Seconds stay strong to snap up vital win

Morpeth II (154-6) v Benwell & Walbottle II (141-4) Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League, Division B1

MORPETH’S second team held their nerve to record an important victory on Saturday in their battle to avoid the drop.

In a match reduced to 30 overs because of the morning rain, the home side started well with Stephen Cowell staying solid and Charles Anderson hitting some good shots to the boundary.

Just when he was fully getting into his stride, Anderson was caught on 30. Cowell’s resistance was finally broken when he was trapped lbw for 15.

But James Craigs and Max Goodings continued their good work by taking the Morpeth total into three figures.

Goodings hit two fours and two sixes and Craigs found the boundary five times (all fours) before they were dismissed for 32 and 39 respectively.

In the final few overs, Paul Jackson (12), Jack Tordoff (12 not out) and Nick Rose (seven not out) all made useful contributions as Morpeth finished on 154 for six.

Benwell & Walbottle began their innings with some confident shots. Richardson (52) in particular was looking to find the boundary.

The hosts did not let their heads drop and made a breakthrough when Scaife was caught by Jackson off the bowling of Goodings for 19.

It got even better for Morpeth when Rose bowled Richardson and the momentum was with them.

Grice (27) and Birrell (20) kept their wickets intact, but they found it hard to keep up with the run rate against a disciplined bowling attack.

And any hope they had of victory was dashed when Craigs had both men caught by Aviston.

There was not enough time for Hall and Robson to turn things around and the visitors finished their 30 overs on 141 for four.

The 13-run win means Morpeth II are up to third bottom in the table, 14 points clear of the relegation place.

The bad weather caused Morpeth’s first team match away to Chopwell to be abandoned.

Unfit conditions meant there was no play for Ponteland and Blagdon Park’s first and second teams either.