1st XI V Seaham Harbour 30th July 2016

Week 16 of the league campaign and the visitors to Manor Road on a glorious sunny day were Seaham Harbour Cricket Club. Willington had a sound win against the seasiders earlier in the season and they were hoping to repeat the same. Jonny Davis and Connor Hodgson returned for the home side.

Seaham Harbour won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket with a little more grass on it than usual. Martin Marwood and Andrew Boal opened the batting for the visitors against the bowling of Connor Hodgson (Colliery Road End) and Dan Nelson (Pavilion End).

Both batsman came out positive and scored at a good rate in the opening overs with a total of 26 off the first 6 overs. Hodgson was running in hard and got the first breakthrough in the 7th over when he clean bowled Bull for 12 runs. The experienced and talented Ian Pattison joined Marwood but it was only in the next over Seaham lost their second wicket when Marwood was caught behind the wicket off the bowling of Nelson for 16. Pattison was soon to follow when two overs later Nelson got his second victim when he had the dangerous Pattison caught by Davis from a top edge skyer  trying to pull. Seaham 47 for 3.

The new batsman at the crease Dale Shaw and Martin Stephenson now had to look for some kind of recovery for the visitors after losing 3 wickets in quick time. The first bowling change was made in the 16th over when Calvin Stephenson replaced Nelson at the Pavilion end and almost immediately Stephenson struck when he had his namesake Martin caught by Foster behind the wicket for 9 runs.

At 83 for 4 Michael Nunn joined Shaw who was getting into his stride and scoring well for the visitors particularly through the leg side. Medium pacer  Jamie Dass replaced Hodgson from the Colliery Road End. Nunn began to score quickly and was effective with anything pitched up scoring a number of boundaries in quick succession. . This forced Stock to change the pace of the attack and he looked to left arm off spinner to slow the run rate down and look to break the partnership. This he did when he had Nunn caught by Dass at mid wicket for 20 runs. Seaham Harbour were now 120 for 5 when Craig Hunter came to the wicket in the 23rd over.

Shaw was batting well and looked like he was going to get a big score when Stephenson produced a typical quality delivery and clean bowled him when he was on 39. It was a timely wicket for the home side as Shaw was looking very dangerous. 120 for 6 wickets in the 24th over.

Hunter was joined by Craig Stephenson and from 120 for 6 they worked well to put on 50 runs in the next 7 overs. The partnership looked ominous however Alderson managed to have Stephenson LBW attempting to sweep in the 39th over. Omar Akhtar joined Hunter who was batting very positively and playing some excellent shots particularly straight drives. Akhtar however did not stay long in the middle when in Alderson’s next over he had him caught by Singh brilliantly at mid off making the visitors 175 for 8.

The aim for the visitors was now to get to 200 with the remaining batsman to get their full batting points.  Lowes joined Hunter as the next batter and again did not stay very long when Alderson got his fourth wicket when he was caught by Foster for 5 runs.

Youngster Oliver Wheatman was the last batsman to join Hunter and together they put on another 12 runs before Hunter was caught by James Stock at point after he looped a delivery from Hodgson trying to play on the leg side. Hunter scored a very valuable and entertaining 55 runs for the visitors.

Seaham final score 201 all out.

Jake Louth and Elliott Foster opened the batting for the home side. The two young Willington batsman have looked solid in the last couple of games and it was hoped that they could get Willington off to another good start. Dale Shaw opened the bowling for Seaham ( Colliery Road End) and Craig Stephenson (Pavilion End).

The Willington openers got off to a solid start and the total reached 50 in the 12th over, both batsman looking comfortable at the crease. Oliver Wheatman replaced Shaw in the 13th over from the Colliery Road End and in the 14th over Seaham got their first wicket when Louth was ajudged LBW off the bowling of Craig Stephenson for a solid 26 runs. Louth was replaced by Willingtons Indian professional Anand Singh with the score at 53 for 1 in the 14th over. By the 21st over Foster and Singh took the score to 81 and both batsman were scoring freely.

In reply Seaham Harbour began to make a number of bowling changes. Craig Hunter replaced Craig Stephenson at the pavilion End and Mark Stephenson replaced Oliver Wheatman at the Colliery Road End. After bowling only 4 overs  Shaw replaced him at the Pavilion End.

The total went to 128 when Seaham Harbour got the all important breakthrough. Singh looking very comfortable and very dangerous lost concentration and Dale Shaw had him caught at first slip by Hunter for 45.

James Stock joined Foster and the pair continued to keep the scoreboard going with some good running and the odd boundary. In the 35th over Craig Stephenson replaced his brother Martin at the Colliery Road End but in the next 12 overs fOster and his skipper batted intelligently and effectively seeing off a number of bowling changes and in the 40th over Stock hit the winning runs to surpass the Seaham Harbour total. Foster finished unbeaten on 93 not out and James Stock 20 not out.

 

A solid win for the home side 30 points in the bag.

 

Tudhoe V 1st XI 23rd July 2016

Week 15 and the club’s senior side travelled the short distance to local rivals Tudhoe C.C. on a glorious day for cricket. The home side have struggled this season losing a number of players including their professional and to help them they have recently signed Pratham Singh a young Indian opening batsman as a replacement professional and Cameron Delport a young South African who is in the country playing at Leicestershire County Cricket Club as a specialist T20 player.

The visitors were without opening  bowler  Connor Hodgson and batsman Jonny Davis. Their replacements were James Blackmore and Under 18s skipper Jack Howell. The visitors travelled with probably one of their youngest sides as a First X1 made up of no less than 5 Under 18 players which is very positive as the club moves forward.

Willington skipper James Stock won the toss and asked the home side to bat. Andrew Carrick and professional Pratham Singh opened the innings on a Tudhoe wicket with a little more grass on the surface than normal. The wickets tend to be slow and low in the main and it would be interesting to see how this wicket would play.

Dan Nelson opened the bowling for Willington from the pavilion end. The 16 year old has done exceptionally well in the last few games for the senior side showing skill and a great deal of maturity in his performances. In fact with the first ball of the innings he had Singh dropped at first slip as he attempted to drive.

Jamie Dass opened the bowling from the Town End. The youngster has had a back problem over the last couple of weeks and this was his first spell for the senior side since the Felling game.  

The Tudhoe opening pair were very positive in the opening overs especially Carrick who hit five boundaries in the first three overs. Tudhoe moved quickly to 36 but the first breakthrough came in the 4th over when Singh skied the ball straight up attempting to pull a short ball from Nelson and he was caught smartly by Stock at second slip.

Singh was replaced by Cameron Delport. The Leicestershire first class cricketer had done well in the previous weeks for the home side and he was certainly one who the visitors wanted to see the back of quickly. The second wicket fell in the 5th over when Dass clean bowled Carrick after an attacking 24 and he was replaced by Tudhoe skipper Dannny Thexton with the score on 44.

Delport and Thexton continued with the impressive scoring rate of the first few overs especially Delport who hit the ball hard to all parts of the ground. The South African batted aggressively and Thexton gracefully and the pair took the total to 126 for 2 after 16 overs.

Willington skipper Stock needed to stem the flow of runs and bowling changes were made where Singh replaced Dass from the Town end and Stephenson replaced Nelson from the pavilion end. The change worked as in the 17th over Singh broke an ominous partnership when he had Thexton caught behind by Foster for 19. Three overs later and with the score on 145 Stephenson got the prized wicket of Delport when he was LBW for 74. Delport hit 11 fours and 1 six in his stay of just 46 balls.

The two new batsmen at the crease were all rounders Ian Grainger and Sam Taylor Gill. Grainger settled in quickly however Gill’s stay was short and sweet when Singh got his second wicket caught behind for 4 runs. Mark Davison replaced Gill at 151 for 5 wickets.

Davison like his predecessor did not stay out in the middle long as once again the Willington professional had him caught by Howell at mid-on without troubling the scorer.

Jamie Kirkbride joined Grainger at the wicket and the pair worked hard over the next few overs to get the scoreboard moving again. From 152 for 6 the pair took the score to 187 when Grainger chased a wide one from Singh and was caught behind the wicket by Foster. That was Singh’s 4th wicket of the afternoon and his best spell in a Willington shirt.

James Curry joined Kirkbride and Willington shortly after made a bowling change replacing Stephenson with off spinner Alderson from the Pavilion End. Almost immediately Alderson struck and had Kirkbride clean bowled for a dogged 20 runs. The score was now 196 for 8 and David Curry came in to join his brother.

The pair took the score to 218 when Alderson got his second victim when he had David Curry caught by Singh at cover for 12 runs. Stephen Newton was the last wicket to come to the crease and in the 44th over the Tudhoe innings ended when Newton was ct at slip by Stock again off the bowling of Alderson with the final total on 226. After an explosive start by the home side the visitors stuck to their task and kept the home isde down to a reasonable total to chase on a wicket which really didn’t cause too many problems for the batters.

The Willington reply was led by Jake Louth and Elliott Foster. Louth returning from holiday and Foster confident after a century the week before.  Cameron Delport opened the bowling for Tudhoe from the Town End. The first boundary came in the third ball of the over when Louth got off the mark with a four through third man. Grainger opened the bowling from the Pavilion End and Foster carried on from where he left off the previous week with a positive approach hitting two fours through the cover area in his fist over faced.

The Willington opening pair remained positive in the early overs, especially Foster, and the score moved quickly to 40 when Tudhoe got their first wicket when Foster was bowled y Grainger for a quick fire 23 (5 fours). Anand Singh the Willington Professional joined Louth at the crease and the pair over the next 10 overs continued to score freely against the Tudhoe opening pair of bowlers.

James Curry replaced Delport from the Town End in the 15th over and in the 17th over he had his first wicket when Louth chipped a ball to wide mid on after making a classy 35 runs. The skipper James Stock joined Singh with the score on 89 for 2 wickets. In the 19th over Singh reached his fifty off 37 balls howver in the next over Gill got his wicket when he tried to cut the off spinner and was caught behind for 51. This was the wicket Tudhoe wanted and their celebrations reflected this.

Stock was batting well and he was joined at the wicket by Steven Alderson. Having missed the last two weeks fixtures it was important that he started where he left off in terms of his form with the bat.

From 117 Stock and Alderson batted extremely well and sensibly taking the score to 192 with some excellent attacking shots otably Stock over mid on and Alderson through the cover area. This was the partnership which took the game away from the home side and set up a winning position for the visitors. Alderson was given out in the 33rd over controversially caught behind the wicket by Thexton off Gill for a solid and sensible 27 runs.

Dass joined his skipper and the pair saw the visitors home with some positive batting finishing the game in five overs Dass particularly taking a liking to Gill hitting him for two glorious sixes over mid wicket.

 

Skipper James Stock played a ‘captain’s innings’ and remained unbeaten on 53 and Dass unbeaten on a quick 26 not out. Final total 228 for 4 and a solid win for Willington C.C.

 

1st XI V Sunderland 16th July 2016

Week 14 and Willington Cricket Club hosted Sunderland Cricket Club at the Manor Road ground. First time this season that the two sides have met with the reverse fixture being washed out earlier in the year.

The visitors arrived with some new faces from last year with Zaheer Shabaz and Kamran Hussain (Eppleton), Ramanpreet Singh (Durham Academy) and Craig Burdon making his debut game. Changes for the home side included Jack Howell for Jake Louth (holiday) and Steve Bradwell for Steven Alderson (wedding usher duties).

Willington won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a good wicket for batting. The home side opened with youngsters Elliott Foster and Jack Howell facing the opening bowling attack of Elliott Smith (Pavilion End) and Greg Applegarth (Colliery Road End) for the visitors.

The home side got off to an excellent start in the initial overs. Both Foster and Howell ran well and played very positively taking the total to 30 after the first 8 overs which forced  Sunderland to make their two bowling changes in the space of 3 overs  when Haseeb Yaqoob replaced Applegarth from the Colliery Road End and Zaheer Shabaz replced Smith from the Pavilion End. The change paid off for the visitors when in the 14th over when  Jack Howell was caught behind by wicketkeeper Sam Brigham off the bowling of Yaqoob for 13.

Foster was looking confident returning to the opener role on 36 runs and Willington professional joined him at the wicket with the score on 54 for 1. Singh got quickly into his stride hitting his first boundary in the 16th over when he hit Shabaz for six over mid wicket.

Singh and Foster played superbly over the next few overs and the 100 total was achieved in the 21st over. Sunderland skipper Applegarth tried to slow the scoring by bringing on his spin attack of Kamran Hussain (Colliery Road End) and Jaspreet Singh (Pavilion End). This did not stop Foster reaching his 50 in the 22nd over and Anand Singh doing the same in the 25th over.

Singh reached his 50 off only 32 balls with some big shots however when attempting another maximum it was his undoing when Hussain had him caught at deep mid wicket by Craig Burdon when the score was 144 in the 28th over. It was a fine knock of 52 from the Indian batsman.

James Stock the Wllington skipper joined Foster who looked comfortable at the crease for his 66 runs. Stock continued from where Singh left off wand with Foster they kept the run rate high and played very positively. The 200 total came up in the 37th over. Elliott Smith returned at the Pavilion End, the visitors trying to find an answer to some excellent batting.

In the 38th over Foster got to his century in fine style with a six over mid on. However only two overs later his innings came to an end when  he missed a straight one from Hussain and was LBW for 113. This was an excellent knock from the youngster who looks like he is much more comfortable returning back to the opener role.

Arron Proud joined his skipper at the crease with the score on 212 for 3. In the next 8 overs the pair again kept the scoreboard ticking over and with some excellent stroke play got the total to 284 in the 48th over until Proud was bowled by Hussain for a fine 36. Willington skipper Stock then made the decision to declare the innings at 284 for 4.

Sunderland skipper Greg  Applegarth and Talal Khan began the reply for the visitors. Connor Hodgson (Colliery Road End) and Dan Nelson (Pavilion End) opened the attack for Willington.

Applegarth as ever very positive played some excellent straight drives particularly off Nelson for four. His aggression was however his undoing as Nelson had the last laugh when he had Applegarth caught by James Stock when he top edged the youngster going for another big shot in the fourth over with the score on 25.

Kamran Hussain joined Khan at the crease but his stay was very short lived when in only his first over faced Hodgson clean bowled him without scoring. Ramanpreet Singh was the next batsman at 34 for 2. Hodgson was running in hard and causing problems and got his second victim a short time later when he had Talal Khan caught by Dass in the 7th over for 13 runs.  The pain continued for the visitors as Hodgson had his third victim immediately when incoming batsman Muhammed Khalil was LBW to the Willington pace man facing his first ball. Sunderland were in trouble at 34 for 4.

It was up to Rammi Singh and new batsman and debutant Craig Burdon to steady the ship. This they did and did very well increasing the scoring rate to over 5 an over. In reply Willington skipper James Stock in the 14th over decided to  introduce Calvin Stephenson to the attack from the Colliery Road End and subsequently Anand Singh from the Pavilion End.

Ramanpreet Singh reached his 50 in the 19th over  and the Sunderland batsman were playing superbly continuing to score freely. In the 26th over the skipper came in to the attack to introduce some leg spin and to get a breakthrough. This came only four overs later when Stock had Burdon brilliantly stumped by Bradwell behind the wicket for 35 runs. The ex- England Under 19 player looked solid and showed some quality on his return to cricket after a spell away.

Wicketkeeper Sam Brigham was the next batsman for the visitors at 136 for 5. Singh and Brigham continued to keep the scoring going and Singh especially looked very organised and comfortable at the crease. Calvin Stephenson was working hard to make in roads from the Colliery End and his efforts paid off in the 35th over when he had Brigham well caught at mid on by Jack Howell with the visitors score now at 152 for 6.  

 Jaspreet Singh joined his brother who was now on 72 and playing very well. The pair continued the positive approach to the innings and they began a very valuable partnership. After Rammi Singh was dropped at mid wicket in the 42nd over he went on to reach a fine century in the next over.

Hodgson returned at the Colliery Road End and Nelson replaced Stock at the Pavilion End with the two brothers going well for the visitors and looking to chase the Willington total down. Nelson got the important breakthrough in the 49th over when Dass caught Jaspreet Singh at deep mid on with the score on 218. Ex Willington player Zaheer Shabaz joined Rami Singh  but ended up being Nelson’s third victim of the afternoon only 3 overs later when he was caught behind by Bradwell for only 2 runs.

No 10 Haseeb Yaqoob came to join Singh with the game in the balance at 230 for 8. Were the visitors going to go for the win or block the game out for a draw ? The answer probably came after Hodgson cleaned bowled Yaqoob shortly after he arrived at the crease and No 11 Elliot Smith joined Singh.

The pair had 4 overs to survive the Willington attack and that they did. The pair managed to reach 250 for the loss of 9 wickets and the game ended in a winning draw for the home side. Rammi Singh played superbly and was unbeaten for 134 runs, an absolute delight to watch. Willington stuck to their task and almost got the maximum return only for the resilience of the last wicket pair.

 

Some excellent cricket seen at Manor Road on another excellent wicket.

 

Boldon v 1st XI 9th July 2016 Willington 167-10 Boldon 168-7

 

1st XI v Felling 2nd July 2016

Week 12 and Willington First X1 hosted Felling Cricket Club at the Manor Road ground. The home side expected a challenging encounter with Felling investing in a number of players over the close season including Mark Turner (Chester le Street), Gary Scott (Hetton Lyons), Bryan Potts and Ian Hunter (Sacriston). Stewart Walker remains for his second season so the visitors were coming to Willington with a formidable unit.

Felling won the toss and asked the home side to bat. Jake Louth and Jonny Davis opened the batting against the bowling attack of Paul Leonard (Pavilion End) and Mark Turner (Colliery Road End).

The first boundary came in the 3rd over when Louth hit a glorious straight drive off the bowling of Leonard. Two overs later however Leonard made the first breakthrough when he had Davis caught behind by Potts with the score on only 10. This brought the Willington professional Anand Singh to the crease.

Both Singh and Louth then began to make in-roads into the Felling attack and began to score freely. The pair took the score to 70 in quick time with some fine stroke play and positive running until Louth was dismissed in the 22nd over by Gary Scott who had replaced Turner at the Colliery Road End. The young opener batted solidly for his 33 and is improving all of the time in the role.

Louth was replaced by his skipper James Stock however his stay was short lived when he played a loose shot by his standards to mid- wicket off the bowling of Hunter (replaced Leonard) for 1. The score was now 87 for 3 in the 25th over when Jamie Dass joined Singh at the crease.

Singh brought his 50 up in the 27th over when he hooked Scott for six over square leg but in Scotts next over Singh was caught behind chasing a wide one for 53 runs. A disappointing end to what looked like a big innings from the Indian professional.

Elliott Foster was the next batsman to the crease and after losing a couple of wickets in quick succession the home side were looking to the two youngsters to stabilise the innings. It was not the case when Dass was caught at point off the bowling of Hunter which took the home side to 100 for 5 in the 31st over. Arron Proud was the next wicket but he was another quick victim when Scott had him LBW in the 32nd over.

After a promising start the Willington innings was faltering and needed some impetus. Proud was replaced by Dan Nelson who joined Foster however the partnership was short and sweet when Foster was caught at short mid-wicket for Hunter’s third wicket.

At 112 for 7 Connor Hodgson joined Nelson with the Felling side in the driving seat. Nelson showed character and bravery after being hit twice on the helmet even hitting Hunter over mid-wicket for a big six. He however succumbed to the pressure and was bowled by Hunter for 14 valuable runs.

Calvin Stephenson came to the wicket in the 40th over at 145 for 8 and together with Hodgson over the next six overs took the score to 178 with some decent blows before Hodgson was bowled by Mark Turner. Stephenson followed shortly after when he was bowled by………. for a battling……

The home side finished on 181 all out off 47 overs.

The Felling innings began with Gary Scott and Stewart Walker. Willington began their bowling attack with Connor Hodgson from the Colliery Road End and Jamie Dass from the Pavilion End. The two experienced openers were positive from the outset and punished any loose deliveries taking the score to 50 in only 7 overs. The Willington skipper James Stock attempted a number of bowling changes within the first few overs introducing Singh in the 12th over and swapping the ends for the opening bowlers but it was not until the introduction of Calvin Stephenson in the 14th over when the breakthrough came. Scott was the victim and he fell LBW with the score on 84.

Scott was replaced by Clarke but two overs later Willington got their second wicket when Walker was caught by Stock at first slip off the bowling of Anand Singh. Ian Hunter came to the wicket to join Clarke and over the next few overs took the Felling score to 122 for 2. Dan Nelson replaced Singh from the Pavilion End and with his first ball had Hunter caught at mid- wicket by Singh.

Mark Turner joined Clarke and the pair put on 27 runs before Clarke was clean bowled by Calvin Stephenson from the Colliery Road End. Stock introduced Alderson from the pavilion End and almost immediately got the wicket of Turner stumped smartly by Foster. He was replaced by Potts at 159 for 5.

Although Felling were still very much the favourites Willington were showing a great deal of character and this showed when Stephenson had Potts LBW in the 36th over and an outstanding catch in the gully by Alderson to remove new batsman Leonard again off Stephenson had Felling at 174 for 7 wickets.

Eventually Felling saw their way passed the Willington total of 181 in the 43rd over to achieve the win. The middle order collapse was the undoing for the home side  on a wicket which did very little. 

 

Burnmoor v 1st XI 25th June 2016  Match abandoned

 

1st XI v Sacriston  18th June 2016

Week 10 of the league campaign saw Willington host Sacriston CC. This was seen as the toughest test for the home side this season, on paper anyway. Sacriston had made major signings in the close season having secured the services of Melvyn Betts and Martin Hubber who had returned after a spell at Washington and ex Durham CCC Graeme Bridge. Dan Anderson had also returned in the last two weeks having started the season with Washington and Reece Carr (ex Durham Academy) was now also playing regularly.  

Willington skipper James Stock won the toss and asked the visitors to bat. Connor Hodgson (Collier Road End) and Jamie dass (Pavilion End) opened the bowling  against the Washington opening pair of Dan Anderson and Ian Jones. The Washington pair got off to a great start batting positively and the score moved to 70 without loss in the 12th over.

Youngster Dan Nelson had replaced Hodgson at the Colliery Road End and it was he who managed to get the breakthrough in the 13th over when he had Anderson smartly caught by wicketkeeper Foster for 37. Anderson was replaced by Graham Wrightson with the score on 71.

The home side skipper then made the decision to replace Dass with Calvin Stephenson from the Pavilion End. Off spinner Steve Alderson replaced Nelson and together with Stephenson the experienced pair slowed the vistor’s scoring rate down significantly.

Alderson made the next breakthrough when he had caught at first slip by his skipper for 15 and in the next over Stephenson had Jones caught by Foster behind the wicket for a valuable 57. Martin Hubber and Reece Carr were the new batsmen at the crease with the score on 113 for 3 in the 24th over.

The score moved on to 125 when Stephenson got his second victim when he clean bowled Carr for only 2 runs. Melvyn Betts replaced Carr and his innings was brief, in fact his stay was only 3 overs old when Steve Alderson struck again when Foster claimed his third victim behind the stumps.

Graham Hubber joined his brother Martin at the crease with the score on 128 for 5 but again his innings was brief when Stephenson bowled him in the 34th over. Willington were in the driving seat and both Alderson and Stephenson were bowling beautifully.

Lewis Straughair joined Martin Hubber and the pair battled to recover the innings withna partnership of 50 runs with some positive batting and good running. With the score at 192 Martin Hubber lost his wicket when Dass had him caught at cover (195 for 7). Hubber was replaced by Callum Appleby,

Straughair who was batting very well achieved his half century in the 50th over. Appleby supported him well to take the visitor’s total to 226 for 7 when the Sacriston skipper declared the innings. Straughair ended with 62 not out and Appleby 9 not out. Stephenson and Alderson bowled exceptionally and finished with figures of 3 for 42 off his 15 overs and Alderson 2 for 48 off 15 overs.

The Willington replay began with the returning Jonny Davis and Jake Louth. Melvyn Betts opened the bowling for Sacriston form the Pavilion End. It was a good start for Louth in the first over when he straight drove Betts for two boundaries. Graham Hubber opened the bowling from the Colliery Road End and in his first over got an early breakthrough when he had Jonny Davis caught by Graeme Wrightson behind the wicket without scoring.

Anand Singh the Willington professional then came to the wicket and having been at the crease for only one over he scored his first boundary with a four through mid-wicket. Washington got their second wicket in the 5th over when Betts had Louth well caught at square leg by Graeme Bridge and in the next over his replacement Elliott Foster was caught by Straughair in the slips off the bowling of Graham Hubber. Sacriston were on top with Willington now 14 for 3.

James Stock joined Singh in the 10th over and the pair then mounted a mini recovery taking the score to 59 when Stock was bowled by bowled by Graham Hubber for a positive 17 runs. Steve Alderson then replaced Stock and began his innings with a lovely square drive for four.

Callum Appleby replaced  Graham Hubber at the Colliery Road End and Martin Hubber, a few overs earlier,  had replaced Betts from the Colliery Road End. Appleby was expensive and his first spell only lasted three overs as Singh began to score freely. The off spinner Graeme Bridge was then put on at the Colliery Road End to supress the scoring rate.

Singh and Alderson were rotating the strike well and the scoreboard continued to tick over. The Willington batsman looked comfortable and looked as if they were taking the game away from the visitors. The pair took the score to 134 for 4.

In the 33rd over Callum Appleby then replaced Martin Hubber at the Pavilion End and if ever an over changed a game it was this one. With his first ball Appleby had Singh caught at mid-wicket by Straughair for an excellent 73 runs. Appleby, with his second ball had Dass caught behind the wicket and with his fourth ball had Proud caught by Graeme Bridge again without scoring. From 134 for 4 the home side were now 134 for 7.

Calvin Stephenson joined Alderson at the crease and took the score to 163 when Appleby struck again when he had Stephenson caught at backward point for 9 runs. Dan Nelson replaced Stephenson with Appleby generating some pace and the youngster showed some character when he hit Appleby for a big six over mid-wicket after having been struck on the helmet twice in an over.

The visitors were now in control and looking to close the game. Alderson and Nelson were doing well under the pressure however with the re-introduction of Bridge the next wicket fell at 161 when Nelson was caught by Appleby. Connor Hodgson replaced Nelson and played positively with Alderson but was the second victim for Bridge when he was caught by Dan Anderson to close the innings with the score on 178.

Alderson batted really well for his undefeated 44 and again with a little more application in the batting department Willington may have been looking at a better result. Sacriston stuck to their task and probably felt they had been let off the hook.  

      

Maisforth v 1st XI 11th June 2016 

Into Week 9 of the campaign saw Willington travel to ex County League rivals Mainsforth, who had joined the league at the beginning of the season. It was a damp grey day and one where the thinking was that the conditions may favour the home side. The Willington players were very much aware of the threat posed by the Mainsforth side and knew this was potentially a tricky fixture.

Mainsforth skipper and ex Willington player Gary Cummings won the toss and asked the visitors to bat. This proved to be key to how the game unfolded and the end result.

Jamie Dass and Ben Marsden, making his First X1 League debut, opened the innings against the slow medium pace of Jonny Barnes (Park End) and Gary Cummings (Pavilion End). It was clear even in the very first over that the conditions and the wicket were going to prove testing for any batsman and this was borne out when the first wicket fell in the 2nd over. Cummings had Marsden caught at first slip by Barnes having only scored a single run and this was reflective of what was to come.

In the next over Cummings returned the favour and caught Dass, again in the slips, off the bowling of Barnes. Willington professional Singh had replaced Marsden and Jake Louth came to the wicket to replace Dass with the score on 2 for 2. Again the two batsman found run scoring very difficult but for the next few overs attempted to put some sort of recovery together. After looking semi-comfortable a mis-judgement led to Louth being unnecessarily run out in the 7th over having scored 4 runs. At 19 for 3 the Willington skipper James Stock joined Singh to give some stability to the innings.

Singh looked to attack both opening bowlers given the opportunity but the task was difficult on a wicket suited to the Mainsforth bowlers who were putting the ball in good areas. Singh had hit a couple of rare boundaries off the bowling of Cummings but he tried the same off Barnes in the 11th over and unfortunately could not clear mid- on and was caught for 19 runs. Willington were in trouble at 28 for 4 when Steve Alderson replaced Singh. The left handers stay was only brief as Barnes got his 3rd wicket when he was smartly stumped by Andy Allen, the Mainsforth keeper.

Mainsforth continued with the bowling of Barnes and Cummings and it was now up to the Willington skipper Stock and new batsman Arron Proud to mount some sort of recovery. Things were not getting easier for any batter yet the pair managed to ‘drag’ the score up to 51 when again the very accurate Barnes got his 4th victim when Arron Proud was caught behind the wicket by Allen for 6 runs. The visitors were now 51 for 6 when Elliott Foster joined his skipper.

Foster had a torrid time. In the first over he faced he was dropped at both gully and at first slip off Barnes and two overs later he was Cummings 2nd victim when he was LBW after scoring only 2 runs. Willington were in deep trouble at 56 for 7 in the 27th over when Calvin Stephenson joined Stock.

Both Stock and Stephenson then saw off the bowling of Barnes and Cummings who had each bowled 15 overs, Stephenson hitting Cummings for 6 in his final over. Both bowlers had bowled very well and took advantage of the conditions.

The Mainsforth bowling attack was now comprised of Mainsforth’s Pakistan Professional Shoaeb (Park end) and Matthew Brown (Pavilion End). Almost immediately Brown had his first success when he had Stock caught behind the wicket by Allen for a ‘dogged’ 18 runs. The Willington skipper showed a great deal of patience and character in difficult conditions for batting.

Stock was replaced by the youngster Zach Hemming and with Stephenson took the score from 71 to 96 when the 9th wicket fell when off spinner Brown had Stephenson caught by Cummings at first slip for a valuable 22 runs. At 98 for 9 Connor Hodgson joined Hemming and both youngsters played positively taking the score to 118 when Hemming was caught and bowled by Shoaeb to end the innings for the visitors.

The Mainsforth reply began with openers Rob Chismon and Matthew Brown. Jamie Dass (Pavilion End) and Calvin Stephenson (Park End) opened the bowling for Willington. It was a great start for Willington when Dass claimed his first wicket with the very first ball of the innings when he had the experienced Chismon caught brilliantly by Louth at point. Another experienced campaigner Richard Hawthorne joined Brown at the wicket.

The Mainsforth pair took the score on to 21 in the 9th over and Hodgson then replaced Dass at the Pavilion End. Mainsforth at this stage looked settled but in only his second over Hodgson made a breakthrough and had Hawthorne LBW for 8 runs. At 29 for 2 the Mainsforth Professional Shoaeb came to the crease. Only a few overs later Hodgson claimed his second victim when he bowled Brown for 15 runs. Willington, am sure were now thinking about how the first innings went and if they could have the same success as the home side bowlers.

The experienced Gary Cummings joined Shoaeb and the pair took the home side’s score to 55 when Hodgson claimed his third wicket of the day when he had Cummings caught by Alderson in the gully for 6 runs. Mainsforth now 55 for 4 in the 19th over when Jonny Barnes came to the wicket.

This  became the key partnership for the home side as Shoeab and Barnes began to frustrate the Willington attack and get the score moving. Barnes rode his luck yet both batsmen played positively and in only 14 overs managed to reach and surpass the visitors score without losing another wicket.

First loss for the visitors and a good win for the home side. A good toss to win and the home side took advantage of the conditions though I believe Willington would have looked at themselves and thought they could have applied themselves more.

 

1st XI V Washington 4th June 2016

Week 8 of the campaign saw Willington hosting Washington Cricket Club. The visitors had a much changed side from previous years with players moving on and they had struggled this season to find the form of the last two seasons where they were strong title contenders.

The visitors won the toss and asked Willington to bat. Youngsters Jamie Dass and Jack Howell, making his season debut for the First XI opened the batting. Opening the bowling for Washington were Trent Mais their Australian professional (Colliery Road End) and Mark Watson (Pavilion End).

It was not a good start for the home side when in only the 3rd over Howell was caught well at 2nd slip by Ebdale off the bowling of Mark Watson for 4 runs. Anand Singh the Willington professional joined Dass with the score on 7.

The visitors made their first bowling change early when Mais was replaced at the Colliery Road End by Graham Race . The Willington batsmen were watchful and found scoring difficult against some accurate bowling and a wicket which was doing just enough for the seamers. This was highlighted when the first boundary of the game was scored in the 6th over of the game with Singh driving Watson through the covers for four. 

Dass and Singh took the home sides score to 36 in the 10th over when the second wicket fell when Race had Dass caught behind the wicket for 9. Jake Louth replaced Dass at the wicket and with Singh took the score to 84 in the 21st over where Singh also registered his half century. Washington had made bowling changes with seamers Dan Anderson coming on at the Colliery Road End and Trent Mais bowling from the Pavilion End. In fact Mais made the vistors next breakthrough when he had Singh caught brilliantly by Cuthbertson at cover with the total on 86. Singh was finding his form and looked ominous at the time and set himself for a big score. He made 54 in an innings which included 11 boundaries.

The Willington Skipper James Stock replaced Singh  but only 2 overs later Louth was the vistors next victim again with a superb catch at mid on by Ashley Thorpe off the bowling of Mais for 10 runs. With the score on 90 for 4 Steve Alderson joined his skipper at the crease.

Washington replaced Anderson at the Colliery Road End with off spinners Anthony Ebdale in the 29th over and Josh Wilson. Both Stock and Alderson found it tough going against the all spin attack but worked really hard to get the score to 158 for 4 in the 44th over. Further bowling changes by Washington looking to break a stubborn partnership bore fruit in the 45th over when the returning Anderson had Stock caught by Adam khan for a creditable 29 runs. Arron Proud replaced his skipper and unfortunately with his first ball faced was bowled by Anderson with the score on 159 for 6. Calvin Stephenson came to the wicket to survive the hat trick ball.

The next wicket however fell shortly two overs later when Josh Wilson had Stephenson caught at mid wicket without scoring.  (160 for 7). Steven Bradwell came to the wicket and with Alderson took the score to 173 when he was stumped smartly by wicketkeeper Hughes off the bowling of Ebdale after making 5 runs.

Dan Nelson was the next batsman and with his first scoring shot hit Wilson for six over his head. The youngster continued to play positively alongside his experienced partner Alderson. The pair took the total to 199 when Alderson was LBW to the bowling of Ebdale in the 53rd over.

The Willington declaration came in the next over with the score on 200. Nelson remained unbeaten for a valuable 21 runs and Connor Hodgson who had replaced Alderson was unbeaten without scoring. Final total 200 for 9.

Washington opened the batting with Dan Anderson and Adam Khan. For the very first time in the league campaign the Willington skipper James stock opened the bowling with professional Anand Singh from the Colliery Road End. Jamie Dass was his partner from the Pavilion End.

It was Dass who made the early first breakthrough in the 4th over when he had Khan clean bowled. He was replaced at the wicket by Steve Cuthbertson and Singh was replaced at the Colleiry Road End by seamer Connor Hodgson. It proved to be a fruitful change as Hodgson in his second over had Cuthbertson LBW  for 2 with the score on 23.

Josh Wilson joined Dan Anderson at the crease but in the next over Washington lost another wicket when Anderson was caught well at short cover by Louth off the bowling of Jamie Dass. Anderson looked well for his 15 runs and was becoming settled so his wicket was timely.

Professional Tent Mais joined Wilson at the wicket with the score on 23 and the pair over the next 4 overs managed to get the total to 43 when Dass got his 3rdwicket when he had Wilson caught behind the wicket by Steve Bradwell for 12 runs.

Joe Thompson joined Mais and together they put on another 22 runs when Hodgson claimed his second victim when he had Mais LBW for 24 taking the score to 68 for 5 and the visitors were now in some trouble. Seamer Dan Nelson replaced Dass at the Pavilion End and ex Durham CCC player Ashley Thorpe replaced Mais at the crease.

It was not long until Nelson bagged his first victim when Thorpe played a lazy shot to Jamie Dass at mid off after scoring only 1 run. With the total on just 71 for 6 it was up to Andy Ebdale to help with a recovery. Together with Thompson Ebdale began to put together a partnership of 37 until Calvin Stephenson, brought into the attack form the Colliery Road End, had Thompson caught by Bradwell behind the wicket for a fighting 41 runs.

It was now a case of Washington looking for some kind of result and the batsmen left looking for a draw in the remaining overs. Fine bowling from Stephenson and Jamie Dass retuning at the Pavilion End proved to be Washingtons undoing with the last three wickets falling for 12 runs.

The Washington innings closed on 127 all out and this was in no small part to some excellent bowling from the Willington bowlers especially Dass who finished with figures of 5 for 18 runs. Hero with the bat last week and with the ball this week.

Another good win for the home side.    

 

Brandon v 1st XI 28th May 2016

The first team travelled the short distance to local rivals Brandon in Week 7 of the season and based on past experiences and results this is a fixture which was always a test for the visitors in one way or another. 

Brandon have had an indifferent start to the season and after losing key players at the end of last season they are a totally different side. The key signing has been Moin Ashraf who has played first class cricket at Yorkshire and is being looked at by a number of County sides. Chris Peareth again leads the side who have the benefit of being made up of younger players although lacking a bit of experience.

The Willington side were minus opener Rob Gibson and Will Phillips although included was carrying an injury so could not bowl so the season debut of seamer Connor Hodgson was a big plus for the visitors.

Brandon won the toss and elected to bat. They opened the batting with skipper Peareth and Ryan Nicholson. Willington opened the attack with Connor Hodgson from the Brancepeth Road End and Max Bailey from the Durham City End.

The home side made a good start to their innings. Peareth especially scored quickly and the opening pair took the total to 67 in 15 overs. Dass had replaced Hodgson (Brancepeth Road End) and Stephenson (Durham City End) replaced Bailey to find that first wicket. In the 16th over the Brandon skipper reached a well deserved 50 and in the 18th over the home side’s total reached 100.

Willington made the breakthrough in the 22nd over when Nicholson was well caught by the Willington skipper James Stock at first slip off the bowling of Stephenson having made 24 runs. He was replaced by Durham University all rounder Raghavan with the score on 110.

Dass was replaced by the left arm off spin of Steven Alderson and almost immediately had Raghavan caught at cover by Ananad Singh after only making 2 runs. Peareth was Aldersons next victim in the 29th over when he was caught by Foster behind the wicket for a battling 93 runs. Raghavan had been replaced by Gary Henderson and Peareths exit saw Moin Ashraf to the wicket.

With the score on 132 Henderson was caught again by Willington professional Singh for 5. Matthew Brown was his replacement at the wicket and with Ashraf set about a mini recovery.  They took the total to 158 for 4 when Alderson had Brown caught at deep mid-wicket for Singh's hat trick of catches. Both Stephenson and Alderson had curbed the early run rate with some accurate bowling. Alderson was causing problems on what proved to be a turning wicket and with that in mind the Willington skipper Stock replaced Stephenson with off spinner Jake Louth in the 45th over.

The next Brandon wicket fell in the 48th over when a great piece of fielding by Arron Proud saw Nathan Adamson run out from the deep with the score on 193. Shaun Barker was his replacement and from the off looked to play aggressively with a couple of well hit boundaries. Ashraf had quietly picked up runs as wickets fell at the other end and he reached his 50 in the 51st over. Jake Louth picked up the wicket of Barker and Dean Card returning after a couple of years out of the game replaced him. With the score on 222 for 7 the Brandon skipper declared the innings. Ashraf unbeaten on 54.

The Willington innings began with the young opening pair of Elliot Foster and Jake Louth. Ryan Nicholson (Durham City End) and Moin Ashraf (Brancepeth Road End) began the Brandon bowling attack. The Willington openers ‘survived’ the initial couple of overs but having switched ends after his first over Ashraf was about to produce a spell of bowling which would see the Yorkshire bowler destroy the Willington top order. Foster was Ashraf’s first victim when he was caught at first slip with the total on 5. Raghavan the Sri Lankan off spinner was Ashrafs bowling partner who got the second Willington wicket when he had Louth bowled having made only 3 runs.

Anand Singh the Willington professional and Will Phillips the Durham University all rounder were now at the wicket and with Ashraf bowling good lines on a ‘helpful wicket’ the new batters found the going very tough. The pair only lasted a mere 5 overs when Ashraf had Phillips caught by Card at short leg in the 11th over without scoring and the very next over he had Singh caught behind the wicket by Peareth leaving the visitors in real trouble at 17 for 4.

It was now up to the Willington skipper James Stock and youngster Jamie Dass to mount some kind of recovery against some excellent bowling especially by Ashraf. The pair worked hard over the next 10 overs to get the total to 51 however Stock was the next wicket to fall when he was caught at mid wicket by Raghavan off the bowling of Nicholson who had come on to bowl from the Brancepeth Road End.

Arron Proud joined Dass at the wicket with the score on 51 for 5 but his stay was short lived as he became Ashrafs next victim when he was out LBW without scoring. All rounder Steve Alderson came in at 63 for 6 in the 25th over and the visitors were now under real pressure to get something out of the game. They had another 27 overs to bat with only 4 wickets remaining.

Both Dass and Alderson watched the ball closely and together saw off the threat of Ashraf who completed his 15 over spell in the 31st over. Dean Card replaced Ashraf from the Durham City End with the score on 72 and the Willington batsmen were looking more comfortable at the crease. The pair took the total to 118 when Dass was caught behind the wicket off the bowling of Ryan Nicholson in the 43rd over. The young all rounder played with maturity and determination when his team were under real pressure to help them get to this point. An excellent innings in tough circumstances. Dass was replaced by Calvin Stephenson and with Alderson batted out the rest of the overs in dogged style to achieve a total of 149 for 7 wickets and a well earned draw. Alderson (26 n.o.) played an excellent innings full of character and Stephenson (22 n.o.) again showed his experience to get something out of the game.   

 

1st XI V Blaydon 21st May 2016

Week 6 saw the senior side at home to Blaydon who were relegated from the Premier League after the 2015 season. Heavy showers around lunchtime meant the start of the game was delayed and began at 2pm.

James Stock, the Willington skipper, won the toss and asked the visitors to bat. David Bailey and Phil Underwood opened the batting for Blaydon against the two young Willington bowlers Jamie Dass (Colliery Road End) and Max Bailey (Pavilion End).

Dass and Bailey began well finding the edge on a number of occasions in the first few overs. The hard work paid off in the 6th over when Bailey got an early breakthrough and had Underwood caught at cover point by the Willington professional Anand Singh with the score on 24.

Ray Marshall replaced Underwood and with Bailey continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Will Phillips replaced Dass in the 12th over from the Colliery End. The next wicket fell with the score on 42 when in the 13th over Bailey got his second wicket when David Bailey was caught by Elliott Foster behind the wicket making his season debut. 

Geoff Stuart joined Marshall at the wicket and almost immediately Willington took their third wicket when Phillips had Marshall LBW for 12. Joe Reynolds came to the wicket and after facing his second ball he was victim number 2 for Phillips when he was clean bowled.  Michael Reynolds came to the wicket and survived the hat trick ball but did not last too much longer when he was another victim for Phillips when Foster had his second victim behind the wicket taking the score to 51 for 5.

Stuart was joined by Phillip Miller and Max Bailey was replaced by Calvin Stephenson at the Pavilion End for the home side. Stephenson made an impact almost immediately when he had Miller LBW off his second delivery for 1. Blaydon were now in real trouble at 54 for 6 and still only in the 22nd over.

Grant Nicholson the former Durham Academy all rounder joined Stuart at the wicket  hoping to mount some sort of recovery. The pair dug deep and managed to take the score to 80 when Phillips took his fourth wicket when Singh snapped up a sharp catch at short cover. Stuart made a valuable 26 runs.

Gary Stuart joined Nicholson and together they worked hard to take the Blaydon score to 136 in the 35th over when Stuart was Stephenson's second victim when he was caught by Dass at cover for 24 runs. Andrew Sturgeon was the next batsman in and with Nicholson continued to be positive against the Willington bowling attack of Stephenson and Dass who had returned to the Colliery Road End. At 164 Stephenson got his third wicket when he had Nicholson caught at backward point again by Singh (third catch) for a very positive 48 runs. At 164 for 9 Phillips came back and quickly got the final wicket of Sturgeon when Stephenson caught Sturgeon . The Blaydon side managed a total of 167.

The Willington Innings began with Jake Louth and Rob Gibson. Against the bowling of Gary Stuart (Pavilion End) and Joe Reynolds (Colliery Road End).  The Blaydon opening bowlers caused problems for the Willington opening pair who were both dropped in the first few overs. It was however a positive start and the score quickly moved to 23 off the first 4 overs. 

Blaydon got their first wicket in the 5th over when Gibson was caught behind the wicket by Sturgeon off Gary Stuart. The young opener was getting into his stride when he tried to cut a wide one when the score was on 31. Gibson was replaced by Anand Singh.  Louth was the next victim shortly after when Stuart again worked with Sturgeon behind the wicket when the young opener was caught on 17. Will Phillips was the next batsmen to come in with the Blaydon opening bowlers producing good lines and getting regular seam movement

The Willington score moved to 50 in the 9th over, however Reynolds bagged his first wicket the next over when he had Singh caught well at Gully by Miller for 9. A loose shot by the Willington Pro gave the Blaydon side some hope of a possible upset with the score on 53 for 3. Singh was replaced by Willington skipper James Stock and with Phillips the pair began to score quickly. By the 18th over the total was 87 when after a solid 22 runs Stock was caught in the gully again by Miller off the bowling of Nicholson who had come on at the Pavilion End.

Stock was replaced by Jamie Dass who was in good form having scored well for both the Club and County in the previous week . His form continued as he and Phillips moved the score on to 156 in relatively quick time. By this time Phillips had reached 64 runs and was batting very well. In the 31st over Dass was caught by Reynolds off the bowling of Hawthorn and was replaced by Proud. It only took one over for Phillips and Proud to pass the Blaydon total and Willington ended their innings on 171 for 5. Phillips ended unbeaten on 72 and Proud on 9 not out.

 

Again a strong performance by the 1st XI who remain unbeaten and go top of the Division 1 Table. 

 

Seaham Harbour v 1st XI 14th May 2016 

The first team travelled to Seaham Harbour in Week 5 of the season on a bright but chilly day at the Coast. The home side had struggled to date and looking for their first win. They won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first.

Jake Louth opened the innings with Rob Gibson who was making his debut for the side. Gibson came into the side with good form having made a good start to the season with Durham University. The medium pace attack of Jack Lacey and Dale Shaw opened the bowling for the home side on a wicket reknowned for being a little bit slow.

It was a good start from the Willington openers with the first boundary in the 3rd over when Louth played a back foot drive off Lacey through the covers for four. The pair scored quickly even though there was a little bit of movement in the wicket with both Lacey and Shaw hitting the outside edge in the opening overs. It took 10 overs for the Willington side to reach 50 without loss and both openers looked solid.

Off spinner Craig Stephenson replaced Lacey from the Harbour End in the 11th over and the first wicket fell in the 17th over with Gibson was bowled by Stephenson for 35. Gibson looked well organised in his first game and showed his class with some excellent shots particularly off the back foot.

The Willington professional Anand Singh joined Louth at the wicket and facing his first ball played a glorious cover drive for four off Corkhill who had replaced Shaw from the Pavilion End. In the 20th over the second wicket fell when Corkhill had Louth caught and bowled with a ball that seemed to stick in the wicket. The young opener looked solid for his 36 runs.

Will Phillips replaced Louth with the score on 87 and with Singh they took the score to 112 when the off spinner Stuart Pattison replaced Corkhill from the Pavilion End. The bowling change worked as in his second over Pattison had the Willington professional caught at Mid Off for 24. Phillips wicket fell only 5 overs later when he was LBW off Stephenson for 36 and the introduction of an all spin attack seemed to be working for the home side.

James Stock the Willington skipper and Steve Alderson now had to look to build a recovery however 5 overs later Alderson’s eyes lit up after a long hop from Pattison and he picked out deep mid- wicket perfectly taking the score to 135 for 5. The home side looked to be on top. Proud then came to the wicket to join his skipper.

Proud looked positive and he hit his first boundary in the 37th over when he swept Stephenson for four. By this time Lacey had replaced Pattison from the Pavilion End. Both batsmen then took the game to Seaham Harbour and played some excellent attacking strokes. Boundaries came and bowling changes were made however the pair took the score to 200 in quick time in the 44th over.

Stock and Proud continued to attack the bowling and Stock reached a fine 50 in the 47th over. Proud did the same in the 50th over with a majestic six over mid wicket. At the end of the 50th over the Willington captain decided to declare with the score on 256 for 5. Both Stock (60 not out) and Proud (53 not out) played an important part in Willington’s batting recovery putting them into a potential winning position.

Seaham Harbour began their reply with openers Nunn and Bowl. They made a steady start off the bowling of Jamie Dass (Harbour End) and Max Bailey (Pavilion End). Dass initially struggled coming over the wicket to the left handed Nunn where Bailey was bowling fairly tightly.  The Seaham openers took the total to 25 when Dass came around the wicket  which seemed to work as he had Nunn caught shortly afterwards by Steven Bradwell behind the wicket for 10.

Nunn was replaced by the talented Ian Pattison in the 7th over and if there was any Seaham Harbour wicket the Willington side would like to get would be him. This was achieved 3 overs later when an outstanding delivery from Bailey beat Pattison and bowled him for 10 with the score on 41 for 2.

In the next over (11th) Dass, who by now had found his line and rhythm had opener Bowl caught by Bradwell behind the wicket. The new batsmen at the crease were Dale Shaw and Mark Marwood who dug in and began a mini recovery. Will Phillips replaced Dass at the Harbour End and Calvin Stephenson replaced Bailey at the Pavilion End.

The Seaham pair took the score to 75 when a great piece of work by Phillips in the field saw him combine with Bradwell to run out Marwood who was replaced by Stuart Pattison. Over the next few overs and repeating the same script as in previous games this season, it was a case of Phillips and Stephenson combining to destroy a teams middle order. The pair bowled superbly to get rid of Pattison, Shaw, Umar, Lacey and Stephenson in the space of 6 overs taking the score to 94 for 9 in the 27th over. Corkhill (11) put up some resistence however a great stumping by Bradwell off Stephenson saw the innings close at 102.

 

Another impressive win for the visitors who went to the top of the league with another convincing win.      

 

1st XI v Tudhoe 7th May 2016

With a wash out last week it was good to get a game after the start we had against Boldon. The side was unchanged from the last game and the team were confident going into the game against Tudhoe. The visiting side had lost a few players from the previous season : Hardaker (Bishop Auckland), Stephenson (Ushaw Moor), Davis (retired) and were also missing key players for this match including Ross Hodgson and Alex McGrath.  On paper Willington were the favourites.

Tudhoe won the toss and asked Willington to bat on a wicket which you would think help the seamers early on. This proved the case when Willington lost both openers in the first five overs. Jonny Davis was yorked by a ball from Grainger for 1 and Jake Louth was caught behind again by Grainger for 1.

Anand Singh replaced Davis and Will Phillips replaced Louth and with Tudhoe bouyant by their early successes the pair were under pressure to build some kind of recovery. The first boundary of the innings came in the 7th over  when Singh pulled the Tudhoe professional Yashpal Singh for 4 through mid wicket. Singh and Philips got into their stride fairly quickly and the score moved to 50 in the 10th over. Singh reached his 50 in the 14th over and both batsmen were scoring freely playing shots all around the wicket.

Davison replaced Singh from the Pavilion End and Thexton came on in the 19th over to replace Grainger from the Colliery Road End. There was no let up in the scoring rate and 100 achieved in 17 overs.

Davison was expensive in his five overs and was soon replaced by the off spin of Joe Hardaker from the Pavilion End. Some outstanding batting saw the score move to 150 in 25 overs and Phillips reached his 50 shortly after. Only 3 overs later Singh notched up his first century of the season in the 28th over with a straight drive off Hardaker. 

Tudhoe continued to change their bowlers to try to make a breakthrough but Singh and Phillips continued their assault on the Tudhoe bowlers. Singh brought the 200 up in the 33rd over by hitting two consecutive sixes off Yashpal Singh. The 200 partnership was achieved the next over and the Tudhoe side didn’t seem to have any answers to the onslaught.

They did achieve a breakthrough however in the 35th over when Singh was caught at long on off the bowling of Hardaker for 128. An outstanding knock and one which the Tudhoe side were clearly regretting after Thexton had dropped Singh in the 10th over when he only had 34 against his name.

Singh was replaced by the Willington skipper  James Stock and helped him get to his maiden hundred of the season in the 37th over.  Grainger returned at the Colliery Road end and had Stock caught when the score was on 249 in the 39th over.

Steve Alderson replaced Stock, and with Phillips, continued to score quickly taking the score to 287. Alderson was then bowled by Thexton in the 46th over and Phillips was replaced by Proud. In the 45th over the Willington skipper declared with the score on 298 for 5 with Phillips on an unbeaten 150.

In the second half Andrew Carrick and Jamie Kirkbride opened the innings for the visitors against the bowling of Jamie Dass (Colliery Road End) and Max Bailey (Pavilion End). After some initial tight bowling and with the score on only 9 Bailey got an early breakthrough having Kirkbride caught behind by Bradwell behind the wicket for 1. Tudhoe’s professional Yashpal Singh replaced Kirkbride and with Carrick took the score to 29. In the 10th over Dass took the second Tudhoe wicket when Carrick was well caught in the gully by Davis.

Danny Thexton joined Singh at the wicket and the two began a mini recovery. Phillips replaced  Dass  at the Colliery Road End after the youngster once again bowled with control. Singh and Thexton took the score from 33 to 66 when Phillips had Singh LBW for 31. Thexton fell shortly afterwards when Thexton was caught by Anand Singh at mid wicket off Stephenson bowling from the Pavilion End.

In the next four overs Phillips and Stephenson destroyed the Tudhoe middle order and lost 4 wickets for only  5 runs. Grainger put up an admirable fight towards the end, reached his fifty  and managed to guide his team to 137 before he was caught at deep mid wicket so ending the innings.

 

Again the first eleven looked strong in all departments in their second game where the achieved the maximum 30 points taking them to 3rd in the league.    

 

1st XI V Boldon 23rd April 2016

The first game of the season saw the First X1 at home to Boldon Colliery on a bright yet very cold day. Last minute withdrawals saw a couple of changes to the home side with Stephen Bradwell coming in for Elliot Foster and Arron Proud replacing Rob Gibson.

Boldon Colliery won the toss and asked Willington to bat. The opening pair of Jake Louth and Jonny Davis made a solid start against the Boldon opening bowlers Nick Sampson Barnes and Phil Shakespeare. Shakespeare bowling from the Colliery Road End was bowling good lines and asked a few questions early on with Davis being dropped at gully when he was on 12. Louth looked comfortable and the 17 year old hit Sampson Barnes for three consecutive fours in the eighth over which took the score to 35 off the first 8 overs. The breakthrough came for Boldon in the 11th over when Shakespeare had Davis caught at slip for 17 with the score on 51. Anand Singh the Willington Professional replaced Davis and facing his first ball was deemed LBW again off the bowling of Shakespeare. This was a big wicket for the Colliery men and their celebration reflected this as they were on the end of some batting carnage from Singh in the reverse fixture last season.

With Shakespeare on a hat trick Will Phillips came to the crease. Having survived the hat trick ball over the next 15 overs both himself and Louth steadied the ship and took the score to 104 from 26 overs. Off spinner Ian Male had during this time replaced the medium pace of Sampson Barnes from the Pavilion end. Louth was batting confidently and achieved his 50 in the 21st over however he was the next wicket to fall when he was run out when going for a risky two in the 26th over.

The Willington captain James Stock replaced  Louth and with Phillips saw Shakespeare end an excellent spell of bowling with 2 for 43 off his 15 overs. The next wicket to fall was that of Phillips who attempted to hit Male over long on and didn’t get enough on the shot and was caught just short of the boundary.

Callum McLeod the Durham County Cricketer replaced Shakespeare at the Colliery Road End and Steven Alderson replaced Phillips at the crease. Alderson was playing his first game for over a year having suffered a serious knee injury and it was good to see him back. Both Stock and Alderson looked at ease against the spin duo of Male and McLeod however a poor piece of running saw Stock being run out with the score on 120 which seemed to give the Boldon side a bit of much needed lift.

Arron Proud joined Alderson and over the next 14 overs the pair took the game to Boldon and produced some positive batting. The 150 runs came up in the 41st over with Proud hitting the Boldon Professional Umar Waheed for a six over mid wicket. Proud in fact reached his 50 in the 46th over and the Willington pair took the score to 200 in the 47th over. The recovery continued into the 48th over when Proud was caught by Gary Hewitt at mid wicket for an excellent 64.

Experienced Calvin Stephenson joined Alderson at the crease and helped the left hander to reach his fifty in the 53rd over with the score on 250 for 6. Again the pair were very positive in these final overs and the innings closed at 286 for 6 wickets. Alderson ending unbeaten on 69 and Stephenson unbeaten on 17 runs.

The Boldon innings saw Chris Ellison and Nick Sampson Barnes opening up against Jamie Dass and Max Bailey bowling for the home side.  Dass was keeping things tight from the colliery Road End however Ellison and Barnes were scoring freely off the bowling of Bailey. Barnes looked to attack from ball one and helped his side to get to 47 when he was bowled by Dass for 27 runs in the 11th over.

Boldon’s new Pakistan professional Umar Waheed joined Ellison at the crease and saw Dass finish his spell of bowling with 1 for 15 off 7 overs, a great start to the season for the youngster. Only two overs later Bailey got the prized wicket of Waheed when he had him LBW in the 14th over.  Waheed was then replaced by Callum McLeod making his debut for Boldon, Durham County Cricketer and fresh from the World Cup with Scotland.

Ellison and McLeod took the score quickly to 72 when Will Phillips from the Colliery Road End had Ellison LBW for 27 solid runs. Ollie Sampson Barnes came to the wicket to join McLeod and the pair took the score to 85 when Barnes was bowled by Stephenson. Over the next few overs the Boldon middle order capitulated with Brown, Shakespeare and McLeod succumbing to some top quality seam bowling from Phillips and Stephenson. McLeod was dismissed with an outstanding catch by Alderson in the slips off Phillips for 24. Gary Hewitt was at the crease briefly until Stephenson had him LBW for 2 runs which left Boldon at 98 for 8 in the 25th over.

The Willington attack were clearly on top however Boldon’s  Lamb and Sargon had other ideas and took the attack to Willington taking the score to 149. Willington skipper Stock then made a ‘canny’ change to the attack and introduced spin to the attack with Louth (off spin) and Proud (leg spin). The stubborn partnership was broken in the 35th over when Proud had Sargon caught at backward square by Calvin Stephenson. Sargon made a useful 38 quick runs which took the score to 149 for 9. The skipper Stock replaced Louth at the colliery Road End and it was him who took the final Boldon wicket (Lamb) with Boldon 157 all out.

 

A good all round performance and a solid win for Willington with a well earned 30 points. A mention must be made of the quality of the wicket after the last few weeks of horrendous weather we have had. John Coe Head groundsman has done a marvellous job.