A devastating opening spell by Shotley Bridge’s opening bowlers paved the way to a nine-wicket defeat for Percy Main.
Shotley Bridge’s Captain Stuart Graham won an important toss and elected to bowl first in bowler friendly conditions at St John’s Terrace.
Persistent rain had forced a late start and the contest was reduced to 47 overs per side.
Graham opened the bowling with Joe Gibson. Both men bowled with great control.
Graham bowled tightly throughout the innings finishing with 0-27 from his 11 overs.
Gibson’s swing and seam movement in helpful conditions accounted for the first four wickets. Gibson had Davey Anderson Anthony Hornby and Michael Phillips all caught behind by wicketkeeper Ross Andrews.
Before removing Andrew Green caught at mid-off by Kieran Millburn. Gibson’s opening six-over spell had reduced Percy Main to 28-4.
Gibson would go on to finish with 5-18 from eight overs as he added the wicket of Percy Main skipper Barry Stewart to his earlier four wickets.
Without the fighting effort of Stewart, the Percy Main total of 88 would have been considerably lower. Stewart made 48 from 83 balls.
Stewart arrived at the crease with the score at 2-1 and was penultimate man out with the score at 86. Stewart hit five fours one six during his innings.
He was the only batsman to look comfortable at the crease and was unfortunate to keep losing partners during his innings.
The Percy Main middle and lower order all fell to the spin bowling of Jack Rowley and Kieran Milburn, who finished with 4-27 and 1-15 respectively.
With Shotley Bridge only requiring 89 runs to win, Percy Main knew that early wickets would be crucial. Mark Armstrong struck with just the fifth ball of the innings as the off spinner found Kieran Milburn’s outside edge and Andrew Green took a reaction catch at slip via wicketkeeper Anthony Hornby’s gloves.
Unfortunately, the early wicket would be the only wicket that Percy Main would take that afternoon as Phillip Brown and Paul Greenwell added 88 for the second wicket in just 19.4 overs to chase down the 89 run target.
The next game for the men from St John’s Terrace is away to Swalwell CC on Saturday 16th July starting at 1:30pm.