Tynemouth Cricket Club made a confident start to the new season with a comprehensive 67-run win over South Shields at Preston Avenue to retain the traditional Harbour Cup.
With professional Ruhan Pretorius not yet arrived from South Africa, it was Tynemouth’s other winter signing, Durham’s England under 19 all-rounder Andrew Ireland, who shone with the bat.
Tynemouth batted first and lost skipper Ben Debnam early on for 6. Ben McGee and Marcus Turner took the score to 44 before McGee went for 11.
Turner was joined by Ireland and it did not take the pair long to bring the crowd to life. Both batsmen struck the ball powerfully as they added 46 in rapid time.
It came as a bit of a surprise when Turner smashed the ball directly to mid on, caught for 43. However, Ireland then dominated the rest of the innings, hitting three sixes and 10 fours in an innings of 81.
There were useful contributions from Matthew Brown (12), Sam Robson (23) and Ben Richardson (15). Tynemouth declared on 211-9 off 33.3 overs which included two rain interruptions.
In response, last year’s leading wicket taker David Hymers continued where he had left off, reducing Shields to 5-2. Andrew Smith, with his first ball, then removed Aussie Shields to see the visitors a sorry 27-3.
Ireland then made it 51-4 with his first wicket for the club and, with Ryan Macciocchi taking two wickets in quick succession, Shields looked down and out at 79-6.
Chris Rainbow (84 no) salvaged some pride with support from Dunn (15 no) but, after their reduced allocation of 35 overs Shields, were still a long way adrift at 144-6.
Hymers recorded 2-11, Macciocchi 2-33, Smith 1-28 and Ireland 1-24.
Tynemouth commence their North East Premier League campaign on Saturday with a home game against Durham Academy and turn out two sides on Sunday with the NCL Thirds at home to Blue Flames and the NEPL Thirds away at Chester-le-Street.