Blagdon Park II (103-2) v Bedlington II (100-9) Northumberland Cricket League, Division B2
ALTHOUGH the pitch was flat and appeared to be batsman-friendly, Bedlington Seconds could not handle the Blagdon Park Seconds’ bowling attack.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon at the ‘Bull Arena’, the visitors won the toss and chose to bat.
Young left-arm seamer Matthew Senior struck with the first delivery of the game, as Leason lost his off-stump when he played down the wrong line.
Senior took another wicket just one over later, removing the other opener Anderson (0) to another straight delivery, this time connecting with the top of middle stump.
At the other end, Steve Oxley was bowling a tight spell, passing the batsman’s edge on multiple occasions.
Canavan and Ian Campbell were slowly rebuilding the innings, showing great awareness of the situation by blocking the good ball and trying to punish anything off-line.
Bedlington looked to have re-established themselves in the game at 37-2, with Campbell taking on the bowling and pushing on the run-rate.
The 13th over brought the introduction of Paul Johnson, bowling his left-arm spinners on a tight and probing line outside off-stump. And in the 16th over, Oxley got his just rewards as he bowled Canavan for 16.
David Wilson was the next man in and looked to continue the good progress Bedlington had been making, however he only reached six before he was bowled by Johnson.
After the drinks break, medium pacer Andy Pryor came into the attack and immediately Campbell (40) took a liking to him, hitting 10 off his first over.
But Campbell’s fun was short-lived as he played one big shot too many off Pryor to hole out to Senior at deep long-on. At this stage, Bedlington were 63-4.
Pryor then took his second wicket as he bowled captain Irvine for just eight. Just a few balls later, he struck again, getting Hutchinson out for a duck.
Bedlington were on the ropes now and Senior returned to good effect.
Once he found his rhythm, he got Garrow to drive hard at a full-toss outside off-stump, which sent the ball flying towards gully where Henry Blake took an outstanding catch.
The next over, Pryor struck again as Watson advanced down the wicket but missed the ball, leaving Keeper Stuart Dick with an easy stumping.
Blagdon needed one more wicket to achieve full bowling points, but despite Pryor’s (4-29) and Senior’s (3-18) best efforts, Bell and Colin Campbell steered Bedlington to a total of 100-9 off 40 overs.
The home side were now firm favourites, but with a couple of key batsmen missing and the loss of Senior and Andrew Bain for just seven and six respectively, there were a few nerves in the dressing room.
But once Johnson and Mick Leybourne saw off the 10-over spells of Campbell (2-24) and Hutchinson (0-25), leaving the score after the drinks break on 60-2, they stepped on the accelerator by timing the ball supremely and taking the singles that the opposition gave them.
They comfortably reached the winning target, with Leybourne 47 not out and Johnson unbeaten on 35.
• The Blagdon Park 1st XI defeated Northumberland Cricket League leaders Bedlington away from home.
Batting first, Blagdon scored a total of 208-7 with Russell Hughes (51) and David Gibson (45) getting the bulk of the runs.
They then bowled the hosts out for 173 – Alastair Clarke (4-43) and Gibson (4-35) doing the damage.