Students pass sporting exam to claim title

The Northern Universities Student Club community team (NUSC-CC Elite) were bowled over after winning the European Cricket Championship title.

The Northern Universities Student Club community team (NUSC-CC Elite) were bowled over after winning the European Cricket Championship title.

Longhirst Hall in Northumberland was the venue for the prestigious Northern Rock-backed event, NUSC-CC clinching an 11-run success in the final against a strong Scotland team.

The universities side consisted of elite club cricketers from 10 academic institutions spread over the North working together to support the local community and charitable organisations.

Recording their first triumph in the competition's four-year history, NUSC-CC overcame Ireland's strongest provincial side Leinster and a Cricket Scotland Academy side - both of whom included recent national team players. NUSC-CC had to survive a rocky start on the opening day of the tournament as Warwickshire paceman Callum McCloud led a Scottish attack which bowled them out for only 187.

Scotland seized the initiative and Ewan Chalmers scored 73 as they won by four wickets with four overs to spare.

Another Scottish victory over the Irish side meant NUSC-CC match with Leinster match would determine who would face the dominant Scots in the final.

The Irish province were not given a chance in a ruthless bowling display, their total restricted to just 153 in 50 overs.

Dan Conway of Bishop Auckland, with 4-19, and Paul Leonard of Felling CC, with 3-24, produced the most impressive bowling figures for NUSC-CC.

Stockton's Guy Darwin and Greg Applegarth of Sunderland then gave a stunning batting display in NUSC-CC's reply.

They smashed 16 boundries at more then 10 an over in ensuring victory in less then 24 overs.

The final was a rematch of NUSCC-CC's opening game and they hit 261-9. James Todd top-scored with 65 and Phillip Holdsworth of Norton made 48.

Early Scottish nerves saw them stutter to 50-2 but Fraser Burnett led the recovery with a stunning 97 from 111 balls.

This left the match on a knife-edge with 60 runs needed from the final seven overs.

However, James Clarkson (1-34) and Darwin (1-19) took the vital wickets as the North East side snatched an 11-run victory and the European title.

Proceeds from the tournament went to Cancer Research.

Journalists

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