It's Green for go as Vale rally

Skipper Dave Greener thinks they can after Saturday’s victory over Corbridge, only their second of the season.

CAN Clara Vale do the impossible and climb clear of trouble near the bottom of a league in which they finished proud champions last season?

Skipper Dave Greener thinks they can after Saturday’s victory over Corbridge, only their second of the season.

Greener said: “It was a really tight game and Corbridge pushed us all the way.

“After Shaker Balasandaram (68) batted brilliantly for us we had them 16-5 before three of their lads scored some late-order runs and suddenly it was looking a bit awkward.

“However, the boys stuck to the task and got us through by just 15 runs.’’

Greener was quick to praise his bowlers, saying: “All of them took some wickets, but Matt Lillicrap was outstanding with 4-16 in 14 overs and Chris Mee has just come back into the side and he took three.”

At the other end of the table, leaders Stocksfield held their nerve to knock off a daunting 229 against Kirkley but they only had one wicket to spare in a pulsating climax.

It was Ian Smith who had been responsible for setting up the imposing target, his unbeaten 90 complimented by David Clark’s half-century.

Not to be outdone, Stocksfield’s Alex Brown engineered both an amazing win and his own century.

With only Simon Wraith (58) showing any real support, a shock was averted when Brown went to exactly 100 with the last man at the crease and at the same time gave his side a breathless win.

Three wickets and 117 not out, that was the not inconsiderable contribution of Rizwan Qureshi as he guided Blue Flames to an emphatic eight-wicket verdict over Heaton Park, a victory which took them into second place eight points behind Stocksfield.

There had been decent efforts throughout the Park innings, Bilal Malik making 47 and Mohammed Rehan 41 as a more than useful 203 was posted.

However, with Qureshi irresistible and Fiaz Ahmed (41) happy to help him along there was no dousing the Flames.

Cowgate scored an incredible 290 first up against Warkworth, H Raza starring with 108, and Alan Anderson with 44.

Warkworth gave it a real go, led by Dougie Potts (59), but the task was just too great as the home side effectively relinquished any remaining title hopes.

Alnmouth were deserving winners against Blyth after making 221, the runs being shared around by Ben Oliver (51), Ian Clough (49) and Ian Pearson (30).

It was then over to the bowlers with Steve Paige (3-32) and Nick Denton (3-33) ensuring there was no way back for the visitors as they won by 89 runs.

Belsay’s fate is all but sealed following an eight-wicket loss to Chopwell. Paul Veitch and Graham Fellows were the destroyers as Belsay were bowled out for 74 in only 24 overs.

Dave McCormack then smashed an undefeated 44 to take his team to victory in only 9.2 overs.


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