Pont do double over league champions

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Ponteland II (103) v Sacriston II (68) Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League, Division B1

PONTELAND Seconds bounced back from their dismal defeat to Shotley Bridge two weeks ago with a fine bowling and fielding performance to do the double over last season’s B1 champions Sacriston in a low-scoring encounter at Ponteland Leisure Centre.

The home side lost the two early wickets of Mark McKenzie-Crooks and Matt Darwood and were reeling at 11 for two.

James Ealey and Jonny Appleby had other ideas though and dug in to bring up a 50 partnership which may not have been the easiest on the eye but showed the grit and determination that was needed in the situation.

When Appleby was out for 13 the score was on 64 and John Gardner then came in to accelerate the scoring as he supported Ealey (51) up until he reached a well-deserved half-century.

Unfortunately, the frailties in the middle and lower order were again evident as the side collapsed to 103 all out, with numbers six to 11 contributing just 10 runs between them. Nevertheless, in testing conditions, the home side at least had something to bowl at.

Taking early wickets after an extended tea due to a rain delay was always going to be the order of play for Pont and after the Sacriston openers survived a couple of very close early lbw shouts, Anderson fell into the trap as mid-off was put back and Ealey caught the catch, with Duncan McGregor taking the early wicket. It was a sign of things to come for the bowler, who came back into form with a bang as he blitzed through the visiting top order to leave them reeling.

In truth, the Sacriston chase never got any legs and as McGregor (seven for 10) continued to tear through their batsman, only McSkelly and Robertson offered any resistance as they were bowled out for 68, with Pont recording a 35-run victory.

McGregor was ably supported by John Gardner, who went for just 12 runs from his 11 overs and was extremely unfortunate not to pick up a wicket, while Dave Waters took three for 22 to clean up the tail, with the help of a couple of smart catches at mid-wicket firstly by Mark McKenzie-Crooks and then by Matt Darwood.

• Ponteland’s first XI were knocked out of the top two in division A2 with a four-wicket defeat to unbeaten leaders Ryton. Pont scored 130 in their innings.