ON Saturday Monkseaton first team played top of the table Clara Vale at Churchill playing fields.
Due to holidays, weddings and injuries, Monkseaton were forced to field seven second teamers.
Stand-in skipper Matty Kleynhans marshalled his troops and the incomers did not let them down.
Clara Vale batted first and Gary Errington and John Hewett, both up from the seconds, bowled well, keeping the runs in check.
Hewett removed B Ahmed for seven only to bring to the crease the dangerous R Mohhamed ,who together with Z Ahmed put on a stand of over 100.
It was only when the skipper brought on second team spin duo Andy Simms and Jordan Murphy that things changed.
Simms bowled beautifully, taking the pace off the ball to remove three of the top order.
Murphy excelled in taking five wickets, of which two were excellent stumpings by Ben Windass, who had a great game, and a brilliant caught and bowled where the batsman absolutely leathered the ball straight back at him for a great reaction catch.
Hewett bowled the last man and Clara Vale finished on 198 all out.
Monkseaton lost Kevin Elliot early but Stuey Baister batted well and together with another second teamer, Mark Tunstall, put on 50 for the second wicket.
Unfortunately a disastrous mix-up saw Baister run out.
Club chairman Paul Marks strode to the wicket and made a fine 50 before being caught in the deep.
Another couple of wickets fell, including another run out, before Monkseaton finished on 182-7.
Despite fielding a depleted side they ran runaway leaders a close race.
The second team did not have a game but under the watchful eye of skipper Eric Thompson they have already won the B2 division.
The thirds played Hebburn seconds at Hebburn.
Batting first they reached 96 all out on a difficult pitch.
Young Harry Green scored 22 and Tony Errington 16 not out.
The game was a close run thing with Hebburn just managing to win with one wicket to spare.
Pick of the bowlers was young Matty Simms, who not to be outdone by his dad’s debut for the first team, took an excellent 5-11.
On Saturday the firsts entertain Tynemouth thirds the seconds are at Hebburn seconds and the thirds play New Hartley seconds.