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Civil Service (82-7) v Blagdon Park II (137-6) Northumberland Cricket League, Division B1

BLAGDON Park Seconds continued their 100 per cent start to the season as they made the trip to Bullocksteads Sports Ground on Saturday in wintery conditions, writes Stuart Dick.

On another day John Whittaker’s power and precision would have got him a hatful of boundaries, but the slow outfield kept the scoring down. With the score on 48, he found himself stranded halfway down the pitch and was run out for 33.

Captain Bain was out for a duck after a spectacular catch at slip by Tony Naylor off the bowling of Praveen Korabandi. Matthew Senior was next in and took the game to the bowlers, hitting boundaries all around the park. The watchful Mick Leybourne (20) was next to go as Korabandi took his second wicket.

Senior and the ever expansive Simon Howe continued to increase the run rate as the innings reached a climax. Howe hit one massive six off the bowling of Neil McCarten. Senior soon departed as he played one shot too many and was caught off the bowling of Doyle for 34.

Fairless had Howe stumped for 24 a few overs later. Stuart Dick was next in, but took the long walk back to the pavilion the next ball. Elliot Leybourne (13 not out) and David Simpson (two not out) took the total to 137-6 after 40 overs.

Andy Pryor and Henry Blake took the new ball and were immediately on the money. Civil Service opener Hunter was caught by Senior off Pryor.

The introduction of David Simpson saw to Lord in his first over, as he picked out Elliot Leybourne. Simpson struck again in his next over as Doyle was removed for a quick-fire four.

There was some resistance from the Service, but they quickly fell a long way behind the run rate. Despite some early struggles, Senior bowled Korabandi for nine and Naylor found himself run out by Elliot Leybourne.

McCarten and Wells tried to up the scoring, but some tight bowling from Blake and Senior kept the rate at two an over.

Senior took their wickets before the end of the innings, as the hosts finished their 40 overs on 82-7.