Ponteland II (69-0) v Leadgate II (68 all out) Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League, Division B2
PONTELAND seconds made another step forward in the promotion race as they eased past struggling Leadgate in a match that lasted barely two hours.
Having lost the toss, the home side were asked to field but the visiting skipper’s decision to bat first looked to have backfired on him as his side collapsed for 68 all out in just 19.2 overs.
Despite Leadgate being under strength and only being able to field 10 men, the collapse was more down to some excellent bowling from Duncan McGregor, Jack Schofield and John Gardner, who skittled the visitors with ease.
McGregor was unlucky not to have claimed a ‘five-fer’ as he took 4-23 in his 10-over spell, while Schofield claimed two before coming off injured to be replaced by Gardner, whose accurate bowling earned him three wickets.
They were aided by a couple of smart catches, firstly by Andy Morgan who made up good ground to remove Stokoe – the only Leadgate batsman to offer decent resistance with 21 runs – and then an excellent one handed effort in the slips by Gardner to dismiss youngster McCabe.
With such a short first innings, the teams swapped straight around without taking tea and the Ponteland openers Mark McKenzie-Crooks and Matty Bell made hay as they punished the Leadgate bowlers.
The pair took just 11 overs to knock off the runs with McKenzie-Crooks finishing on 28 not out and Bell unbeaten on 26.
Bell has now surpassed 300 runs for the season and is the second highest run scorer in the league, just one run behind I Reid of Ryton.
The side now go into a crucial stage of the season with the next three weeks sure to provide more testing challenges. Table-topping Whickham visit Ponteland this coming Saturday for a highly important promotion clash.