Chester Le Street 267-8 lost to Tynemouth 268-5
Tynemouth were buoyed by the returning Stuart Poynter and another excellent knock from Matthew Brown as they edged a five wicket victory at Chester-le-Street.
Home skipper John Coxon won the toss and had no hesitation in batting. Without his regular opening bowlers, Tynemouth skipper Ben Debnam, asked Andrew Smith to start at one end and Martin Pollard from the other. Pollard, reverting to medium pace, bowled a steady opening spell.
However it wasn’t long before openers Kyle Davis and George Harrison had the scoreboard racing for the Cestrians in an opening partnership of 81 before Pollard took a fine one handed catch at mid-on to dismiss Harrison for 26 from Club Professional Tahir Khan’s first over.
This brought the hard hitting Andrew Smith (from Chester) in to face his namesake from Tynemouth and it was the Home Smith who prevailed with a fine array of shots in his 52.
The game changed when Debnam introduced youngster Henry Malton into the attack just before lunch and he dismissed Smith in just his third over.
Whilst the first session was won by Chester Le Street the afternoon was very much shared. Malton bowled non-stop at one end to record impressive figures of 5-66 from 15 overs and Tahir Khan recorded 3-63 from his 15 to see the home team declaring at 267-8 from 58 overs.
Khan was impressive, protecting the short leg side boundary with flight and turn. The delivery that bowled the excellent Quentin Hughes was the ball of the day; it turned viciously past the left hander’s outside edge.
However, the plaudits really go to Henry Malton who ripped the heart out of the home side’s innings by dismissing Coxon, Bell, Harrison and Davis.
Kyle Davis was the pick of the home side’s batting and was unlucky to fall just three runs short of what would have been a deserved century. There was also a late flurry from Liam Simpson who was 40 not out.
Tynemouth skipper Debnam opened the batting with Sam Dinning. The two saw off the new ball but when skipper Coxon turned to spin Dinning was soon on his way for 20, lbw to Smith from a ball that stayed low. Almost immediately Debnam was on his way too for a well-made 39, also lbw, this time to the guile of Quentin Hughes with the score on 72-2.
Some rebuilding was required and Tynemouth had the right men for the job in Durham player Stuart Poynter and Matthew Brown.
Together they put on a match winning partnership of 124 before Poynter was caught spectacularly by Kyle Davis. At 196-3 the away side were well placed but there was still work to be done when Nick Armstrong joined Brown and played a lovely cameo of 29 from just 19 balls to put his side back on top.
With just 23 required for victory both Brown, for a fine 86, and Armstrong were dismissed by Harrison and it was left to Tahir Khan and Tynemouth’s Andrew Smith to see their side home by five wickets with just nine balls remaining.