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Weekend Review 4-6 May : Second's kick off 2024 season with James Bell Cup success

Weekend Review 4-6 May : Second's kick off 2024 season with James Bell Cup success

7 May 2024

Once again it was a rain affected weekend, with Friday night's deluge putting pay to Saturday's 1st XI and 2nd XI games against Chester le Street, as well as Sunday's 1st National Knockout game at Saltburn and the NEPL 3rd XI game at home to  Newcastle.  However two fixtures beat the weather, the 3rd XI game on Saturday at Riding Mill and the 2023 James Bell Memorial Cup final at Whitbun on Bank Holiday Monday, a game which was left over from last season - due to the weather! Let's hope this isn't a constant theme of the 2024 season.


West Tyne League - 3rd XI v Riding Mill (a) - lost by 70 runs


The Hill's return to old stomping ground Riding Mill didn't go to plan, as we went down by 70 runs. Winning the toss (not for the first time over the weekend but more of that later!) Chris Pounder elected to bowl first, and the team backed up the decision as they restriced the host's to a modest 133 for 7 in their 40 overs. Wickets were shared round with opening bowlers Pounder and Maclauchlan taking 1 each, with youngsters Aaron Armstrong (1 wicket), Ben Robinson (2 wickets) and Fergus Wallace (1 wicket) providing excellent support.


However to say the the batting didn't go to plan, would be an under statement, with only an excellent 35 from Fergus Wallace (the only player to get double figures) saving us from one of our lowest scores ever in the West Tyne, as we finished on 63 all out.


ECB National Club Championship - 1st XI v Saltburn (a) - Won on Coin Toss


Unfortunately the second attempt to get the Hill's first ever fixture at Saltburn - in living memory - was cancelled again on Sunday, This meant the game had to be decided by coin toss, and we are delighted to report that stand in skipper for the event, Chris Pounder, called it right (Tails), and secured the Hill's progression to the next round, which is a tough looking fixture at home to Harrogate on Sunday 12 May. For the historian's our there, the Hill's best ever run in the competition was halted by Harrogate in a Quarter Final away fixture back in 1997, for the record Harrogate eventually finished runners up that year.


3rd XI West Tyne Scorecard v Riding Mill (a)


James Bell Memorial Cup FInal (2023) - 2nd XI v Whitburn (a) - Won by 9 wickets


The leftover James Bell final from 2023 eventually went ahead on Bank Holiday Monday at Whitburn, and a young Benwell Hill side recorded an excellent 9 wicket win in the 20 over match.


The Hill restricted the hosts to only 105 for 5 in their 20 overs, a tremendous effort on the compact ground, which in the past has seen the Hill bowlers being dispatched to all corners. In response the Hill chased down the total with 7 balls to spare, Rohaan Aatif top scoring with 58 not out, ably assisted by fellow opener Abu Siddique (47), with the pair putting on a century opening stand.


Well played lads hopefully the first of many trophies for the Hill in 2024.


2nd XI James Bell FInal (2023) Scorecard - Whitburn (a)



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