Decision to play holds water for Blagdon Park seconds

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Cramlington II (81 all out) v Blagdon Park II (82-2) Northumberland Cricket League, Division B1

BLAGDON’S second team were glad that this match went ahead as they increased their lead at the top of the table with a comfortable victory.

Just an hour before the toss there was still some standing water on the ground, but after a great effort by the Cramlington players it was decided to give the game a go.

Blagdon Park captain Andrew Bain won the crucial toss and inserted the home side. Left-arm Matthew Senior and veteran Andy Pryor took the new ball for the visitors.

Senior repeatedly beat the outside edge as he caused the batsman all sorts of problems. At the other end Andy Pryor was extremely economical, opening with two maiden overs before conceding a run.

Senior was replaced after a six-over spell by David Abercrombie bowling right-arm swing and struck immediately as he trapped Parker LBW for 11.

Cramlington reached the drinks break with no further wickets down at 36-1, Andy Pryor completing his 10 overs for only 16 runs, including four maidens.

Abercrombie, now in his fifth over of his spell, struck first ball after the break by taking the big wicket of Bouch for 17.

Bouch had tried to play one shot too many as he clubbed the ball up in the air and Elliot Leybourne took a simple catch at mid-on.

Abercrombie was bowling well and it was not long until he struck again, having Bramley caught behind by the ever sharp wicketkeeper Stuart Dick for two. The same partnership struck again for the next wicket, this time getting Lee Cuthbertson stumped for four – leaving the hosts on 45-4.

At the other end, left-arm spinner Paul Johnson got his first bowl of the season and did not disappoint. Bowling around the wicket he had new batsman Graeme Barnes caught at point by Chris Bain for a golden duck.

Johnson then took the wicket of Colin Rowntree, bowled middle stump, leaving Cramlington on 48-6.

The score went on to 62-6 before Johnson began to rip through the tail.

He had Roe caught by Senior at mid off for eight, Ronan bowled for 11 and Andrew Heads bowled for a duck before finishing the innings off with three balls to spare by having Ben Cuthbertson stumped for a golden duck.

Johnson finished with figures of 6-13 and the hosts were all out for 81, which on the wicket seemed to be an okay score.

Matthew Senior and Mick Leybourne took guard for Blagdon and Parker struck early for Cramlington when he bowled Senior for two in the fourth over.

Andrew Bain then came to the wicket as he and Leybourne looked to play themselves in on a difficult track.

They scored steadily, until Parker had Bain caught off a mistimed shot for eight and Blagdon were 29-2.

Chris Bain strode to the wicket to partner Leybourne with Blagdon Park just behind the required run rate. Bain and Leybourne took the singles and rotated the strike and at the halfway stage they reached 49-2.

Bain then began to hit some powerful strokes, upping the run rate and putting the pressure on the fielding side.

Leybourne looked in good nick at the other end as he ran hard for the singles and twos that were available.

On 80-2, the winning runs came from a couple of byes and Blagdon Park won with full bonus points. Mick Leybourne finished with 24 not out and Chris Bain was unbeaten on 19.

With second placed Blue Flames’ game at Ashington Rugby being called off, Blagdon Park II have extended their lead at the top of Division B1 to 43 points, with only four games remaining.

Meanwhile, the first XI lost at home to Bates Cottages after bowling out Bates for 137, with Alistair Clarke taking five wickets.

Blagdon tumbled to 98 all out in response, with only Shaun Collins (30) showing much resistance. Despite suffering this defeat, they remain in the top half of the table.