Pont get back on track in fine form

Ponteland (266-2) v Alnwick (140 all out) Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League, Division A2

PONTELAND got back on track after two consecutive league defeats with a convincing victory at home to Alnwick.

Batting first, Wayne Ritzema and Chad Hitchcock set the early platform – Ritzema in particular was fluent early on reaching his 50 first. After a quieter start, Hitchcock was not far behind.

With the score on 131, Hitchcock was the first wicket to fall LBW to spinner Scott for 59. Four balls later James Ritzema’s poor run of form continued as he was also trapped LBW to the same bowler for a duck.

The momentum of the innings though was quickly regained then increased as Stuart Taylor, after a quiet first 10 balls, went on the attack by hitting three sixes in his next ten, two resulting in lost balls onto the roof of the leisure centre.

Taylor continued to be aggressive, his 50 taking 44 balls, then Ritzema completed his third Ponteland century off 123 deliveries.

The runs continued to flow and by the end of the innings an imposing 266 for two had been posted.

Ritzema was unbeaten on 118 from 139 balls with 13 fours and two sixes while Taylor, who put a third ball on the roof in the final over, finished on 78 not out off 58 balls with four fours and five sixes.

In reply, Alnwick started steadily and they reached 30 before the first wicket fell with a good catch in the covers by James Ritzema off Mark Turnbull.

Any hopes the visitors harboured of attempting to chase down the target were then derailed by Turnbull (four for 18) as he claimed three further wickets in the opening 20 overs of the innings with two bowled and a return catch off a powerful drive by Graham (24) to leave the chase on 52 for four.

The score moved on to 88 as Guy counter attacked, especially against Ifty Fazal.

The attack faltered though as he tried to sweep Ian Smart and was bowled for 32.

Smart (two for 24) picked up the next wicket as well with a catch to Hitchcock at mid-on. Alnwick’s innings then slowly unfolded with regular wickets falling to Tom Seymour (three for 24) before, with the score on 140, Jonny Appleby (one for 14) had number 10 Lobb caught by Hitchcock to complete a 126-run victory.

The result means Ponteland are still in with a chance of going up to Division A1. They are in fourth place with 177 points. Ashington are currently in the second and final promotion spot on 185 points.