Blagdon batter rivals in hard-hitting match

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Blagdon Park (259-7) v Tillside (115 all out) Northumberland Cricket League, Premier Division

BLAGDON Park were looking to build upon last week’s win against another team that was situated close to them in the table.

The home side batted first after winning the toss and it was a nervy start by David Gibson, who gave the fielding side catching chances to take his wicket.

Dropping him began to cost Tillside as he raced to 50 with boundaries flowing on a consistent basis.

At the other end Mark Foster was going about his business, rotating the strike and keeping the scoreboard ticking over. He then stepped on the accelerator, hitting numerous boundaries as the score reached 118 before being caught on 46.

This brought Shaun Collins to the wicket, who was looking to score big runs for the first time in a Blagdon shirt.

Gibson continued on his way, advancing down the wicket to newly-introduced spin bowlers Gareth Hill and Cameron McGregor.

The score moved on to 141 before Gibson misjudged a ball from McGregor, which went straight up in the air and was caught by the square leg fielder as he was dismissed for 80 off 93 balls.

Collins and an extremely watchful John Whittaker played themselves in, then stepped it up. This pair put on 50 for the third wicket, with some powerful hitting from Collins and superb timing from Whittaker before he timed a cut shot to point for 24.

Collins continued on his way, hitting big sixes down the ground as well as being dropped twice on the boundary by difficult chances.

A characteristically big hit brought up his 50, which was a joy to behold before he was stumped off Liam Hindmarsh for 53 – his back foot being in the air.

Iain Morrison now joined Nigel Clough at the wicket, but was out for a duck as he tried to hit Hindmarsh out of the ground and was caught at long on.

At this point the score had moved on to 218-5 and Clough began to free his arms, hitting Hindmarsh for two massive sixes over the pavilion.

Martin Tallantyre had joined him at the crease, and quickly departed being caught in the deep.

Clough played a great innings, but it came to an end as he fell to Hindmarsh for 27. Greg Senior and Thomas Truscott took the score onto 259-7 as Blagdon reached the 50 over mark.

Graeme Gaff and Iain Morrison opened the bowling against the Tillside opening pair of Jake Birkitt and Keith Bickerton.

Gaff was well controlled bowling tight overs, as Morrison attacked with pace. Morrison struck early, bowling Bickerton for nine with a ball that seemed to cut through the opener with great pace.

Morrison’s confidence then grew as he began to beat the bat again and again at an exceptional pace. Morrison found the edges of Cameron McGregor and Birkett in consecutive overs, both taken by keeper Nigel Clough to leave the visitors on 29-3.

At the other end, Gaff was still bowling a great line. The next wicket fell to a misjudged run as Mark Foster fired the ball to Clough for a run out. At this point Tillside looked down and out.

Skipper Senior then brought on leg-spinner Alastair Clarke, who struck immediately as Sean Whitty was caught behind in bizarre circumstances.

Keeper Clough parried the ball to first slip where the catch was taken.

At this stage the visitors were 48-5, but a partnership of 43 followed between away skipper Gareth Hill and Matthew McCreath, before Clarke struck again, having Hill caught by the keeper for 25.

McCreath followed soon after for 16, bowled by Martin Tallantyre.

Clarke then picked up the wickets of Simm and Pick to get Tillside 114-9 before David Gibson finished what he started and bowled Johnny Barber for one, giving Blagdon a 144-run win and taking them up into the top half of the table ahead of Tillside.