The final NEPL weekend of the season pretty much summed up the season both in terms of weather and results. Satuday was a glorious day (probably the hottest of the year), which saw the 1st XI record an excellent win away at Ashington, the 2nd XI lost a high scoring game at the Hill against the same opponents, and the West Tyne 3rd XI suffered a heavy defeat against Riding Mill. Sunday's 2nd XI James Bell Cup final at Whitburn started in the same glorious weather as Saturday but just after the innings break, the heaven's opened with a downpour of biblical proportions, and the game was abandoned with the game finely balanced. Read on for the full story of Saturday's games.
1st XI v Ashington (away) - Phil Haves match report
Our last match of the season saw us pitted against Northumberland rivals Ashington at a sun drenched Langwell Crescent. At last Pete won the toss & had no hesitation in asking our hosts to bat on a wicket which might have a bit in it early on.
Vasi opened the bowling at the pavilion end & boy what a way to leave his mark with the small band the Hill supporters present with an opening spell that Ashington Coach Steve Williams said was the best he’d seen all season as he ripped through the Ashington top order with an exemplary spell of seam & swing bowling. His final figures of 5/25 ( including Overseas Pro Louis first ball) from his 10 overs were his best of the season & ensured he finished with 32 League wickets - a brilliant effort. With Max bowling up the Hill & picking up the valuable wicket of McCarthy the hosts were reduced to 66/8 & an early finish appeared on the cards. With a mixture of good fortune & attacking stroke play Sharkey & Nichols however proved difficult to remove adding 71 for the 9th wicket before Rory in his first appearance of the season dismissed Sharkey for 44. Another 17 were added before Dan wrapped up the innings for 154 with Nichols finishing 46 not out.
Although more than we’d hoped to be chasing halfway through the Ashington innings Pete would have settled for chasing 154 at the start. Despite losing Angus early on (2/1) Haydon played the way Haydon plays & dismissed the hosts bowling with a brutal display of hitting being especially harsh on the home Professional. His 40 from 26 balls ( 6x4 & 2x6) before he clothed one to Harmison off the bowling of Collins set the innings up. Despite also losing Adam cheaply, Max with 25 off 33 promoted to bat at 5 due to Belly’s damaged finger & Rory 23 off 28 added 43 before both fell in quick succession which left us 109/5. Pete with 2 maximums in a 15 ball 21 fell with the score on 133. Sadly Vasi could not be at the crease at the end as he fell for 7 with four runs needed & When Will (16) was out with the scores level if was left to Dan & Callum to see us home.
The large crowd had been royally entertained on a hot Saturday afternoon, a rarity this summer.
Having won the first 3 & last 3 games of the season plus a victory at Jesmond our orange ball form has been as good as anyone in the league however the red ball games in which our only success was a win at Chester le Street can only be described as more than disappointing. Our poor batting & unfortunately Pete losing a large number of tosses has been the main contributor to the red ball form.
Here’s to 2024!
2nd XI v Ashington (home) - Matty Hynd's Captains report
The seasons final game was an entertaining game at home to Ashington in the warmest day of the season!
We won the toss and elected to bat. We again lost 2 early wickets and were 33/2, invluding Moore in his final match for 16. However Aatif and Siddique started to rebuild. Aatif passed 50 but left the field after taking a nasty blow to the head while running between the wicket. Siddique also passed 50 but was out soon after for 53. Mcgregor played nicely for 32 and we reached a solid 241 for 8 which was maybe slightly short of where we wanted to be but still very competitive.
Abu and Safi started well, keeping the runs down and when Kilpatrick removed Nice , Ashington were 42/2. They didn't panic and ex Hill player Rutherford was knocking the ball into spaces. Kilpatrick then removed Harmison and the returning Siddique removed skipper Robinson. Ashington were 111/4, with Rutherford still 38 not out. Storey cane in and punished any bad deliveries as Ashington ticked over at the required rate. Rutherford was bowled by Safi for 55 from 82 and Ashington still needed 71. Walker came in and chanced his arm and scored 34 not out from 31. Storey was eventually out for 66 from 53 with 2 needed. Ashington then won via a wide to win by 4 wickets with 5 overs left. All in all a good game in testing conditions against a side that chased very well. Safi 1-30, Siddique 2-46, Jones 1-42 and Kilpatrick 2-66 taking the wickets. We did however bowl 31 wides and no balls which we need to address next season.
That concluded another season with a lot of positives. We finished 4th which was an excellent effort all round.
West Tyne 3rd XI v Riding Mill (away) - Chris Pounder's Captains report
The least said about Saturday the better.The West Tyne 3’s weren’t at the races in their fixture away at Riding Mill. Having won the toss and batting first we 70 all out in 24 overs with only four managing double figures. Michael and Ibraham 15 Shiva 12 and Rory 11.
In reply Riding Mill finished 74/1 in the 16th over with the solitary wicket wicket being taken by Ibraham.