Defeat in final home game of the season

Morpeth II (103) v Alnwick II (134-8) Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League, Division B2

MORPETH seconds ended their home season with an impressive fielding and bowling performance, however again came up short in the batting department.

The mere fact that the game was only delayed by 15 minutes after Friday’s downpours was testament to the work put in by volunteers over the winter to improve the drainage.

Skipper Parsons was grateful to the junior section presentation being on the morning of the game, with late call-ups for Aviston, Jordan and Bethell filling in for the unavailable Rogers, Cowell, Clow and Bradley.

Alnwick won the toss and elected to bat first, which Morpeth were happy with and they were even happier when after three balls, Jordan was able to capitalise on confusion between the runners and an easy run out ensued.

Bethel was well into his rhythm and in his third over showed why the 15-year-old has developed this year in the seniors. He was able to trap Mathewson LBW and leave Alnwick on 14-2.

Parsons was then able to strike with the removal of Thompson LBW for 17.

The first bowling change was to bring Jones on for Bethell and it swung the game in Morpeth’s favour with Jones taking four wickets for 31 in his 12 overs, including a deflected catch from Lyall being held by Aviston at second slip. This was followed up by a great catch from Diplock.

Parsons and Turnbull were to combine in removing the big hitting Barker for 17 and by the time Jones forced Kelly out hit wicket, Alnwick were eight down for 83.

Although an impressive stand between Wright and Kirkup of 54 runs was enough to withstand the bowling of Jordan, Bethell and Turnbull, the visitors’ total of 134-8 left Morpeth in confident mood.

As has been the case for most of the year, Morpeth got off to a good start with Turnbull and Callaghan seeing through the first eight overs before Turnbull misjudged one to long on from Barker for 12.

This brought a confident Jones to the crease to confirm his man-of-the-match performance with some lusty blows, including ‘the biggest six he has ever hit’ into the club’s nets area.

Jones was the mainstay of the Morpeth innings and looked to be guiding the home side to their third win of the season, however Alnwick fought back with the quick dismissals of Bethell and Dodds, both caught and bowled by Wright.

Diplock and Aviston supported Jones well, with Aviston attacking from ball one. But with Morpeth at 88-7, Jones holed out off the bowling of Stewart.

Clark once again showed that he has skill and maturity beyond his 13 years in his shot selection, but fell to Barker before Jordan and Parsons were unable to chase down the runs and Morpeth were all out for 103.

Although the batting was disappointing for the home side, the performance in the field and the bowling showed that the players are learning and developing despite what has been a difficult season for the seniors.

After the first and second teams play their final league matches on Saturday, the club season ends with a six-a-side tournament at Longhirst on Sunday.