Ponteland II (176-4) v Backworth II (173-8) Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League, Division B1
PONTELAND seconds bounced back from a defeat last Saturday to give their title push fresh impetus.
The visitors won the toss and decided to bat, however they were soon on the back foot when Race was caught by Ashley Parker off the bowling of David Waters.
Although Fairbairn was scoring quickly for Backworth, number three Collins could not get off the mark and John Gardner got him to edge a delivery into the safe hands of wicketkeeper Chris Morgan.
It was 32 for three when Fairbairn (23) went for one big shot too many and was caught by Jonathan Appleby as Gardner claimed his second wicket.
Daniyal Khan upped the run rate with four fours and one six until he was trapped LBW by Parker for 27.
The middle order tried to stay solid to ensure there was no collapse, but Pont’s bowlers kept the pressure on to ensure that there was no flurry of boundaries.
Andy Denyer got an LBW decision to remove Charlton and he held onto the catch to give Parker his second wicket as the away side were struggling on 79 for six.
But they responded well as Rudd (30) and Simpson (12) put together a useful partnership. Simpson fell LBW to Gardner and seven runs later the same bowler hit Rudd’s stumps with a cracking delivery.
Gardner ended his 13-over spell with figures of four for 53.
Backworth’s lower order did at least give the team a chance of victory with some good scoring shots.
Robson and Shannon finished on 36 not out and 15 not out respectively as the visitors set Ponteland a victory target of 174.
The hosts did not get off to a good start. First, Matt Darwood was caught by Fairbairn off the bowling of McLean for just five runs.
Then James Ealey (12), who had just about played himself in, was bowled by Liddle.
However, things got a lot better from that point as Appleby and Nick Brown came together and they played a mix of sensible shots and hits to the boundary.
Appleby was dismissed for 26 when McLean had him caught by Rudd, although this was the last time Backworth celebrated a wicket as Parag Chauhan came to the crease and put together a century partnership with Brown.
Both players regularly ticked the scoreboard over and they achieved 18 boundaries between them, including a six for Brown.
Chauhan looked set for a half century, but was frustratingly stumped when on 49.
However, Pont were 171 for four at this point and the match was over not long after his dismissal. Brown scored a Ponteland-best 75 not out.
The seconds have moved onto 180 points in Division B1 – 12 behind leaders Swalwell II. On Saturday, they have an away fixture against Shotley Bridge.