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Bedja proves too hot for Mustard

Wesley Bedja, bowling for Tynemouth, beats the bat against Felling. Picture by Colin Edwards
Wesley Bedja, bowling for Tynemouth, beats the bat against Felling. Picture by Colin Edwards

Tynemouth 191-9 beat Felling 122 all out by 69 runs.

Tynemouth’s Martin Pollard recorded career-best figures of 7-27 to ensure his side defeated a battling and improving Felling outfit at Preston Avenue on Saturday.

Skipper Ben Debnam won the toss for the home side and elected to bat first.

There was early swing and some seam movement from the Felling opening pair of Paul Leonard and Aussie Josh Eaton. However, some determined batting from Debnam and Durham player Mike Jones saw off the new ball and had Tynemouth well placed at 46 without loss when Debnam drove, nicked and was caught by Eddie Hurst off the bowling of Dale Shaw.

Shaw offered a real threat and had Jones caught at gully by Phil Mustard in his next over.

Some tidy bowling by Chris Nichols complemented the aggressive Shaw and Tynemouth began losing their way and the wicket of Matthew Brown to leave them struggling at 57-3.

Sam Dinning and Nick Armstrong steadied the ship, taking the score to 88 at which point a battling innings of 20 from Dinning came to an end, adjudged lbw off the bowling of slow left-armed Anthony Trotter.

Armstrong had settled in though and played a great hand, scoring elegantly through the cover area and defending purposefully. His 50 was the highlight of the Tynemouth innings although David Hymers with 20 and Wesley Bedja with 32 not out deserve credit for a fine eighth wicket stand of 43 allowing Debnam to declare on 191-9.

Bedja and Hymers then took the new ball and it was the South African who got the important wicket of former Durham and England star Phil Mustard for just 10. This was the second time Bedja has had Mustard’s wicket this season.

Dale Shaw, the pick of the Felling bowlers earlier, now showed his batting skills and began to build a useful partnership with Joe Carrol, taking the score to 71-1, at which point Debnam turned to Pollard. This decision proved crucial as Pollard simply ripped through the Felling batsmen. Since arriving at the club, Pollard has worked hard to turn himself from one of the all-time leading wicket-taking seamers in the NEPL into an off-spinner to extend a long and distinguished career. On the basis of this performance, there are many more wickets to come. His final figures of 7-27 from 15 overs were outstanding and thoroughly deserved.

When Bedja returned to bounce out last man Anthony Trotter, the Felling innings had crumbled from 71-1 to 122 all out.

Credit was also due to some accurate seam bowling from Hymers, Smith and Gourley, some hostility from Bedja and three fine slip catches by Mike Jones.

This deserved win for Tynemouth sees them retain fourth place in the NEPL and face leaders South Northumberland at Gosforth on Saturday.

The second team also won their fixture at Boldon. The third team sealed an eight-wicket win against Monkseaton 2s.