strongly and determinedly he hit the pitch hard and kept running in for his skipper and drew rash shots from the experienced Smith and Hallam.

At the other end Harding was all arms and legs, tall and angular, appearing to run in with a slow motion yet bowling straight and accurate and getting regular bounce and turn from the Golf course end.

He tempted Khan out of his crease and then got rid of Josh Koen and Finn Lonnberg for good measure.

A total of 144 was disappointing, though credit is due to the Academy bowlers and in particular Harding 5-36 and Vyshack 3-45. Keeper Jack McCarthy took five catches.

The Academy openers started steadily against the home side’s opening attack of Hymers and Lonnberg, who could not make a breakthrough.

Chris McBride made 34 before being adjudged lbw off the bowling of Andrew Smith, and when Khan had Eddie Hurst caught well by Poynter at slip, hopes began to rise at 53-2.

However, the Durham youngsters showed great determination and solid technique and, despite the best efforts of the home side’s attack and good fielding, they reached their target comfortably in the 47th over for the loss of just four wickets.

Ross Greenwell showed great application in his 133 ball vigil at the crease and made a match winning 51 before needlessly holing out with just a handful of runs required.

Potts 25 and Steel 29 both combined solid defence with some powerful strokeplay and are names to look out for in the future.

Pick of the Tynemouth bowlers was Smith, but this was not the home side’s day and they could not recover from the post lunch collapse.

Tynemouth are now fourth in the Premier League and await visitors Chester-le-Street on Saturday.

There was no second team fixture but the thirds hosted Embleton.

Skipper Neil Bennett elected to bat first after a rare win of the . This did not work well as the promising line-up was dismissed for only 91, mainly at the hands of young Cameron Thorpe, whose mature pace accounted for half the team for only five runs conceded.

Richard Warwick top scored with 23 and there were 19 extras.

Tynemouth then relied on the pace of former skipper Richie Hay to take three important early wickets, but for 24 crucial runs in his ten overs allocation.

Embleton were looking fairly comfortable at 50-3 and Tynemouth needed a breakthrough. Don Catley was introduced and in his first over the demolished stumps were a clear signal of opportunity for Tynemouth.

Runs continued to be scored at the other end but tight bowling and clean catching off Catley gave him the figures of six wickets for eight runs and it was victory for the hosts by just four runs.

There were three catches for Warwick at mid-on and one each for Dave Mahan at point and Chad Koen at third slip.

This was a welcome return to winning ways and crucially only 12 extras were conceded thanks in part to good keeping by Sam Robson.

Upcoming fixtures - Saturday, July 30: 1sts v Chester-le-Street, home, 11.30am, NEPL Premier League; 2nds v Chester-le-Street, away, 1pm, NEPL Div 2; 3rds v Clara Vale 2nds, away, 1.30pm, NCL Div 2.

Sunday, July 31: 2nds v South North or Stockton, away, 1.30pm, Banks Salver; Academy v Tudhoe, home, 1.30pm, NEPL Sunday Div 1.

Tuesday, August 2: U13s v Sunderland & Willington, home, 10am.