Monkseaton CC 1st XI edged a thrilling encounter away to Berwick 2nd XI on Saturday in a game that went right to the wire.
The tense nine-run victory at Pier Field yielded 29 valuable points and keeps Mark Tunstall’s men third in the Northumberland and Tyneside Cricket League Division Six (North) table as they continue their bid to win promotion.
After winning the toss and batting first, opening pair Richard Ord (44) and vice-captain Ben Windass (40) put on 93 for the first wicket and a score in excess of 200 looked a distinct possibility for Monkseaton.
But after both men fell in quick succession, Berwick began to gain a foothold in the game. Useful runs from Antony Lion (27) and skipper Tunstall (25 not out) ensured maximum batting points were achieved by Monkseaton, who finished on 171-7 after their 40 overs.
Berwick’s reply got off to a slow start, largely thanks to an impressive bowling stint from Adam Doyle. His final figures of 1-22 from nine overs underlined his value to the team, picking up the key wicket of home skipper Richard Farish while constantly troubling the hosts’ batting order with his impeccable line and length.
Berwick relied on opener Liam Thompson as the mainstay of their innings and he received good support from Niall Jones (30) and David Currie (25).
But Windass – enjoying a prolific season with the bat – capped a fine all-round performance when he came on to bowl, taking 3-24 as Berwick came up just short. Thompson finished 72 not out but it was Monkseaton who clinched a valuable win, making the long trip home down the A1 a happy journey.
The 1st XI have a quick rematch with Berwick 2nd XI in the Enid Farmer Cup on Thursday night at Churchill Playing Fields (6pm start) before they are on their travels again this weekend when they go to Wooler (1pm start).
Monkseaton 2nd XI were left wondering ‘what might’ve been’ after going down to Civil Service 2nd XI at Churchill Playing Fields on Saturday.
The visitors went into the game sitting pretty in the NTCL Division Six (South) table but were left reeling by a devastating opening bowling spell by Monkseaton’s John Hewett which reduced them to 28-5.
Hewett recorded impressive figures of 5-19 from his nine overs but Civil Service recovered superbly to finish on 202-8 after their 40 overs.
That target proved far beyond Monkseaton, who finished on 111-9. Once again, Eric Thompson (23) was the only batsman to make a notable contribution and more runs are required from across the team if they are to climb the table.
Monkseaton will be hoping for better when they host Corbridge 2nd XI on Saturday (1pm start).