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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Kirkup and Waugh stretch Bridge lead

WHILE the margin of victory was slightly flattering, Haydon Bridge extended their lead at the top of the West Tyne League with success over Wylam.

In a competitive game of cricket, the result seemed destined to go right down to the wire until Dan Kirkup and Tom Waugh cleaned up the visitors’ tail to earn a 74 run triumph.

The front runners were put in a commanding position by Chris Welton and Ian Watson who made an opening stand of 97.

With a quick 18 from Kirkup and 30 from Jamie Taylor, they were on course for 200 but Wylam’s four bowlers all stuck to the task well to keep them down to 166-9.

Wylam’s reply started aggressively and they picked up singles, but offered little following the dismissal of the top four of Mark Wilson, Alex Rayner, Mark Rowell and Andy Paton, particularly when Kirkup and Waugh entered the fray.

There was a first win of the season for struggling Haltwhistle as a 100 plus partnership between Michael Parker and Ben Lloyd saw them inflict a seven wicket defeat on Benwell Hill III.

With the team struggling to get going on 20-2, the pairing got Halty firing on all cylinders with Parker remaining at the crease with 69 and Lloyd departing one run shy of his half ton.

It was a big win for Halthwhistle who were in danger of getting cut adrift at the bottom, but Benwell made it tricky towards the end of their innings with a rapid 20 not out from David Archbold taking them to 140-6.

Haltwhistle were not able to claim maximum points despite a solid bowling performance, Lloyd coming away with 4-28.

Haltwhistle closed the gap on Mitford to seven points as they lost a close encounter at Prudhoe, their young bowlers again taking the limelight.

Ryan Chamberlain was the pick of the bunch in the 10 run success, but star of the season Perry Hall again took two vital wickets at the end to deny the visitors the victory.

With Nick Gaynor showing good line and length early on, Prudhoe struggled to get going with Mark Jacobs the only one up the order making an impact.

Jay Virpura then showed some ruthlessness by claiming five wickets but Prudhoe made their way to 144 after a great knock of 45 by Marc Sagar.

Gaynor and Hicken put Mitford back in with a shout midway through their innings, but the young bowlers came to the fore to see Prudhoe to maximum points.

Sam Beedle continues to show maturity beyond his 16 years, his unbeaten 47 steering Stocksfield II to a big win at Humshaugh.

He has been the stand-out player of the season with the bat and he again impressed for his side, building on a good start made by Steven Page whose aggressive 54 set a platform to chase down their visitors’ total of 159.

On their way to victory, a late flurry from Trevor Walker confirmed the 12 points for the in-form hosts, West Tyne legend Dickie Purvis the pick of Humshaugh’s bowlers.

Going into the game sitting second, Humshaugh rarely threatened as they opened the batting as, even though Hedley Renton stuck around to make 73, wickets fell on a regular basis.

Humshaugh made a reasonable start through Allan Murray and Cameron McKenna, but the introduction of change bowlers Walker and Gavin Todd stifled the run rate and turned the game in Stocksfield’s favour.

Ninety-four runs in a second wicket stand between Charlie Robson and Alex Pearse spearheaded Matfen Hall to a 39 run success over hosts Stamfordham.

It looked like it was not going to be their day as they lost opener Mitch Ross for a duck, and they needed to rebuild the innings again as they collapsed from 94-1 to 112-5.

Veterans Ian Pilkington and Eddie Scott combined to push the score past 150, despite some good bowling and fielding from Stamfordham’s lot especially the in-form Richard Gardener.

Matfen youngster Aaron Tiffin struck early as Stamfordham lost wickets at crucial times, but there was some good resistance forthcoming from Alex Gray and skipper Ian Donkin.

With Harry Fitton taking the all-important catch, a good day with the ball brought six clean bowled dismissals to finish their opponents off.

Hexham Leazes moved up to second spot as they restricted guests Allendale to a total of 82.

With Dan Toward, Nick Stevenson and Andrew McCormick all in the wickets, Dale struggled to live with the attack with the wily John Raglan the only batsman racking up a healthy score.

Leazes’ reply started slowly but the arrival at the crease of Paul Newton turned the game on its head, and they were home and dry despite Nolan weighing in with three wickets for Allendale.