Give bowlers a chance: Smith

KIRKLEY’S big-hitters are hoping to smash their way clear of the lower reaches – starting at Corbridge.

KIRKLEY’S big-hitters are hoping to smash their way clear of the lower reaches – starting at Corbridge.

Making the trip to face the side just one place below them in the table, Ian Smith’s men know big scores, and more of them, are what’s needed to boost a season dominated by composed bowling not backed up at the crease.

Seeing off strugglers Clara Vale last week was the win Smith had targeted to turn things around.

And he reckons tomorrow’s tie against Corbridge is just as important.

He said: “That was vital for us, pretty much make-or-break, so we were relieved to get the result.

“Now we have to go out and do it all over again.

“This is just as important a match and we’ll have to be on form to get a win over there, because they have pulled off a few decent results already.

“And we don’t want to go the same way as some of the teams that have lost there, that’s for sure.

“So to do that we are really going to have to up the batting stakes, and the lads at the top order know that.

“We’ve had a decent chat about things and they are of a similar mind – the bowlers have been excellent for us but we really need to do more with the bat.

“Now it’s about getting some big scores, smashing some decent totals and giving our hard-working bowlers a stronger score to defend.

“They deserve that from the top batsmen and we can’t keep giving them a tall order because there is only so much they can do.

“The more help the batsmen can give them, the better.”

Elsewhere, in-form Alnmouth can keep themselves among the best of the rest if they come through a tough test at home to Chopwell, with Blyth hosting second-placed Blue Flames in another stern examination of a mid-table outfit.

Leaders Stocksfield travel to third-placed Cowgate in a keenly anticipated match-up, while Heaton Park will expect to see off winless Belsay without too much fuss.

FIXTURES: Alnmouth v Chopwell; Blyth v Blue Flames; Corbridge v Kirkley; Cowgate v Stocksfield; Heaton Park v Belsay; Warkworth v Clara Vale.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer