Monkseaton open season with wins for firsts and seconds

Monkseaton Cricket Club began the new season on Saturday with depleted resources having five first team regulars missing.

But the club rose to the challenge with both the first and second teams recording fine victories.

The firsts played Old Record Players at Heaton Medicals, where stand-in skipper Kevin Elliot won the toss and inserted the opposition.

Because of the absentees the opening bowling attack consisted of John Hewett and Gary Errington, both up from the second team.

They did not disappoint with John Hewett taking 3-35 and Gary Errington 2-18, Gavin Rankin chipped in with a wicket leaving Matty Kleynhans to mop up the tail with three wickets in one over, and Owen Rankin taking the remaining wicket.

A mention also went to Ben Windass, who had an excellent game behind the stumps.

Monkseaton knocked off the runs by only losing one wicket as Mark Tunstall scored a watchful 36 not out and Kevin Elliot 41 not out.

Second team skipper Eric Thompson put together a mixture of stalwarts and new and returning players to take on Clara Vale seconds.

Winning the toss he decided to bat first on an excellent wicket at Churchill playing fields.

Veteran Bob Zanetti and Andy Simms opened the batting, putting on nearly 100 for the first wicket.

Zanetti rolled back the years and scored a well crafted 45 before being deceived by a slower ball.

Simms was the star of the show scoring a magnificent 69, hitting everything out of the middle of the bat.

Eric Thompson (17) Jonny Coultas (15) and new boy Jason Ellis (17) all chipped in to amass a score of 209-6.

The second team welcomed back opening bowler Mark Leppan after an absence of a couple of years who then proceeded to bowl quickly and make the ball move about off the seam.

He bowled six overs taking 3-14, while at the other end another newcomer Andrew Lindsay bowled well in taking 1-26.

Barry Cliffe bagged 3-13 and Tony Errington 2-4 as Clara Vale were bowled out for 68, thus as the first team, securing maximum points.

Next week the firsts entertain Tynemouth thirds, the seconds are away against New Hartley firsts and the thirds begin their campaign against Blyth seconds.