25th June 2016 Willington 244-4 Burnmoor 145 (all out)

The June weather was forecast to have some impact on this match and it did not disappoint, not before Willington put in a clinical performance to get back on the winning track.

Steven Bradwell won the toss and elected to bat in bright sunny conditions but losing Jack Howell and Zach Hemming with the score on 4 was not part of the plan. It is common knowledge that the Mayor had a very quiet week at work and this showed as Fraser and D.E.Brown set about rebuilding the innings. Adding a partnership of 118 the Mayor was first to go having posted a decent knock of 54. Steven Bradwell joined D.E. Brown at the crease and the pair batted majestically, Darren Edward Brown posting a fantastic century. Rumour has it Darren spent the week counting to 100 in advance of his innings. With the damage done Steven was dismissed on 65 looking for quick runs. Willington declaring on 244-4.

Burnmoor started the chase positively and took chances rapidly moving the score along. With 40 on the board Mugsy got in the action as the opener tried to smash a good length delivery only to lob the ball up in the air. It did not take long for Dan Nelson to get in the action as the other opener tried to smash the cover off the ball in the next over only to be caught behind. Dan was warming up nicely and got into the action again leaving Burnmoor on 64-4. A mini partnership in the middle stopped the rot but with the introduction of James Blackmore he tore through the middle order. With a few rain interruptions it was essential Willington cleaned up the tail quickly and they did just that bowling out Burnmoor for just 145, with Dan (4-58) and James (3-17) the pick of the bowlers.


18th June 2016 Eppleton 248-8 Willington 228 (all out)

The wicket at Eppleton looked particularly undesirable for the league match and was the catalyst for the skipper to opt to field having won the toss. Clearly it is a massive advantage for the home team knowing how the wicket plays, Eppleton got off to a flyer as the opening pair of Mugsy and Payney struggled to find the right length. With the score on 23 in only a couple of others it was a relief when Payney got one to spit from a length to remove the opener. At the other end Mugsy followed up by removing the other opener, Payney clean bowled No 4 leaving Eppleton reeling on 40-3. Unfortunately Willington struggled to take those half chances and Eppleton staged a recovery with the next pair putting on 118 before there luck ran out. Mugsy removed the danger man and Bobby Whitehead sneaked in to pick up 3 late wickets as Eppleton posted a decent score of 248 declaring after 50 overs.

Willington's response got off to the worst possible start losing both openers cheaply. Zach Hemming and Steven Bradwell steadied the ship with an assured partnership before Zach chipped one in the air departing on 43. Bradwell and new batsman D.E. Brown finally got the chase going and with an assured partnership of 110 the home side were clearly rattled. Unfortunately as the chase got to the wire both set batsman were dismissed. A tumble of late wickets ensured Willington's defeat was completed with the very last ball.


11th June 2016 Willington 120-3 Mainsforth 116 (all out)

On a day when cricket was clearly in doubt due to the wonderful change in weather it was good to get a game going. A special mention to Mr Coe on making the pitch perfect despite the rain. The drizzle stopped and allowed Mainsforth to win the toss and elect to bat, a decision welcome to the home side who were eager to bowl first.

Dan Nelson and Mugsy opened the attack and made light work of the openers. Mainsforth struggled with the bowling attack and looked desperately short of a batsman who was prepared to stick around. Wickets fell regularly as Mugsy picked up 5-39 in a fine disciplined bowling display. Dan Nelson and Payney chipped in with two each as the home side easily skittled Mainsforth for 116.

With the forecast not looking good Jonny Davis set upon the visitors attack and scored freely with a fantastic 58. With the damage done it was left to James Blackmore to smash three boundaries to complete a comprehensive win and 29 points. A positive approach ensured the game was completed quickly before the rain set in.

The 2nd's are a very good side, with the elders letting the youngsters take center stage, winning is becoming a habit once again. A special mention to keeper Chiz who covered some ground tracking Payney's wide ones. The Fitbit must have been kept busy.


4th June 2016 Washington 160-6 v Willington 210

The seconds travelled up North to play Washington, eager to continue with the recent improvements. Washington won the toss and asked Willington to bat first. The wicket had not been covered and the surface looked exceptionally dry and loose. The fear was the ball could quite easily go through the top.

The innings started in scintillating fashion with Ben Marsden and Jonny Davis looking surprisingly comfortable against the new ball, both batsman making 53 runs. Once the openers were dismissed the wickets started to fall. It became evident how well the openers had batted. Batsman got going but were never really comfortable against the unpredictable bounce. Zach Hemming biffed a quick 20 before being bowled. Max Bailey, selected as a batsman, drove the cover off the ball for a stylish 13. At the other end, Darren Edward Brown looked composed but lost partners in a hurry as the team looked to get a score. D.E Brown finally being run out for 22.

At 186-9 the fear was we would not make the 200 mark to add that level of security. Steph Gill had other ideas as he nudged and nurdled his way to 19 putting on 21 with Athena Fennyhough for the last wicket, valuable runs. 

Washington's innings got off to a flyer as the new ball came on to the bat, at 36 it was down to Mugsy to make the first breakthrough pinning the opener bang in front. He quickly added a second with the score on 45, a rasping catch taken at first slip by Darren Edward Brown. Unfortuantely Jonty had borrowed Payney's cap and the scorer failed to recognise this and recorded the catch as Payney's.

As the ball lost its shine it was the turn of gifted off-spinner Ben Marsden to step forward. If only Dicko had told us he could bowl! With Ben operating smoothly at one end Payney was boring the living daylights out of us at the other finishing with 3-16 from 14 overs. Washington closed up shop early and despite a quite remarkable ball from Jonny Davis to dismiss the opposing captain (caught DE Brown) the draw became inevitable.

The winning draw for Willington and 15 points to keep moving in the right direction.


28th May 2016 Willington 121-5 Brandon 120 (all out)

The seconds hosted Brandon eager to put the league campaign back on track. After losing the toss Brandon elected to bat first. The opening pair went hard at the new ball and survived a few early scares before Mugsy pinned the opener on the crease out LBW. It did not take long for Dan Nelson to get into the action bowling the new batsman. With Liam Read accumulating runs going hard at the ball he survived a few dropped catches before Mugsy bowled a jaffa to remove him on 26. The middle order really struggled to trouble the score with Willington's attack. Mugsy and James Blackmore picking up more wickets whilst Payney bowled 5 succesive maidens at the other end. A very low score was on the cards but Brandon struggled to 120 all out. Mugsy and James finishing with three wickets each. A special mention for Steven Bradwell running out a batsman by 22 yards!

The chase proved easy in the end, an experimental batting line up chased down the runs in the 18th over, Jack Howell top scoring with another half century. Willington finishing on 121-5. The team once again moving in the right direction.


21st May 2016 - South Shields 180-7 - Willington 169-9 (all out)

The seconds traveled to South Shields eager to put last weeks disappointment behind them. On arrival at the ground the side were greeted to an uncovered wet wicket. Mugsy won the toss and put the home side in on a over reduced match.

The bowlers bowled decent lengths without luck as Seaham started their innings. Dan Nelson removed the first opener with the score on 19. The wicket was doing a bit but the lack of pace and tennis ball bounce proved to be hard to score easily. We dropped a number of chances which did not help the cause. As wickets began to fall the home side used their experience to bat through their innings often only scoring one per over. The skipper batted 90 balls for 27. After fifty overs South Shields finished on 180-7 wickets being shared between Dan, Mugsy and Payney. The score probably 20 more than it should have been given we only fielded 10 men. It is a concern that this is the second match in four we have not fielded a full side.

Our response started brightly as the openers put on 47 for the first wicket. Unfortunately the top four got in and nobody was able to push on and take twenties into a 50. Wickets fell in groups and we were never in the chase until Mugsy and Zach Hemming shared a partnership of 47 runs for the 7th wicket. At 168-7 the win was on the cards but sadly two wickets fell and the team were nine down and all out.

We looked the better side against a team who are top of the league but they play their wicket well and know fine margins are important. We should have won the last two games but turned winning positions into defeats. Back to the one percent improvement for every player. The seconds are a good side and just need to click.


14th May 2016 - Willington 249 all out - Seaham Harbour 250-9

The forecast was cold but the weather turned out to be fine for the 2nd XI hosting Seaham Harbour at Mannor Road. A quote by JFK "Neither the fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed" reads true, this report is one that comes with a health warning.

Seaham won the toss and elected to bat. The opening pair bowled well with little luck, at one point Dan Nelson had three slips and two gully's' as the opening partnership struggled with the pace on the Manor Road wicket. Our breakthrough came with a direct hit by James Blackmore to make the first strike with the score on 32. The score kept ticking along until the 14th over when the skipper introduced Payney. In his second over he removed the other opener on his way to a second 5 wicket haul in 3 matches, finishing with figures of 6-59 from 15. At 133-7 the Seaham innings looked finished until the number nine batsman chipped and edged a lucky 51. Supported by the number 10 Batsman making an edgy 28 Seaham finished with an unexpected 250-9 boosted by 33 extras.

The response did not start well with two wickets falling early doors leaving us 27-2. Then Jack Howell and Ben Marsden batted with excellence in a breathtaking partnership of 173.  Ben falling short of his debut ton finishing on 96. Jack soon followed on 89 but with wickets in hand the home side looked certain of the win. However in a bizarre turn of events the 7th change bowler for Seaham bagged four quick wickets and turned the chase into panic. 220-4 became 249 all out with the home side cruising to a win, then turning a winning draw into a defeat.

A lot of lessons to be learned here, a side with the ability to challenge for the tittle must take stock and look to improve.


7th May 2016 - Tudhoe 106 all out - Willington CC 160 all out

After what seems to have been an eternity of weather disruption the 2nd XI arrived at Tudhoe boosted by fielding 11 players for this league fixture. On a wicket difficult to read it was thankful Tudhoe won the toss and made the decision to send us into bat.

Progress was very difficult on a slow low wicket with an even slower outfield. Batsman got set but never really felt confident and ultimately were undone trying to force the runs. The middle order in particular getting the runs to push the score to 160. Discussions with some senior players suggested a good score on the wicket would be 180, falling 20 runs short left some worries. Willington's innings supported by the innings of J Blackmore (33), D Nelson (32) and D E Brown (31).

Fortunately buoyed by the availability of a strong bowling attack the bowlers had other ideas. Mugsy set the tone early on by removing the top 3 in hist first couple of others leaving Tudhoe in pieces. It was not long before Payney got going and skittled the next two in successive deliveries, the hatrick ball judged to be so close the benefit went to the batsman. At 30-5 Tudhoe decided to chance their luck and went on the counter. A rapid partnership of 68 started to cause concern. It was left to James Blackmore to make the vital breakthrough quickly followed by an unplayable delivery by Dan Nelson to remove the other danger man. At 98-7 the score quickly became 106 all out as Dan and James fired the boys to a 54 run victory. 

It was fantastic to see the youngsters supporting the experienced bowlers to help secure 23 points for the win. In particular MOM 16 year old Dan Nelson with his all round contribution.


23rd April 2016 -  Boldon CC 240 – 8, Willington CC 213 – 7      Match Drawn

The first game of the season is always one that can throw up a few surprises. Well the surprise on the 2nd XI visit to Boldon CC was it was very very cold. With Jumpers being sourced from all areas the delightful news received from Jonty, having won the toss, he put Boldon into bat. We were about to field first with only nine players, a situation we hope does not happen again.

A ring field was set and disaster limitation was about to begin. Dan bowled out a tidy set of maidens whilst Darren was going round the Park, well through the slips, 18 from his first two overs. A careful tactical change from Jonty and in came a gully and a slip, Darren responded by dismissing the first five of Boldon’s batsman in just over an hour, finally finishing with figures of 5-45 in 15 overs. At 88-5 after 22 overs a low score was on the cards for the home team. Unfortunately a couple of decisions did not go our way and Boldon amassed a total of 240 – 8 in 47 overs. A difficult day in the field not helped by only having seven in the outfield. Special praise goes to young Jake who at 12 years old bowled a smart spell to a batsman on his way to a ton.

The second innings commenced with Jack and Fraser taking care not to allow Boldon to get off to a flyer. Carefully they pushed the score onto 43 before a careless run out (Jack 16). One down quickly became two when Fraser was bowled for 21. With two new batsman in Boldon’s tails were up but unfortunately for them Jonty was carefully laying the foundation for a recovery with a cleverly crafted score of 88. Partnerships got going but the chase was never really on. Unfortunately with three overs to go Jonty got run out by a direct hit whilst looking to protect the strike, leaving young Jake and Steph to see out the final three overs. 

While Steph opted to score, Jake opted to meet the ball with a solid bat and the pair successfully played out for a Lower Scoring Draw, a great result for WCC with only nine men, 11 points. What could have happened with a full team?