The Hill responded in style to the previous week’s disappointing defeat at the hands of league leaders Burnmoor, by producing a commanding display at Preston Avenue, Tynemouth, as the orange-ball format began again to close the season. The performance was exactly what Director of Cricket, Kyle Coetzer and captain Pete Halliday had called for after the Burnmoor reverse and maintained The Hill’s unbeaten league away record in 2021.
Tynemouth elected to bat first on a used pitch and shorn of several first team regulars, their experienced pair of Brown and Debnam opened. The Hill gave Coetzer the new ball with Cal Harding and it was Coetzer who struck first pinning Brown for 12. Coetzer has often claimed the prize wicket of the Tynemouth skipper in this format, so it was a smart piece of captaincy from Halliday to call upon the Scottish Darren Stevens to open the bowling. Debnam and Smith then battled hard to establish themselves and Smith survived a confident appeal off the bowling of a shocked Anth Hunter, who not bowled down the hill, but with the wind. Tynemouth appeared to have weathered the storm and reached 57-1, when Joe Torre struck immediately after a sanitisation break. The young off-spinner, operating from the Rugby Ground End, kept his nerve after Debnam had hit him for a straight six earlier and he lured the opener down the pitch again, only this time the attempted big hit ended-up in the hands of Hunter at deep mid-wicket, giving The Hill a much-needed breakthrough and Torre his first wicket in First XI league cricket.
Torre’s success saw Halliday introduce Mukhtar from the Golf Course End and in tandem with Torre they slowed the scoring with Tynemouth reaching 69-2 before Mukhtar trapped Fairley lbw for 6. Now, Torre torn a fatal hole in Tynemouth’s inexperienced middle-order with Snowdon bowled through the gate without scoring and with Koen smartly stumped by Halliday, also for a duck, Tynemouth were in decline. It got worse as Swaddle-Scott drove to Coetzer at short-midwicket with the score changing from 69-2 to 77-6. It was 82-7 with a dreadful mix-up between Smith and Gourley saw the latter eventually run out for 2, despite The Hill’s best efforts to make a mess of the chance! Smith was eighth out lbw sweeping Mukhtar for a battling 27, which equalled Debnam’s effort at the top of the order. Handa’s unbeaten 9 nudged the score over a hundred, as Harding returned to have Carr neatly caught at second slip by Guy and last man Bennett was lbw to a full ball to end the innings on 102. In the blink of an eye the last eight wickets had fallen for just 33 runs.
The Hill’s successful chase was led by Coetzer and Mukhtar who added 15 for the first wicket before Mukhtar skied a catch to be well-caught by keeper Brown running backwards. Angus Guy then partnered Coetzer during the 75-run second wicket partnership which secured the win. The diminutive Scotsman, Guy visibly annoyed to edge behind with 13 required. There was time for Fin McCreath to strike two pleasing boundaries, before Coetzer finished the game with six into the car park. His unbeaten 56 coming from 66 balls. Despite, the odd ball misbehaving and occasional alarm, the target was achieved with relatively little difficultly.
The bowling unit provided the opportunity with all six bowlers producing economical spells with Mukhtar’s ten overs yielding just 16 runs with two wickets. Seamers Harding, Hunter and Coetzer were miserly too and Williamson’s four overs towards the end only going for 13. It was Torre’s day though with 4-30 in his ten overs, as he waltzed his way through the hosts top-order. Wicketless, despite bowling well in his initial matches in the first team, his first scalps here led directly to a victory and of course a round of career best drinks!
The Hill remain fourth after the win, but have closed the gap on third placed Chester-le-Street to less than a handful of points. On Saturday, Whitburn are the visitors to Denton Bank, as the first begin the first of three consecutive home matches.
Thanks to guest reporter Phil Nicholson for the above report. The scorecard versus Tynemouth is available here.
A young 2nd XI continued their impressive run at the top of the table with a 116 run victory over Tynemouth at the HIll. The Hill were inserted by the opposition and scored 211 all out in 48 overs. In a rare foreay as an opener Andy Dawson was top scorered with 42, there were awful useful contributions from Joe Anderson (30), Rohaan Aatif (27) and Joe Kilpatrick (23).
Tynemouth were 95 all out inside 33 overs, with Matthew Lockey taking 4 for 23, Safiun Bhuyian 3 for 14 and John Chambers 2 for 2.
The 3rd XI visited Belsay in the West Tyne League. After winning the toss we started brightly having Belsay 3 down early before a middle order fight back. We would eventually bowl Belsay out for 148 with 4 wickets for the skipper 2 for Harry Reeves and 1 each for Fardin Bhuiyan and MD Salim
In reply The Hill started brightly despite lose Big Harry Reeves early. However we would ultimately finish short on 124. Double figure contributions from Rashid Shad 25, Fardin Bhuiyan 11 and a dogged 39 by Taylor Matthews.
The NEPL 3rd XI fixture at South North on Sunday 15th August was cancelled due to the wet weather.