Griffiths in command for Leazes
Published at 09:08, Monday, 09 July 2012
CAPTAIN Ben Griffiths once again led from the front as he spearheaded his high flying Hexham Leazes side to a nine wicket demolition of Prudhoe.
Not for the first time, Griffiths impressed and the opener recorded an unbeaten half century to help Leazes keep the pressure on leaders Wylam.
After a miracle change in the weather after Thursday’s heavy downpours, Leazes were finally able to take to the field against Prudhoe.
Batting first, Prudhoe's openers Gavin Howden and Barry Frazer started steadily without looking in any trouble. However, once Paul Newton had Frazer caught, the runs dried up with wickets falling at regular intervals.
Dan Toward bowled eight overs for just nine runs and Newton bowled his allotted 12 to finish with fine figures of 3-17.
Scott Ferguson bowled with no luck and Andrew Whitaker was brought on for a quick burst to remove Howden for a defiant 27 and Chamberlain (11).
Youngsters Chamberlain and Hall showed promise and were good in defence, and it took numerous bowling changes before last man Coulson was bowled by Armstrong to leave Prudhoe all out for 87.
Leazes skipper Griffiths and Ben Thompson opened the reply and, from the outset, showed their intention to chase down the total quickly.
Thompson fell to young Hall for 10 but Griffiths dispatched the bad balls as, together with Andrew Webster, they reached their target inside 16 overs.
Griffiths finished with 65 not out which included six sixes as Prudhoe struggled to bowl a consistent line.
But Wylam remain top dogs after they maintained their 100 percent record with a comfortable success against Stamfordham.
The table toppers bowled first with Robinson opening, settling into his usual tight line to the extent that his first five overs yielded only eight runs and one wicket.
At the other end, a graduate of the very successful Wylam academy, 15-year-old insomniac Harry Mahon found good lines harder to come by initially and was replaced by ‘Brett’ Paton who took a wicket in his first over thanks to a sharp slip catch by senior pro Pete Smith.
Mahon returned for a more successful second spell, getting two wickets, to leave the Stamfordham innings in a precarious situation at 51-4. However, McGrath and Raby took the attack to Wylam with some lusty hitting.
This halted with the introduction of another young academy graduate, left arm spin bowler, Johnny Drake, who removed McGrath before Robbie Bergstrand brought an end to proceedings with two wickets in three balls of ingeniously flighted leg breaks.
Stamfordham’s all out total of 130 never looked anywhere near enough on a good batting wicket prepared expertly by Willie Appleby.
This proved to be the case as second XI captain, David Teasdale, put the attack to the sword with shots all around the wicket.
When he was joined by Raffell at the fall of Smith's wicket, runs flowed at a very healthy rate with both batsmen striking nine fours each.
Although Teasdale succumbed to Adamson for a cultured 47, Raffell carried his bat for 50 not out to secure a seven wicket win and keep Wylam on top.
Stamfordham fared no better the following day as they returned from their trip to reigning champions Haydon Bridge with a 56 run defeat to mull over.
Bridge captain Pigg displayed a solid batting style to make his way to 43, while teammate Hines went one better to record a half ton on his way to 56.
Despite Adamson ending with four wickets for Stamfordham, the home side recorded a total of 156 for their opponents to chase.
Stamfordham managed to make triple figures but that was as far as they got as they were all out for 100.
Grey was the star of the innings, making 52 before being stumped by Elliott off Kendrew, with Gledson the only other to get out of single figures.
The wickets were shared around the Bridge bowling attack, Taylor, Boyd, Cunningham and Styes all claiming two wickets each.
Despite the recent deluges, the ground and wicket at Humshaugh were in unbelievably good condition which is a testament to the work done by Dickie Purvis.
But the impeccable conditions did not wok in the hosts’ favour as they lost to visitors Matfen in an entertaining match-up.
After the early loss of Hart, a good contest ensued with Matfen protecting their wicket well. Gradwell and Crawford, for Humshaugh, both bowled good spells but couldn’t separate Buckton and Cooke, who batted equally well in making 41 and 54 respectively.
With the score on 107 in the 27th over, a large total looked likely but rain interrupted proceedings and batting became less easy, allowing Renton to quickly remove both batsmen.
With Purvis dismissing Laughton, the contest had changed but Hogg batted sensibly at one end while Purvis was denied a last over hat-trick, when a stinging catch went to ground.
The Humshaugh reply also suffered an early loss before Murray and Turner decided to see out the Kiwi opening attack. No sooner had this been accomplished, Turner fell to the guile of Stevens.
Gradwell, who made an excellent 37, and Murray took the score to 60 before the latter became the first of four top order wickets for Buckton, which turned the game in the visitors’ favour.
A determined rear guard effort from Renton, Crawford and Weeks, and some lusty blows from Burgon, ensured that Matfen had to fight all the way for maximum points.
The weekend also heralded the exciting start of the Division Two Twenty20 competition, with all six of the reduced overs matches scheduled being completed.
The two North Tyne clubs lead the way in Group A North as Wark Reivers slaughtered Hexham Leazes Riot and Bellingham Riverdale Spitfires shot down Humshaugh Centurions.
Wark top the table after the first round of games following their seven wicket success as Riot ended their 20 overs with just 89 runs to their name. Crosby made 24 and Joyce 22.
Dover led the line well for the Reivers in their reply with his unbeaten stand of 39 guiding his side to the first points of the new tournament. Opener Gradwell (16) and Armstrong (15no) provided good support.
McCormick performed well with the ball for Leazes by claiming all three wickets but it was not enough to stop the rampaging Reivers ending the contest in the 13th over.
Near neighbours Spitfire also got off to a flyer when they ended up as 51 run victors over the Centurions. Crawford claimed 3-14 for Humshaugh but Bellingham’s order were in no mood to let their opponents in, posting a formidable 136.
Blackith top scored with 23 while teammate Roberts, who opened the batting, was close behind on 22.
Bellingham’s Dunlop made sure that Humshaugh would not get anywhere near the total, claiming five wickets as the visitors were sent packing for 85. Gradwell showed most resistance with a well made 25.
Stocksfield Spartans took an early lead in Group B Central following their seven wicket success against a returning Allendale second XI, the Mocos.
With particular highlights from Todd (4-11) and Driver (3-15), the Spartans bullied Mocos to a disappointing 59 all out, only Lee making double figures with 11.
Although three wickets fell in reply, Stocksfield, inspired by Tolchard’s 36 runs, brought the game to an end in the 13th over.
Another returning club, Newbrough Pelicans, tasted defeat on their first game back too as they went down by eight wickets to Haltwhistle Hurricanes.
The Pelicans’ innings was a strong one, though, finishing the 20 overs on 121 as Waugh remained standing on a half century and Hodkinson was not out for 28.
The Bells were in good form for the Hurricanes, though, Ryan claiming 2-18 and Carl 2-28.
Ryan also impressed with the bat for Haltwhistle to help the team overcome the total, but the star of the show was Flemming whose 69 not out was too much for Newbrough to handle.
Just five runs separated Mitford Boars and Wylam Foxes when the teams met in the Group C East opener.
Despite Allatt’s remarkable 60 for Wylam, victory belonged to Mitford as their total of 129 was just out of reach of their opponents.
Brown’s 25 and Gaynor’s 23 helped tick the Boars’ score along despite Turner claiming 3-29 for the Foxes.
It is the Bulls from South Northumberland currently charging ahead after their formidable 74 run win against Belsay Ba Bas.
Galagher fell four runs short of his half century and Sam Dinning finished not out on 33 as South North ended on 136-7, with the wickets shared around for Belsay.
The Ba Bas’ reply fell way short with only Frazer (18) staying at the crease for a period of time. Ian Dinning was the main thorn in the side of Belsay with his 4-22 doing the most damage.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk