Park in the driving seat for their opener at Bay

Blagdon Park II (144-9) beat Whitley Bay (137 all out) by seven runs

Blagdon Park II started their Northumberland Cricket League Division One campaign with a thrilling seven-run victory at Whitley Bay I, writes Stuart Dick.

Under 16 starlet Angus Johnson hit 32no with the bat before taking 2-23 with the ball to help the Bulls secure their first win in a league that contains mainly First XI sides.

Seasoned veteran Andy Pryor shared a 56-run partnership with young Johnson before taking 5-33 to secure the 27-point victory.

Captain Andrew Bain lost the toss and was put in to bat by the home side.

Opening pair Adam Clarke and 2013 NCL Division Two batsman of the year John Whittaker returned for another season at the top of the Blagdon II’s batting lineup, but it was Bay bowler Adam Went who stole the headlines early on.

Left-armer Adam Went removed Whittaker for 8. Clarke (5) followed soon after, playing down the wrong line to a delivery that took his off-stump. The next three were all bowled by Went, with Mick Leybourne (5), Sam Eyres (1) and Bain (0) making their way back to the pavilion. David Simpson was the sixth victim of Went, mistiming a cover drive, picking out James Custance for one.

The flurry of wickets left the Bulls in severe trouble on 88-9, facing a surefire thumping. Step up number 10 Angus Johnson and number 11 Andy Pryor for a 10th wicket partnership of 56.

With a modest score of 144, it was imperative the Bulls got a good start and the first wicket came in a fortunate manner. Brown dropped a return catch from Scragg onto the stumps to remove 2013 Division One batsman of the year Jonny Hymers (5).

Wickets then fell steadily to leave the hosts on 132-9.

This brought wicket-taking hero Went to the crease, and he smashed a boundary off Pryor to reduce the deficit to single figures.

With just seven needed, Pryor got his fifth wicket to end the game.