Valiant visitors fail to hold in-form Seconds

Morpeth II (191 all out) v Lanchester II (173 all out) Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League, Division B1

MORPETH Seconds are getting used to that winning feeling after an 18-run success.

The home side won the toss and elected to bat first. This was then followed up by a confident cover drive to the boundary by the ever reliable Morpeth skipper Jonny Wailes.

He was quickly into his stride and was backed up by his opening partner Stephen Cowell, who was playing some delightful shots of his own.

Wailes and Cowell were marching on to a good opening stand with some fine stroke play, and making the Lanchester opening bowlers toil. The Morpeth captain passed 50 with yet another fine boundary.

The breakthrough finally came with Cowell managing to get one off the back of his bat which then spliced straight up in the air to a fielder, and he was on his way back for a well made 37. The young off spinner L Murray did the trick for Lanchester.

The next man was Edwin Brown, who came to the crease full of confidence from his hundred the week before, and he looked to continue his form and score quickly.

He raced to 20 with a few well hit boundaries, before he himself managed to splice one up in the air off spinner Murray, and he was soon heading back to the pavilion.

Wailes then fell the following over for 61, being caught in the off side field from the bowling of M Callagher.

After a promising start Morpeth found themselves in need of a bit of stability, this would be up to the two Jimmy’s, Craigs and Ingram.

However, Ingram fell to a good ball from Callagher who was starting to find some rhythm, and a good line and length.

Craigs was to go clean bowled off Murray playing what only can be described as an agricultural shot. David Harbottle then came to the crease and looked to occupy the crease for a bit of time, however he needed a partner to do the same.

Paul Wonders was in and out without troubling the scorers, another victim of Murray. Iftikhaar Fazal then came in and made 14 before he fell to another top edge, Callagher the bowler.

Ben Jones was another one not to trouble the scorers as he wondered back to the pavilion with a golden duck, a well bowled yorker by Callagher.

David Harbottle was next to go given LBW – Murray completing his five wicket haul. It was then wrapped up by Murray bowling Kurran Dhugga for no score. Adam Lawn ended up three not out at the end.

Morpeth being bowled out for 191 was not pleasing considering the start they made at the top of the order.

In Lanchester II’s innings, the opening bowling pair of Jones and Fazal set about their task well by putting the opening batters under some good early pressure.

With early chances coming from the bowling of Fazal, Morpeth were unable to grasp them. However the breakthrough did come off the bowling of Jones as G Paterson was caught by the skipper Wailes behind the stumps.

Jones continued to bowl well, as he got rid of the other opener J Haynes for 12, with a comfortable catch taken at square leg by Craigs.

Jones continued to bowl with confidence and trapped L Murray LBW.

Fazal then got in on the act with a LBW of his own, taking his first league wicket for Morpeth. He then turned one into two with another LBW decision going his way.

Lanchester were now looking in a bit of trouble, especially when Craigs and Dhugga came into the attack and picked up a wicket each. This left the away side at 75-7 and the game looked all but over, especially when Dhugga then picked up another wicket with a catch off his own bowling.

Then it was down to Lanchester’s tail enders who in fact had other ideas about the end of this game with some clean hitting by Tweedy and Petch.

James Craigs clean bowled Tweedy for a well made 18. This brought the skipper S Murray to the crease for a last wicket stand which proved very awkward.

Opening bowlers Fazal and Jones were brought back on and they could not find a breakthrough. Meanwhile Lanchester kept getting closer and closer to the total.

The ball was then thrown to Harbottle and with his third ball, the Lanchester skipper went for a big shot and it looked to be going for six if it wasn’t for calm, cool and collected Ingram stood on the rope taking a very good catch and winning the game for Morpeth.

Lanchester were bowled out for 173 – 19 runs short of victory.