WELL BATTED: Finn Usher scored a century for Barney – but it was Great ayton who took the victory TM pic
WELL BATTED: Finn Usher scored a century for Barney – but it was Great ayton who took the victory TM pic

Barnard Castle CC

THERE was much to admire about Barney’s batting on Saturday. A maiden Premier Division century for Finn Usher, a third wicket stand of 196 with Karl Carver whose resplendent form continued before he was undeservedly run out five short of his own first hundred, and a total of 245-7 which is usually a guarantee against defeat.

Unfortunately, as is the way, Barney also had to bowl. At which point the match against Great Ayton unravelled quickly and brutally.

Ayton came out slugging, which was a risk they had to take. Led by their South African amateur Wian van Zyl they hurried to 67 from 10 overs, were then slowed down a little before the burly biffer Phil Holdsworth resumed the onslaught as they reached 167 after 30 overs and won by three wickets with five overs to spare.

Almost all Barney’s bowlers suffered, some more than others. But on a true surface which grew better as the match went on, against batsmen intent on a sustained assault their options hastily reduced.

Victory would have seen Barney stay top of the NYSD League table. Instead, they drop to third, ahead of Richmond on run rate and behind Stockton and Middlesbrough, the latter having played a game more. On the evidence so far, it threatens to be a topsy turvy season.

Barney chose to bat in pursuit of the maximum 25 points and under overcast skies the bowlers found some movement. Samarth Seth, the Indian professional, opened the batting for the first time in place of the prolific James Clarkson, who is expected to be out for eight weeks after elbow surgery. Ayton were without their two opening bowlers, both injured, which gave Barney reason to believe that there might be rich pickings later in the innings.

But batting is a struggle for Seth at present. As is his wont he adopted a policy of immediate attack. It might have worked but having survived an lbw appeal he was out next ball, caught behind after poking at a ball outside off stump. He stood for a moment, either doubting the decision or wisdom of his shot.

When captain James Quinn was also caught behind driving away from his body, Barney were 28-2 and in a spot of bother. Usher and Carver pulled them out of it. Both were admirable in building their innings and if there was a little impatience on Usher’s part at first he settled down. His 105 came from 140 balls with six fours and two sixes and this should be the first of many centuries ahead.

Carver, astonishingly, has never reached three figures. How he deserved too here but on the verge of it there was confusion over a run and he was sent back by Josh Bousfield only to be short of his ground.

Still, the total was imposing. Ayton made mincemeat of it. There was not much sophisticated about van Zyl’s batting but he hit the ball venomously off the front foot. If he found Rob Dixon’s medium pace especially to his liking he took on all comers.

When he departed Holdsworth filled the gap. It was his day and he was ferocious in pulling and driving anything remotely short.

Barney plugged away and Carver’s left arm spin slowed the chase. But the 28th over from which came 24 runs more or less settled it and the rest was a canter.

Barnard Castle

F Usher c Holdsworth b Mulholland 105, S Seth c Grainge b Pennock 9, J Quinn c Grainge b Mulholland 6, K Caver run out 95, J Bousfield sat Grainge b Pennock 2, R West not out 3, P Merryweather c Philpott b Mulholland 9, R Watson run out 7, Extras 10, Total 245 for 7 (50 overs)

Bowling: D Mulholland 15-3-67-3, S Pennock 12-1-57-2, L Parry 7-0-28-0, J Doyle 3-0-20,0, M Philpott 7-0-35-0, T Leng 6-0-39-0.

Great Ayton

J Grainge b T Merryweather 31, W Van Zyl lbw Carver 60, P Holdsworth c P Merryweather b Usher 70, L Parry b Carver 28, M Philpot c P Merryweather b Usher 0, D Mulholland not out 25, S Pennock b Carver 7, M Wilkinson c Carver b Bousfield 7, E Fawcett not out 0, Extras 20, Total (45 overs) 249 for 7

Bowling: J Bousfield 10-0-56-1,R Dixon 6-0-61-0, K Carver 13-0-40-3, T Merryweather 6-0-29-1, R Watson 3-0-33-0, F Usher 7-0-25-2.

Newton Aycliffe II v

Barney II

THIS match was notable for the return to Barney’s colours of veterans Michael Stanwix, 1st XI captain for more than 20 years and now director of cricket, and David Sparrow, one-time 1st XI regular and long serving club chairman. If it showed their continued willingness to serve it was also further indication that cricketers are in short supply and that juniors must be constantly encouraged.

Barney then were not at their strongest but they gave Aycliffe a tremendous game. Shane Mullery bowled with his usual canniness and Cameron McKnight recovered from an unfortunate start. Stanwix senior (son Peter was also in the ranks) took two catches

If Aycliffe’s total of 260 was imposing, Barney did not let it show. Ian Swinburn dealt in boundaries, 12 coming in his 58, and the top order all gave it a go. Seven of the 11 reached double figures, including Michael S who took 54 balls for his 17. It was not quite rolling back the years but it increased his tally of runs as the club’s all time leading scorer.

Newton Aycliffe 260 for 9 (50 overs, A Gittins 62, S Telford 46, C McKnight 3-66, S Mullery 2-28); Barney 208 all out (47.1 overs, I Swinburn 58, D Watson 19, P Stanwix 19, L Telford 3-39, J Layfield-Carroll 3-76).

Newton Aycliffe won by 52 runs

Darlington and District Cricket League

HAUGHTON served notice that they intend to keep a hold of the A division title at all costs with a big win at Cliffe.

Batting first, Haughton racked up 302, restricting the home side to an all out total of 183.

Including the game conceded by lands, that makes it five wins out of five and a maximum 100 points for the Great Burden team.

Raby Castle are hitting their stride, bolstered by the return of the Lee brothers Simon, Dan and Ryan to the ranks.

Aldbrough St John’s 158-9, in which opener Martin Ferguson made 92 from 113 balls, posed few problems.

Joe and Matt Dent put on 65 for the opening wicket, with Matt ending unbeaten on 71 as Raby reached the target for just two down and ten overs to spare.

Lands won again after posting 212-8 at East Cowton, who were then bowled out for just 81.

Barningham’s inconsistent form continued in the absence of skipper Jake Black.

Middleton St George were put into bat and made hay, closing on 241-8 – a large but not unbeatable score bearing in mind Barningham’s small boundaries. However, the home side, with just ten, were bowled out for 192.

In the division’s other game, Eryholme scored a good win against Cockerton, who posted 149-5 thanks to Dave Black, who batted through for an unbeaten 63.

In reply, Eryholme’s top order all contributed to a comfortable run chase which saw them home by six wickets. Sam Potter remained unbeaten on 33.

In the B division, only Anth Coatsworth reached double figures for Middleton-in-Teesdale who headed across to Weardale to take on Witton-le-Wear. Opening the batting, Coatsworth made an unbeaten 62 out of 95, a target Witton reached in the 21st over for the loss of four wickets. John Lucas picked up 3-35 from his ten overs.

Rob Kirkup’s 42 was the highlight as Raby Castle II were bowled out for 102 at Catterick Village.

In reply, Nigel Cole hit 61no as Catterick eased to a seven wicket win.

Other B division results: Richmondshire 79, Aldbrough St John II 80-0; Cliffe II 138-8, Barton 139-5; Middleton Tyas 53, Spennymoor 54-4.

In the C division, King James fell just short against Middleton St George II.

Middleton posted 175-9, thanks to scores in the 30s from Martin Hall, Andrew Elliott and James Graham.

In reply, King James' top three all made starts but none of the batsmen went on to make a substantial score and the chase ended on 162-7, with the 42 extras top scoring.

Etherley restricted Barton II to 100-6 from their 40 overs and then knocked them off in quick time for just four wickets down.

Durham and North East League Division 2

Evenwood 264-9

Bill Quay 208-9

PUT into bat, Evenwood’s daunting total was built around another good knock from Luke Bannister, who fell just seven runs short of a deserved century, caught at fine leg after attempting a pull shot. Daniel Wilkinson added some late impetus with an unbeaten 36 in double quick time.

The hosts came out swinging and Neil Cuskeran had smashed his way to 36 before Kieran Petch slipped one through his defence.

Evenwood’s bowlers then applied the brakes before Paul Bentham went on the attack.

The game was up when he was caught on the boundary by Wilkinson off Thomas Teesdale.

Petch ended the game with figures of 3-49 and pro Sawan Kankanange bowled an excellent spell to finish with 3-34.