Cricket round-up: Batsmen dominate in Darlington and District League season openers
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
Darlington and District Cricket League
THERE was a feast of runs in Saturday’s opening round of matches, with both Barningham and Barton posting scores of 300 in the A division.
Asked to bat at Cliffe, new Barningham skipper Rob Stanwix initially found timing the ball tricky before hitting his stride and blasting 102 as his side reached 311-4.
Support came from Scott Walker (57), Paul Kearton (40) and a splendid 83 from Nick Wright.
The bowlers then blew away Cliffe’s top order and with the hosts 6-3 after ten overs, the game was done.
Chris Easby put up some resistance with a patient 61 as Cliffe closed on 151-9.
Jake Black was the pick of the Barningham bowlers, taking 3-20 from his ten overs, while Joe Blackburn also grabbed three wickets.
At East Cowton, Barton posted 300-8 thanks in the main to 80s from Ed Morrison and Jon Murray along with Simon Kelly’s half century.
Shellshocked Cowton were sent back for 127 as Andy Ryan took 4-27 and Murray followed up his batting by bagging 3-14 with the ball.
The lowest scoring game of the afternoon involved defending champions Haughton who bowled out West Park RA for a measly 73 – Mark Little claiming 5-9 – before losing five wickets in the chase.
Opener Andy Dade batted through Richmondshire IV’s innings for an unbeaten 80 as his side made just 132 against Raby Castle. Dan Lee was the pick of the bowlers with 5-12.
The total was never likely to trouble the Raby batsmen and so it proved as openers Matt Dent and Simon Lee both hit half centuries to see their side home by ten wickets.
Saj Mahmood top scored for Middleton St George with 71 as the side closed on 226-7 against promoted Spennymoor.
Joe Binks then claimed four top order wickets as Spenny were knocked over for 85.
The closest game of the day was at Aldbrough St John where Nunthorpe won off the final ball of the match.
Opener Andy Fleming batted through for ASJ, ending unbeaten on 95 as his team was bowled out for 169.
Things looked to be going well for the hosts as three top order Nunthorpe batsmen were sent back early.
However, Kasif Mahmood led the fightback with 81. Despite his efforts, wickets continued to fall and with nine down, Nunthorpe needed five off Michael Ingram’s final over of the game.
A tight over saw two required off the last ball and the final Nunthorpe pair squeezed home.
In the B Division, defending champions Haughton II opened with a win at Raby Castle II.
Joe Melling’s 52no and 49 from Sam Ridgeway – plus 49 extras – helped Haughton to 231-9. This was well beyond Raby’s reach and their reply closed on 139-7.
In the division’s other games, Cockerton knocked off Witton le Wear’s 120 for the loss of five wickets; Oxbridge were two wicket winners at Barton II who had posted 152-9 and Richmondshire V ran out seven wicket winners after reaching Catterick Village’s 168-3.
In the C Division, King James’s tenure at Ingleton got off to a winning start against Middleton Tyas.
King James hit 195-8 thanks to Tom Whittaker’s 68 and 38 from Jack Mensforth.
David James then took 3-27 as Tyas were bowled out for 78.
There was also victory for Lands on their return to the league. In a low scoring game, Jonathan Milroy’s 28 was the top score in Lands 102 as Kevin Galley bagged 5-27 for Aldbrough St John II.
Kieran Brown then picked up 4-14 as ASJ were sent back for just 54 – only one batsman made double figures and extras were the top score.
There also was a low scoring game involving Etherley and Eryholme.
Eryholme who must have fancied their chances having removed Etherley for 84, but were then bowled out for just 38 in a game which featured two hat-tricks – one for each side.