TYNEMOUTH BEAT STOCKTON...BUT ONLY JUST!
Tynemouth (30 points) beat Stockton (8 points) by 2 runs.
In a fine game on Teesside Club Professional Tahir Khan had last man Jake Ewart caught by Nick Armstrong at slip to clinch victory for the Seasiders . It was a game that ebbed and flowed all day but in the main it was the away side that were better placed and the last wicket brought about equal measures of joy and relief!
Earlier in the day skipper Ben Debnam won the toss and elected to bat on a flat wicket that played pretty well all day. Debnam opened with regular partner Nick Armstrong and both played well bringing up a century opening partnership inside 20 overs. Armstrong was all timing and regularly eased the ball through the covers for boundaries. Debnam looked more to leg to score but having shared in such a good start will have been disappointed with an ill judged shot that saw him bowled by occasional bowler Gill in his very first over. When Armstrong and Sam Dinning went soon after to Thwaites and then Khan hit a long hop from Gill straight to mid wicket Tynemouth had thrown away their clear advantage and were reduced to 121-4.
Andrew Smith (photo), in a man of the match performance, then joined the in-form Matthew Brown and they put together another fine partnership and with Brown making a classy 43 and Smith a crafty 50 a score around 250 looked likely however once again the tail failed to wag and a final burst from the experienced Hooker brought about 3 quick wickets and a final score of 217-9 when the declaration was made. A respectable score but perhaps 30 short of what should have been achieved after the fine start.
Stockton had 57 overs to win the game and as their innings developed it proved too much....but only just! Tom Hewison and Gill began well for the home team against the opening attack of Smith and Hymers and they moved the score past 40 before change bowler Dinning had Hewison caught behind by Brown and then Hymers, who was in the middle of a fine and accurate spell, had Gill lbw for 30. South African, Wallace, looked good but was also caught behind off Dinning to leave the hosts struggling at 63-3. Skipper Kevin Ward was joined by Chris Hooker and the two stayed together for over an hour gradually moving the home team closer to their target and gradually getting the upper hand. However, when Hooker was bowled by a beauty from the returning Smith for 21 and then danger man Ward was caught behind off Tahir Khan the game looked over with Stockton 7 wickets down for just 141 and needing an unlikely 77 runs to win.
With plenty of overs left, Joe Hewison rose to the challenge and edged Stockton closer to victory with a fine 62 not out. He received good support from Thwaites and then from last man Ewart. A last wicket partnership of 27 brought Stockton very close but with just 3 runs required Khan removed Ewart after a determined effort from the youngster. Hymers opening spell of 10 overs 1-23 was excellent and at the death Smith returned to claim 4-69 from 15 and Tahir Khan 3-36 from 14.2 This was a fine game, played in great spirit and, with two consecutive wins, Tynemouth have moved up to 4th in the table and will take a lot of confidence into their game on Saturday against neighbours South Shields which starts at 12.30. Spectators are most welcome and admission is free.