Tynemouth 160-5 (40.2 overs) beat South Northumberland 156 all out (46 overs).
Tynemouth finished the NEPL season strongly by inflicting only the second league defeat of the season on the already crowned champions South North at Roseworth Terrace last Saturday. On a used pitch and with rain around, skipper Ben Debnam won the toss and invited the hosts to bat. Former Ashes batsman Marcus North started strongly but Andrew Smith, who bowled well all day without much reward, managed to slow the scoring taking the wicket of the dangerous Birtwisle in the process.
The introduction of Tahir Khan into the attack paid immediate dividends as he removed North for 42, and then started to work his way through a surprisingly brittle South North batting line up. This was Khan’s finest performance of the season as he bowled an attacking line with great control, exploiting the turn and bounce available on his way to outstanding figures of 6-27. John Graham provided some resistance with 51, before Martin Pollard removed him in his first over, with two excellent catches from Henry Malton at short leg helping Pollard to wrap up the innings with 3-20. Despite Doig’s swiped 21, the final total of 156 all out felt under par.
In reply, openers Debnam and Dinning faced some excellent new ball bowling from Stephen Humble, but gradually the dogged Debnam wore down the hosts’ invective and vociferous appealing on his way to carrying his bat for a match-winning 70 not out with 7 fours.
Poynter added a breezy 18, before Debnam and Matthew Brown formed a 69-run partnership that broke the back of the run chase. Playing the spinners watchfully and with authority, the pair also played skilfully against fine seam bowling from Humble and Wightman. Brown fell for 36, passing 500 league runs in the process, but despite the further losses of Armstrong and Smith, Debnam was there at the end with professional Tahir Khan. Humble claimed 3-37 off his 10 overs and ran out Nick Armstrong for 9. This fine all-round performance from Tynemouth secured an excellent win by five wickets and closed the league season on an upbeat note in 8th place in the NEPL table.
The Second Team hosted South Northumberland, won the toss and elected to bat despite the gloomy conditions. It proved not to be a good decision as only Graeme Hallam with 57 made an impression and Tynemouth were dismissed for a poor 109 in 33.1 overs. The main pain, after Cameron Skinner had Tynemouth 2-2, was inflicted by Jamie Ruddick who recorded 5-42 off his 10.1 overs. The win was a cruise for the visitors by 6 wickets in 23.1 overs although Sam Robson and Matty Walton each took 2 consolation wickets.
The Third Team visited Bomarsund on the outskirts of Ashington with skipper Chris Grieveson for once winning the toss. He asked the hosts to bat first and began with the strike pairing of Ed Snelders and Will Perry. It was Snelders who claimed three wickets, thanks to two catches off bullet hits direct to Chad Koen who looked cool on clean collection. At the other end Perry bowled with economy and 0-12 off 6 overs. Snelders completed his full spell with 3-24 off 10 overs and Bomarsund were struggling for runs with 56-3 on the board after 17 overs. But for a series of dropped catches, Tynemouth might have been much further on top of this game at an early stage.
Koen replaced Perry and he was despatched by Shaun Hudson who went on to make 54. Koen could not penetrate and ended with 0-49 off 10 overs. It was Neil Bennett who made the difference, taking 4-33 off 10 overs including bowling the dangerous Hudson. Don Catley was given a short spell at the death and obliged with 1-16 off 4 overs, thanks to a well taken catch by David Mohon, as Bomarsund ended their 40 overs on 144-8.
The Tynemouth reply, spearheaded by Grieveson and Koen, was a match winning opening stand of 105 when Koen on 59 (8 fours) was caught by the Breeze off Pattison. Perry had been in his pads for a patient 26 overs but joined his skipper and took control with 5 aggressive boundaries in 22 not out to win the game. Grieveson was happy on 53 not out having hit 9 fours. The impressive win by 9 wickets sees this transformed Tynemouth team climb to 5th place in the table with a trip to lowly placed Embleton next week, in the final week of the season, and fourth place still a possibility.