Tynemouth witnessed some determined batting from Newcastle’s James Carding and Dan Humble at the end of a fascinating game which denied the home side a victory at Preston Avenue on Saturday.
However, with 14 points obtained for the winning draw the Seasiders still sit proudly top of the North East Premier League.
Newcastle skipper and former Leicestershire stalwart Jacques Du Toit had won the toss and some were surprised by his decision to insert the home team on what looked like a good batting pitch produced by groundsman Paul Jackson.
Du Toit would have been happy when Callum Harding had Ben Debnam caught for just four, however, that only brought Stuart Poynter to the crease to join Nick Armstrong, and once again this pair put together a fine partnership.
Some strange, and negative, field placing and some good running between the wickets saw the score move on nicely and, with both batsmen putting away anything loose, at lunch Tynemouth were well placed at 123-1.
But the break did no favours to the home side and they lost both Poynter for 63 and Armstrong for 65 soon after the restart to Callum Harding, who was the pick of the Newcastle bowlers, and former Tynemouth junior Oliver McGee.
With wickets falling regularly at one end, club professional Tahir Khan held things together with a well-made half century, allowing skipper Debnam to declare on 232-9.
This looked to be a good score yet somewhat disappointing after such a fine pre-lunch session.
At the start of the Newcastle innings, David Hymers bowled Neil Corby for four, and when Stu Poynter caught Mickey Alan off the bowling of Finn Lonnberg, Newcastle were reduced to 32-2.
Australian first grade batsman Nick Hobson looked in great form, however, and seemed well capable of making a score, but when Tahir Khan bowled him for 19 with the ball of the day, and the visitors’ chances of victory looked slim.
Skipper Du Toit then came in and briefly threatened a revival with some solid defence and belligerent hitting, but he took one chance too many off Andrew Smith and was well caught in the deep by Anthony Turner for 41.
Hopes of a famous victory rose but a fine innings from James Carding, who made 57, and some determined defence from Dan Humble ensured their team survived for the draw, still well short at 164-6.
The second team were asked to bat first by Newcastle at Heaton Medicals and posted 185-9 before declaring.
Veteran Graeme Hallam top scored with 63, caught and bowled by Rob Walker, and there were good knocks from Andrew Davison with 36 and Josh Koen 38.
Tynemouth declared after 47 overs to give maximum chance of a win.
Newcastle, however, had other ideas and 94 from James Carr, supported by 46 not out from Walker, ensured they won, also in the 47th over and by seven wickets.
There was a much coveted wicket for the promoted Richie Hay, who recorded 1-34 off five overs as Newcastle cut loose.
The thirds travelled to Benton for their Northumberland League fixture with Blue Flames.
There was a delayed start owing to a leaked cover over one end and skipper Lee Reed conjured up a correct call to then ask the hosts to bat first.
Flames skipper Andy Horner survived chances to hit 51 and number three bat Shriram Poldar 47 following a string of dropped catches, mainly off the bowling of Catley.
Flames overcame the difficult conditions to post 152-4 off the reduced 30 overs.
Ed Snelders claimed 3-23 off seven overs as two chances were finally held by Jon Malton, his second of the match, and Geoff Simpson.
Nick McIntyre had bowled Horner to deservedly record 1-24 off eight overs with Tynemouth initially controlling the run flow well thanks to this pairing.
Catley, Bennett and Simpson proved to be more expensive.
The Tynemouth reply produced a promising 50 not out for opener Chris Grieveson, but they were always behind the rate and fell just 20 runs short with the loss of six wickets.
Bennett returned to record 24 not out after a spell out hurt, but in the final overs the boundary was well protected and the really big shots did not happen.
Horner and Zubair Ahmed each took two wickets. This was the thirds’ first defeat of the season.
On Friday, May 27, Tynemouth entertain South Northumberland at Preston Avenue with a 6pm start in the first game of this season’s T20 campaign.
Free Prosecco is available for all women who come down to watch as part of an ECB/Waitrose Open day scheme designed to get families watching the game.
There will be a grand raffle and all are welcome to attend what is expected to be a lively evening of fun with this increasingly popular cricket format.
Saturday, May 28: 1sts v Stockton, away, 11.30am, NEPL Premier Division; 2nds v Stockton, home, 1pm, NEPL Division 2; 3rds v Whitley Bay 2nds, home, 1.30pm, NCL Division 2.
Sunday, May 29: Academy v Benwell Hill, home, 1.30pm, NEPL Sunday Division 1; U13s v Stocksfield, away, 10am, Cup; U11s v Morpeth or South North (if Tynemouth win on Monday night), away, 10am, Cup.
Monday, May 30: 1sts v Boldon, away, 1.30pm, Banks Salver.
Tuesday, May 31: 3rds v Clara Vale 1sts, away, 6pm, Tom Barlow Cup.