Run machine Ben Windass returned to form at the weekend with his third half century of the season to bolster Monkseaton CC 1st XI’s late promotion push.
The prolific opener bludgeoned the Stobswood bowling attack for an unbeaten 53 to secure a maximum 30 point haul for the visitors.
A depleted Stobswood elected to bat in overcast blustery conditions, but looked steady early on as bowlers Adam Doyle and John Hewett wrestled with the elements.
The home batsmen looked comfortable, but it was Hewett who struck the first significant blow when he had the opener caught at mid-on.
Doyle, sporting some impressive designer footwear, couldn’t match his sartorial elegance with wickets up the hill, while Hewett made hay down the bank taking three for six in his tight spell.
After that it was a case of choking the runs from the bottom end and trusting to the downhill pacemen to do the damage.
The imposing David Gowar had the batsmen on the back foot as Monkseaton turned the screw, and he was ably supported by the guile of all-rounders Ian McDine and Tony Lion.
As Stobswood looked to eke out a competitive score, skipper Mark Tunstall slipped James Gowar into the bowling attack, looking for bit of magic. Gowar duly obliged, rattling the timbers in successive balls to leave Stobswood reeling.
The home team rallied briefly, and a couple of dropped catches gave them some hope, before Lion snaffled up the last man to leave Stobswood all out for what looked like an under-par 112.
Any hopes of an upset, however, were quickly dismissed as openers Richard Ord and Windass took the game away from Stobswood with a quickfire opening stand of 67.
Ord fell for 34, but Gary Benns picked up where he left off to enjoy a Monkseaton run-fest.
Benns, the frontman for local rock band SkyRush, proved just as ‘on song’ with the bat, clubbing the Stobswood attack for a rapid 20 not out to see Monkseaton home to a nine-wicket victory and a welcome 30 points in the bag.