TYNEMOUTH continued their difficult start to the season with a home game against national champions South Northumberland.
Fresh from their crucial win against South Shields the previous week, the first team – sponsored by Tony Newman Decorators – were massive underdogs against the Bulls.
Tynemouth skipper Barry Stewart won the toss and had no hesitation in bowling first on another good home wicket.
The decision paid immediate dividends as South Northumberland struggled to find any momentum through the morning session, being reduced to 84-6 before lunch.
Bulls skipper John Graham was first to go, Rameez Shahzad taking a one handed catch in the gully off the bowling of Josh Koen.
From there on it was a procession of wickets: Hewison (16) caught at the wicket by Greg Hollins off David Hymers; Craggs (1) bowled Shahzad; Heather (13) lbw Shahzad; Jobson (8) caught at the wicket off Nick Armstrong and ex-Tynemouth lad Jimmy Miller caught at the wicket for one.
After lunch a small partnership began for the Bulls with Humble trying in vain to get some sort of total on the board.
But Tynemouth’s bowling unit stuck to their task exceptionally and finished the South Northumberland tail off quickly once Humble had gone, caught by skipper Stewart for 44 off Phil Morse.
South Northumberland were all out 145.
The wicket takers were: Hymers 2-27, Josh Koen 1-35, Shahzad 3-31, Armstrong 2-14 and Morse 1-24.
Tynemouth went about their run chase in the usual fashion, getting up a good run rate but losing regular wickets which reduced them to an extremely worrying 75-7.
There had been early losses of the openers Ben Debnam for ten and Armstrong for eight, followed by Rory Cox who was Wightman’s third victim for only one.
Shahzad steadied the ship as Greg Hollins fell to Wightman for a duck; then Matt Brown contributed 13, Stewart seven with Shahzad out lbw to Humble for 27.
The game having appeared to have swung in South North’s favour, few in the ground would have guessed what would happen next.
As the Tynemouth faithful waited for the inevitable, numbers eight and nine in the Tynemouth order Anthony Turner and Morse let loose.
Morse was striking all time league leading wicket taker Lee Crozier over the top with ease while Turner used the pace of the quicks Humble and Wightman to caress the ball into gaps for boundaries.
The body language of the Bulls players was showing that their confidence was draining away from them, as was the game.
As a last resort for the Bulls, the quicks were brought back on but this was fatal for South North as the boundaries then came easier for Turner and Morse.
Finally, Turner won the game with a straight drive for four to ignite pandemonium amongst the Tynemouth players and supporters.
Tynemouth’s heroes Turner and Morse finished not out on 33 and 37 respectively.
Tynemouth took 21 points from the game and move up one place to eighth in the premier league table.
During the week Tynemouth had overcome a potential banana skin against Cowgate in a cup tie.
A makeshift first team scored 131 thanks mainly to Nick Armstrong (66).
Cowgate had no answer to the young Tynemouth bowling attack and were all out for 98, with 14-year-old Ollie McGee taking his inaugural first team wicket.
Tynemouth seconds, in their reverse fixture, visited South Northumberland, who scored 205-9 declared despite a superlative 6-38 from young spin merchant Ollie McGee.
Tynemouth were dismissed for 131 and slipped to sixth place in the second division table. Opener Ben Richardson top scored with 36 with Perry 25, Scott Graham 19 and Hollins 24 resisting total demise.
Tynemouth thirds travelled to Riding Mill to play Old Record Players (ORP).
Skipper Richard Hay won another toss and put the hosts in to bat on a firm wicket but in blustery conditions.
The opening strike pair of Ed Snelders and Max Robertson mastered the conditions well and reduced ORP to 28-4.
At the other end, Don Catley shut up shop with a spell of 4-13. Top scorer Minhaj fell lbw to Catley for 38.
The ORP’s total of 127 in 41 overs looked to be a modest target so Hay and the team were well pleased with their afternoon’s work.
After tea, the experienced Nick Brown and Vince Howe took the score to 83 off 25 overs at the drinks break and finished the job without loss in the 35th over to give Tynemouth maximum points.
Howe scored 60 off 92, balls including nine fours; Brown scored 55 off 113 balls with six fours and a huge six in a total of 128-0.
Tynemouth, inspired by their new skipper, now top the division by 30 points.
South Northumberland Reds U11s 318 (+118), Tynemouth U11s 233 (+33).
Tynemouth made the trip to Gosforth to face a strong South Northumberland team, packed with county players, looking to avenge the defeat in last season’s county cup final.
The visitors batted first with Lewis Cass and Jamie Wills opening the batting, both batsmen struggled to score runs against some quick and accurate bowling.
James Whiting and Hugo Meechan came in next and continued to find it hard to get runs against more quality bowling.
James did well to constantly get bat on ball but was unlucky to keep finding the fielders whilst Hugo hit two glorious boundaries before being unfortunately run out from the last ball of the partnership.
Dan McGee and Finn Samblin set about attacking the bowling, with Dan top scoring with 18 including a huge six over the heads of the spectators. Finn supported well with some good running between the wickets.
Ethan Brown and Will Kerr were last in, ending with a score of 33.
Despite some quick and accurate bowling, the South Northumberland batsmen scored 118 runs to win by 85 runs to inflict Tynemouth’s first defeat in over a season.