Morpeth II (127) v Chopwell II (107) Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League, Division B2
THE wet weather and the damp pitch at Longhirst, on Saturday, was always going to be a key factor in the outcome of this game.
Morpeth captain Parsons had the decision taken out of his hands when he lost the toss for the first time this year, and the visitors took the favoured decision to bowl first on what was going to be a drying wicket.
The hosts had a strong looking batting line-up with run machine Turnbull making his first appearance for the second side and stepping in at the top of the order with Cowell.
Some effective bowling meant that Turnbull and Cowell struggled to get the run rate high, However, after 14 overs, Morpeth were happy enough on 30-0.
Then Cowell (nine) was suppressed by the bounce of a ball and edged to gully. This started a mini collapse for Morpeth with the next four wickets all falling for less than nine each.
As the heat started to dry the pitch, Turnbull was able to enjoy batting and reached a controlled and well deserved half century with a wide selection of shots.
Tordoff and Rogers were able to provide the support for Turnbull (57) to push the total towards 100 for only the second time this season, but Tordoff (16) was the only other batsmen to get into double figures as Morpeth made 127 all out.
Conditions were still tricky, so the home side were confident in getting the wickets to win the match.
They had a bit of luck when Boldon played a straight drive off Lawn’s foot to leave the unlucky Karen out of his crease for 12. Then more good news for Morpeth – the wicketkeeper batsman for Chopwell was not able to accelerate the scoring as he was brilliantly bowled by Lawn.
Michie was unlucky to be taken out of the attack after his five overs went for 11 runs. However, the change by the captain to bring himself on was proved the right one when in his third over he took two wickets after fantastic short catches by Turnbull for both wickets to remove Tams (23) and Virani (0).
Lawn was instrumental in applying pressure and was unlucky to only add one more wicket in his figures of 13 overs, three maidens, two wickets for 39.
The pressure from Lawn and some sharp fielding from Morpeth allowed Parsons to impress with some slow-but-consistent bowling, resulting in his first ever three-wicket hall in senior cricket with an impressive LBW of Kendall for one.
With Chopwell now seven wickets down, the game was still in the balance and again the good fielding proved vital as Parsons was to move to a five-wicket haul as Rogers maintained his composure to stump Kelly. McLaughlin juggled the catch of Fletcher, but was able to hold on.
McCallan was able to punish the bad ball and score a quick-fire 32 to top score for the away side. However, Parsons was able to strike again with the safer hands of McLaughlin to leave Chopwell nine down for 100.
A couple of errors resulted in a dropped catch and a missed run out off the same ball. However, with Chopwell 20 runs behind the target, Bethal bowled four impressive balls which were too good as McCallan pushed straight in to the hands of Turnbull.
As Morpeth II claimed their first win of the season to the delight of the players and thanks to the pressure being applied by Lawn and Parsons (6-35 off nine overs), the victory would not have been possible without the runs and three catches from John Turnbull, so he received a deserved man-of-the-match-award.