On a rain affected day and where little went their way, an under-strength Tynemouth fought hard at Jesmond but were beaten by title-chasing Newcastle.
Heavy rain throughout the early part of the afternoon restricted the game to just 67 overs.
Having won the toss, Newcastle skipper Jacques Du Toit wasted no time in inserting the visitors and asking Calum Harding and Sean Tindale to open up.
Nick Armstrong returned to the Seasiders’ line-up and he opened their innings with Sam Dinning. However, it was not a happy return and he was caught behind by the excellent Josh Philippe, off the bowling of Tindale for just eight.
Worse was to come as Josh Koen edged a ball to slip and it was grabbed by Du Toit, then Andrew Smith was stumped first ball, and finally Dinning needlessly ran out Tahir Khan leaving Tynemouth reeling at 23-4.
The returning Barry Stewart then came to the crease, adding much needed experience and calm, and together with Dinning the two began to build a handy partnership.
Stewart showed excellent judgement and technique, looked solid in defence and punished anything loose. Dinning supported him well and made 29 before Harding had him caught behind.
Stewart reached a deserved half century before also falling to Harding, who was perhaps the pick of the home attack.
Cameron Steel, who made a double century for Durham CCC in midweek, showed his versatility by bowling some handy leg breaks and googlies and claimed the wickets of Fairley and Lonnberg before a counter attack from David Hymers, with a fine not out 30, saw Tynemouth reach 137-8 in their allotted overs.
This was a below par score but a decent effort after recovering from such a poor start.
In the reply, Tynemouth captain for the day, Martin Pollard, opened up with David Hymers and Finn Lonnberg.
Newcastle started with Steel and Appleby and it was the latter who attacked from the off, dispatching Hymers for three sixes in one over before he tried one shot too many and was caught by Pollard off the bowling of Tahir Khan for a breezy 32.
Lonnberg was once again in terrific form and soon had the home team wobbling at 55-3 following two beauties which took care of the high class pair of Du Toit and Aussie Josh Philippe, both being caught behind.
With Tahir Khan bowling tidily at the other end it required Steel to use all of his skill and experience to get through some excellent bowling, but his 57 added to his wickets earlier was a man of the match performance.
He was out with the score at 118-4 after an innings that provided the basis for victory by the home side.
Former Tynemouth junior Ben McGee also played a fine hand with 31 not out, hitting the ball especially well to leg as Newcastle won home in the 29th over by five wickets.
Despite the late start and some poor conditions to play in at times, both sides produced some fine cricket in a tough game played in a great spirit.
The second team game at home to Newcastle was washed out by heavy rain but the third team NCL fixture at Cramlington went ahead in reasonable conditions after a 90 minutes delay.
The hosts won the toss and asked Tynemouth to bat first. Their innings comprised 35 runs from opener James Yeomans and the benefit of 11 extras in a total of 77-9.
The bowlers dominated with Kevin Doyle 3-16 off five overs, Mark Wheat 2-15 (eight), J Buck 4-10 (seven) proving difficult to hit off the square as the ball refused to come on to the bat.
Most of Yeomans’ runs were from shorter balls swept towards the legside boundary for four fours and two threes.
No other batsman scored more than six runs as many simple catches were taken to curtail their scoring attempts.
Cramlington also found batting a problem, especially against the tight effective opening pairing of skipper Richard Warwick and Nick McIntyre.
Warwick worked his way through the top order with 4-14 off eight overs and he even took a catch for McIntyre to help him to 1-16, also off eight overs.
Cramlington were 44-5 off 16 overs, opener D Fay having been bowled Warwick for 15. The change bowling of Neil Bennett and Don Catley then continued the pressure.
Catley had Cuthbertson caught by Warwick low down in front of the wicket with his seemingly elastic arms fully outstretched and Bennett clean bowled the next two to fall.
Doyle was the remaining threat and he hit Catley for a six only to be clean bowled for nine next ball as punishment.
Catley also bowled the final victim to give him 3-13 off 4.2 overs with Bennett recording 2-9 off five overs as Tynemouth won home by 13 runs to consolidate their mid-table position.
Catches by Mike McIntyre and David Mohon and the superb up close keeping by Simon Ward were important factors in this good team win.
Saturday, August 19: 1sts v Eppleton, home, noon, NEPL Premier Division; 2nds v Sacriston , away, 12.30pm, NEPL Division 2; 3rds v Corbridge 2nds, home, 1pm, NCL 2.
Sunday, August 20: Academy v South Shields, away, 1.30pm, NEPL Sunday Division 1.
Monday, August 21: 2nds v Ryhope, away 6pm, Roseworth Trophy semi-final; Girls’ open day @TCC, Adam Robson 10am to 3.30pm.
Tuesday, August 22: 1sts v Newcastle, away, 6pm, Smithson Trophy semi-final.