IN the Dukes NE Premier League Tynemouth entertained early season pace setters Sunderland in what turned out to be a one-sided affair with the hosts failing to register a single point.
After several days of rain and half the league calendar being wiped out, it was testament to the hard work of groundsman Paul Jackson that the game was able to take place at all.
Play finally got under way at 3pm reducing the game to a 38/31 over split rather than the normal 65/55.
Tynemouth captain Ben Debnam won the toss and had no hesitation in bowling first.
Faith was soon rewarded as David Hymers took the early wicket of Sunderland opener Mark Dale with only ten on the board.
He edged the ball and second slip Nick Armstrong parried the ball in the air to the grateful Patrick Botha who took the simplest of catches at first slip.
What followed was to be the turning point of the match as opener Daniel Graeme Shurben mistimed a drive off the bowling of Andrew Smith, giving what appeared a relatively straightforward catch to Andrew Lineham at mid-on, but the ball spilled out of his hands as he went to ground.
Shurben then obliterated the Tynemouth bowling attack.
Firstly he hit three sixes off one Smith over then took 28 from Josh Koen’s first two.
Within the space of ten overs Sunderland put on 85 runs with Shurben bringing up his 50 from just 37 balls.
Former Durham Academy cricketer Michael Turns ably supported Shurben by rotating the strike and punishing anything over-pitched and short of a length.
The spin of Patrick Botha was introduced to try to stem the flow of runs, but again Shurben deposited boundary after boundary and six after six.
Shurben brought up his 100 in only 73 balls.
Sunderland continued to pile the misery on the Tynemouth bowlers, eventually declaring on 205-1 from 34 overs, with Shurben remaining unbeaten on a superb 144 off 101 balls, including 11 fours and nine sixes. Michael Turns was on 45 not out.
Tynemouth opened with Ritchie Straughan and Debnam but could not have got off to a worse start when Straughan was trapped in front of all three stumps in the first over off the bowling of Durham contract player Chris Rushworth for two.
This brought Durham University student Will Grant to the crease but he was soon back in the pavilion when he was bowled without scoring, half attempting a leave which took the inside edge again off the bowling of Rushworth to see Tynemouth 4-2.
Matters got even worse as Kieron Waterson removed Patrick Botha (3) and Durham contract player Mark Wood (0) to put Tynemouth in a perilous position at 7-4.
Smith joined Debnam at the crease and the pair were able to see off the new ball and dig Tynemouth out of their deepest trouble.
The pair put on 57 for the fifth wicket before Smith fell to a dubious caught behind off the bowling of Jaspreet Singh for 21.
Nick Armstrong was next to the crease to join Debnam and showed good positive intent, hitting three early boundaries.
But he shouldered arms to a delivery that nipped back off the seam from the bowling of Chris Hooker, trapping him in front for 14.
Andrew Lineham came in but was soon on his way after mis-judging the length of a flighted delivery from Singh and being bowled for eight.
Debnam continued to fight his team’s cause and was joined by Philip Morse, who was also soon on his way back to the pavilion after the returning Rushworth bowled him for just two.
With Sunderland only needing two wickets and Tynemouth only having to see out the remaining seven overs to gain a draw, it was going to be a tense finish.
Hymers joined Debnam at the crease but it was the opener who went next, trapped in front off the bowling of Rushworth for a spirited 39 from 96 balls.
Hymers was then bowled by Waterson next over, leaving Tynemouth well short on 108 all out.
On Saturday, Tynemouth have a good chance to move up the table when they host Newcastle CC at Preston Avenue with an 11.30am start.
Meanwhile the Sunday third team managed to get their first match of the season played against a more experienced visiting Hetton side.
Home skipper Russell Perry won the toss and elected to bat.
Oliver McGee (47), Ben McGee (11), Finn Lonnberg (30), Phil Currell (19) and Mark Packham (16) were the main scorers in their total of 165 all out.
In response, the Tynemouth fielders failed to support their bowlers before five quick wickets fell to leave Hetton 84-5.
But Hetton opener Cowan (63no) saw his side home to a three-wicket victory.
Tynemouth’s wicket takers were Nick McIntyre 2-10, Andrew Packam 2-15, Ben McGee and two run outs.
The Saturday thirds were ousted from the Dr Tom Barlow Memorial Trophy at Stobswood.
After a short delay while the rain sorted itself out, the tie started as a reduced 16 overs game.
Stobswood elected to bat first and sought to attack a very short boundary.
Wickets fell steadily and Stobswood finished on 78-8.
The Tynemouth reply began with the experienced pairing of Euan Stenhouse and Nick Brown.
They scored a useful 28 off the first four overs but with 31 on the board, Stenhouse was caught for 15. Brown was caught for 18.
Jack Byerley made a helpful 11 but the middle order saw the run rate reduce as McGee (0), Hollins (3), Carr (1) and Reed (0) fell.
After being 51-3, Tynemouth were in some trouble to reach the target.
Hay hit a six in a quick 12 leaving Storey as the potential match winner.
After hitting an encouraging six in his nine not out, Storey was left stranded as first Robertson went caught for a duck and then Catley was bowled with three balls remaining and the scores tied.
Stobswood won based on fewer wickets down.
Tynemouth Under-13s travelled to Alnwick for their second league game of the season.
Alnwick were unable to field a full team and Tynemouth volunteered to lend the home side two players for fielding duties.
After winning the toss skipper Peter Musgrave decided to put Alnwick in to bat on a damp wicket and slow outfield, restricting them to 43-5 off their 20 overs.
In reply, Tynemouth reached 46-5 off 15 overs to take the win with Dan McGee top scoring with 17.