On our seventh tour to Northumberland, we were warmly welcomed once again by our old friends from Eglingham CC. After a pre-match drink at the superb Tankerville Arms, we made our way to their beautiful ground to play a T20 game to avoid the heavy rain forecast for later that afternoon. We had a shaky start as Pete Cresswell was unluckily run out in the first over going for a tight second, but Paul Bowman and Rob Jackson both went for their shots, Rob hitting a glorious straight drive down the ground and KP dispatching anything short. After they both fell in successive overs, Paul Burgin rebuilt the innings with Belgium’s finest, Joel Winten. Joel carved a four through backward point before he was stumped as he came down the pitch. Paul began cautiously on his Allstars debut, but began to find the boundary as he top scored before losing his middle stump. Some busy contributions down the order took us to 84-8 – a modest score, perhaps, but defendable on a pitch that could seemingly only get worse with the weather.
Pete had bravely taken the gloves in the absence of our regular keepers, but as seems customary on our tours he soon found himself wearing a bit more. KP found a bit of bounce and the edge of the Eglingham opener’s bat, only for the ball to nastily deflect off Pete’s gloves and hit him on the eyebrow. A trip to Alnwick Infirmary was required before he returned in triumph to the Tankerville. Nick Chadwick got an early breakthrough at the other end, rearranging their opener’s stumps, before our other local recruit, George Knox, struck twice in his first two overs, pinning one LBW and another smartly caught. Our other debutant, West Yorkshire’s finest George Bridges, quickly settled into a good rhythm with his left-arm seamers. But we didn’t have enough runs to play with, and with some impressive six hitting, Eglingham’s fourth wicket pair took them to victory.
We were eagerly awaiting our Sunday game against Corinthians CC, only for the weather to cruelly deny us, the Saturday afternoon monsoon leaving the Ryton pitch waterlogged and unplayable. It didn’t stop us seeing some cricketing action on Sunday, as we headed to Chester-le-Street to watch Durham thrash Surrey. Hashim Amla looked very much like the No 1 batsman in the world as he unveiled some classy pulls and cover drives, but once he was brilliantly caught by Phil Mustard, Durham’s pace attack made short work of the remaining Surrey batsmen.
Thanks to all who came on the tour, and hope to see you again – with better weather – next year!