Ponteland (115) v Leadgate (107) Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League, Division A1
PONTELAND had their bowlers to thank as they held on to second place in the table with a narrow victory.
The hosts won the toss and decided to bat, but they got off to a slow start against Leadgate with last week’s centurion Wayne Ritzema departing lbw for four.
The wickets continued to tumble to Leadgate’s opening bowler Fitzner, with Anthony Quarrell (six) departing not long after and just as Dan Wright and Paul Lindsay were steadying the ship, a terrible mix-up in the running saw Wright run out for 28.
Lindsay (nine), Nick Brown (six), Stuart Taylor (five) and Tom Common (two) all followed in quick succession before a second poor run-out saw Ed Common depart for 19 and the score was now 88 for eight.
Liam Cosgrove followed two runs later to leave the innings in crisis, with Fitzner taking five for 49.
John Gardner and Mark Turnbull battled hard against the change bowlers to eke out a valuable 25 runs for the final wicket before the third calling mix-up of the innings saw Turnbull run out for five, leaving Gardner unbeaten on 22.
Ponteland were all out for just 115, but the tea talk was dominated by discussions about being positive and never giving up.
And they got the early breakthrough they wanted when Turnbull’s lbw appeal was successful.
After Ed Common failed to take a wicket in his opening three overs, it was the first ball from John Gardner that breached the defences of Fitzner (eight).
Burdon and Richardson slowly dragged the score up to 57 before Burdon (31) clipped Ed Common to Liam Cosgrove then Ed’s next ball saw another lbw appeal answered positively.
Gardner took over with three quick wickets – Taylor with a backpedalling effort to take a skied edge from slip above his head, an edge behind to Dan Wright and another lbw – to suddenly make the score 74 for seven.
Number four Richardson was still in and once an attempted second run saw Dixon run out by Brown, he went on the attack, launching two huge leg-side sixes off Gardner and following up with a third off Turnbull and the score suddenly had shot up to 106.
With the momentum having switched back to Leadgate, Richardson (40) then tried to repeat the feat next ball and missed, the team’s celebration at Turnbull’s wicket showing how crucial it was.
Ed Common (three for 42) then found the edge of Michael Wright’s bat and Dan Wright took the catch to secure a six-run win.
Gardner finished with figures of four for 35 and Turnbull two for 27.
Ponteland seconds maintained their position at the top of the B1 table with a three-wicket victory at Newcastle City.
The home side started badly and although they recovered somewhat towards the end of their innings, they were all out for 153.
Duncan McGregor and Ashley Parker both took four wickets and Andy Denyer and Ian Smart each claimed a scalp.
In reply, Pont recovered from losing opener Chris Morgan cheaply thanks to an excellent partnership between Rory Marr (55) and Jonathan Appleby (32).
Although there was a wobble in the middle order, Simon Edmondson (33 not out) and Denyer (seven not out) saw them home.