Leazes brush aside Benwell to target double honours
Published at 09:10, Monday, 23 July 2012
HEXHAM Leazes are in the hunt for the league and cup double after brushing aside Benwell Hill with ease in the final of the JustSport West Tyne League Division One KO Cup.
The league leaders defeated Benwell by a whopping nine wickets to pick up the first silverware of the season and give them confidence going into the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, Wylam II earned the title of champions of the Division Two KO Cup, beating Hexham Leazes II by 24 runs.
Dan Toward set the tone for the Leazes in the Division One contest, removing Benwell’s Glenn Robertson with the first ball of the match-up, caught by a juggling Andrew Webster at slip.
He then removed Andy Dawson soon after and, with Mark Armstrong bowling tight from the other end, Hill struggled to make use of the good batting wicket.
However, Dan Hunter decided to go on the attack and he dealt in boundaries to quickly move on to 27 and put the Hill on 41-2 off eight overs.
A double change in bowling introduced Paul Newton and Scott Ferguson to the party, and they each took a wicket in their first over.
Newton never gave Benwell a sniff as he bowled with great craft and guile, and this put the brakes on the Benwell Hill total.
In fact, both bowlers exchanged wickets each over and, along with some excellent fielding and two sharp stumpings from Andrew ‘Doochy’ Brown, Benwell limped to 86-9 from their 20 overs.
Newton finished with man of the match figures of 3-13 from his six overs and Ferguson 3-31 from six.
Hexham Leazes opened their innings with the usual partnership of skipper Ben Griffiths and Ben Thompson, and they showed their intent from the outset by scoring at over six an over.
Thompson took 16 off one over from Akeel Tassawar as the Leazes raced to 48-0 after six overs.
Spinner Liam Sweeney was to get Thompson stumped for a 20-ball 28 but this, coupled with a familiar rain interval, could not stop Leazes' momentum.
On resumption, Webster joined Griffiths and the pair knocked off the required runs in the 14th over, Griffiths finishing unbeaten on 30 and Webster on 21.
It was a much closer affair in the Division Two contest, with Wylam II scooping the trophy for the first time in 25 years after an excellent team performance.
Asked to bat first, Wylam started well despite the early loss of Robert Buckle for eight, stumped by Raji Kingman off Andrew McCormick.
Captain David Teasdale (34) and Thomas Allatt (23) played shots all around the wicket and took advantage of the lush outfield with plenty of twos and threes.
They looked well set for a big score at the halfway stage with 63 on the board, but McCormick dismissed both batsmen within three overs to put Leazes back in the game.
Wylam continued to score at a good rate though through Mark Hull (19), Rob Bergstrand (16) and Jonny Greenwood (11). Chris Harrison then hit four off the last to set Leazes 125 to win.
Given conditions, it looked light of a good score, and Wylam didn’t help themselves by giving away wides at an alarming rate in the early stages.
They did take early wickets, though, with Teasdale running out Billy Kingman for one, and Harry Mahon getting Raji Kingman caught at gully for 12.
Despite Greenwood coming on and taking the key wicket of Leazes captain Trevor Holmes, Hexham were 59-3 at half way and right in the game.
But Wylam started to turn the screw with Hull coming on and bowling an excellent line and length as always.
Runs became harder to come by, resulting in wickets falling at more regular intervals.
Matt Joyce (21) had batted well from the outset and briefly provided more resistance after being joined by Rob Willis (17), but the removal of both by Hull turned things Wylam’s way for the final time.
Two further wickets for Hull gave him a five wicket haul and the man-of-the-match award as Wylam ended up winners by 24 runs.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk