On Sunday, June 7, Morpeth Morpeth Cricket Club U13s beat near neighbours Ponteland on Sunday.
The weather was sunny but still very breezy which made for deceptively challenging conditions, however, both teams performed with skill and resolve.
Morpeth won the toss and fielded, with Nathan Byatt and ‘Jimbo’ Blackett opening the bolwing.
The pair hit good lines and lengths and gave their opponents difficulties from the off.
Byatt induced an edge to Ethan Stoddart, who kept wicket excellently throughout the innings, and Holly Jordan took a good high catch off Blackett.
A few chances did go down but the standard of Morpeth’s fielding was good and heads did not drop.
Jordan was the first change and bowled a great line and length to take two wickets, both bowled, for four runs in two overs.
Ross Charlton also took a wicket with a stunning overhead catch by Stoddart.
With Ponteland 25-5, Morpeth seemed to have the upper hand, but the home side were to come back strongly in the middle overs.
George Ayliffe missed a caught and bowled chance and Daniel Souza made a stunning effort, diving full length and only just failing to hold on to what would have guaranteed him ‘catch of the season’.
The batsmen kept the score ticking over until Lewis Urwin took two wickets, followed by one for Liam Day.
Morpeth’s final over was given to Nathan Clemmitt and he delivered brilliantly, frustrating Ponteland’s batsmen as they tried desperately to hit out. Ponteland closed on 82-8.
Nathan Byatt and Ross Charlton opened the Morpeth reply in superb fashion scoring well, taking singles and punishing the bad ball.
Byatt’s excellent knock finished on retired 33 not out.
Day was next in but after establishing himself for six was run out by a direct hit.
The scoring rate slowed dramatically as Ponteland bowled with remarkable accuracy and fielded well.
Urwin, James Weatherburn and Ayliffe tried to push the score but were removed cheaply and then opener Charlton fell for a well crafted 18.
Morpeth were deep in trouble, needing 15 off 16 balls with six down.
Blackett was joined by Jordan as Morpeth struggled to assert themselves against high quality bowling.
Blackett progressed to seven and with him at the crease, there was always hope.
The tension mounted as Jordan was dismissed for two, so it would all be down to the last few balls.
Wicketkeeper Ethan Stoddart came to the crease and took guard before striking the winning runs off his first ball with a boundary through point.
A great win for Morpeth by three wickets, but the best thing was that this dramatic game was played in such a good spirit with both teams equally matched and Ponteland unlucky to lose.
Thanks went to Ponteland for their hospitality, the Morpeth scorer Robert Souza, coaches, players and parents.