Pont Seconds hit first

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Whickham II (156 all out) v Ponteland II (255-8) Northumberland & Tyneside Cricket League, Division B2

PONTELAND Seconds raced to the top of the table with a convincing performance against Whickham.

Skipper Chris Morgan won the toss and elected to bat, and despite a slow first few overs from opening pair Steve Edwards and Matty Bell they soon got into their stride.

Edwards hit some huge blows in his 86, whilst Bell showed elegance with some excellent cover drives before he was bowled for 28.

Jon Varley was next at the crease and himself played some brilliant shots, particularly in the extra cover region, until he was stumped for 43.

With such an excellent foundation laid, the middle order had licence to hit with Andy Morgan (28), Ben Lott (19) and Richard Moller (17) all adding double figure scores to contribute to a formidable total of 255-8 from 45 overs.

After being defeated at the same ground last season having posted a similar score, the visitors knew they would have to work hard to claim the victory.

Whickham went about it in their usual style, with some robust blows from opener McIntyre, well supported by Nunn, before the latter was caught at slip by Andy Morgan from John Gardner.

Ruddick joined McIntyre at the crease and the pair continued the early good run rate. But after dropping a fairly straightforward chance earlier in the innings, Morgan was able to make amends for his earlier misdemeanour when McIntyre edged behind from Jack Schofield for 57.

With the removal of the key man, the home side began to lose wickets at regular intervals as Gardner removed Davison and then the two Waters, Dave (three for 34) and Mark (3-14), ripped through the Whickham middle order.

With the light fading and the dark clouds looming, Gardner took the final Whickham wicket and his third to claim a 99-run victory for Ponteland.