Northumberland Leagues round-up: Shotley Bridge return to form

A dramatic return to form by Shotley Bridge blew a hole in Burnopfield’s NTSL championship aspirations.

A dramatic return to form by Shotley Bridge blew a hole in Burnopfield’s NTSL championship aspirations.

At the same time it handed a further bonus to soaraway Swalwell, who increased their advantage over the chasing pack to 30 points.

Stuart Graham’s 78 runs helped lift the Bridge to 244, but Burnopfield will be wondering how they managed to gift their opponents a massive 53 in extras which effectively put the game out of their reach.

Their largesse no doubt contributed to a downbeat batting display in which they were bowled out for just 115 as Graeme Angus and Graham Brinton shared six cheap wickets.

Swalwell’s latest victory was again a morale-sapping one for the rest of the division.

Percy Main felt they had done reasonably well to hold the champs to 229-6, Malcolm Clarke’s 79 the highlight, but then they were skittled for a paltry 51 as Guy Saxton demolished them with 6-31.

Tynedale moved level with Burnopfield in second spot when they successfully defended a modest 152 at Ryton, skipper Tom Cant virtually unplayable with a spell of 7-21.

Annfield Plain look to be regrouping well, a five-wicket victory over Ponteland moving them up to fourth.

Neil Killeen was another skipper inspiring his side with three wickets followed by a 77-ball 78 not out.

The most dramatic game came at Lanchester, where the home team held their nerve to defeat Consett by two runs after the visitors failed to score the required seven from the final over.

That would have delivered a desperately-needed victory – but instead defeat left them locked in the bottom two.

Lee Murray top-scored for Lanchester with 39 in a total of 157.

However, it was his contribution at the end which really made the difference as he delivered the last over of the day to thwart a disappointed Consett (155-8).

They had earlier been pegged back in the run chase by Michael Lukic (3-27) and Kieran Taylor (3-35).

Lintz’s potential get-out-of-jail card proved to be more of a ball and chain as Leadgate handed out a 162 run thumping which saw the deflated losers stay firmly rooted to the foot of the table.

The visitors piled on the agony with 244-9, Callan McCabe and David Richardson headlining in an all-star cast with half-centuries.

Then Aussie Luke Fitzner turned Lintz’ world upside down with a devastating 14.4 over spell of 7-26 to blast them out for 82.

It’s as you were in the Northumberland League with wins for the leading trio of Bedlington, Blagdon Park and Berwick meaning there was no change at the top.

The major movers on the day were Blyth whose defeat of Ashington RCC left the rugby lads locked in the bottom two.

The kingpin for Blyth was David Ebdale, who bagged a return of 6-17 which floored Ashington for 72, and the regulation seven-wicket success which followed moved the visitors up to fourth at the expense of Kirkley, who fell to a 74-run home defeat by Tillside.

Liam Hindmarsh hit nine boundaries in his 80 and, with Cam McGregor adding a half-century, Tillside notched 198 in 45.1 overs.

The two then returned to haunt Kirkley’s batsmen, McGregor picking up 5-43 in 12.5 oversand Hindmarsh 3-13 in five as the home side slumped to 124 all out.

The most unlucky player of the day was probably Blue Flames’ Faisal Amin.

He took 7-24 to bowl Bates Cottages out for 166, but then saw the Cottagers win by 41 runs as Paul Merryweather claimed 6-25.

CHRIS WEST

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