Backworth take victory thanks to bowling pair

BACKWORTH went to Whickham with a much depleted side and their positive approach to the game resulted in a surprisingly comfortable win against one of the better teams in the league.

The visitors batted first with a makeshift opening pairing of Simon Bradford and Scott Shannon.

Bradford attacked the Whickham professional Mike Parr from the start and although he succumbed in the eighth over he had scored 31 off 24 balls and 50 was on the board.

Shannon followed two overs later for 23.

Paul Walker continued the aggression with 16 off only ten balls before being bowled.

Michael Race, by comparison, was more leisurely but formed effective partnerships with Terry Finchen and Ian Stubbs and was eventually out for 33.

The rest of the innings fell away but Ian Stubbs remained at one end until he was last man out, also for 33, as Backworth totalled 171 all out.

Paul Walker made in-roads into the Whickham batting by removing the two main dangers, bowling Armstrong and catching Parr off his own bowling.

The ever reliable Stubbs also chipped in with two wickets.

However, the main breakthrough came when Scott Shannon was brought into the attack for his debut first team bowl.

In his first nine balls he picked up three wickets with his left-arm spin – one lbw and two catches by Paul Walker – leaving the Whickham innings in disarray at 52-7.

Ainley provided some resistance with an innings of 47 but Stubbs returned to remove him and the number 11 to have the miserly analysis of 4-1.