Dunnington beat Stockton by 73 runs
This year we decided to enter the ECB Royal London Club Championship for the first time since 2010 to maximise the amount of high quality cricket we would play in to hopefully benefit us in the league campaign.
In the first round on the 24th April 2016, our opponents were Stockton CC (Durham) who play in the North East Premier League amongst opposition such as Newcastle CC, South North CC, and South Shields CC. We eventually got under way after a palaver with the new boundary rope, resulting in groundsman Pat Wood describing the DCC boys as having ‘less brains than a pork pie’.
Skipper Jack Bolam once again won the toss but this time decided to bat first, on what looked to be a flat deck at the Pryers Solicitors Cricket Ground, in an attempt to change our fortunes after the start to our league season. For the third game running we had a different opening partnership, this time with Adam Sutcliffe and Tom Loten at the top of the order. They got us off to a good start without taking any undue risks as the nature of the pitch was a quick scoring batsman’s paradise.
With the score at 39 after 8 overs, Sutcliffe was the first man to go, caught behind from a thin edge from Stockton’s first change seamer. Loten and new batsman Jake Murphy continued in the same free flowing manner, maintaining a 5-an-over run rate with some excellent shots through the leg side, before Murphy fell LBW from a yorker length delivery with the score on 72 from 15 overs.
Tom Loten continued on his merry way whilst skipper Jack Bolam scored freely against the Stockton spinners with the field pushed back and no pressure applied. Together they put on 102 from 118 balls to take us to a commanding position of 174-2 from 35 overs, before Bolam fell to an excellent catch at cover as he tried to launch his way to a first half century of the season. As Loten looked to push on to his maiden 1st XI century, he was halted in his tracks and adjudged LBW running down the track for a superb 88.
Some late lusty blow from Harwood Williams (30 from 20) and Collis King (24 from 11) got us up to a commanding total of 252-7 from our 45 overs; a massively better effort than the two previous league games where we struggled from top to bottom.
In response, a more familiar opening bowling attack of Jake Murphy and Josh Barrett got us off to an excellent start against the Stockton boys; Josh Barrett picking up two massively important early breakthroughs after having the batsmen in all sorts of strife. Meanwhile Jake Murphy struggled with his front foot and after bowling a no-ball at their strongest batsman, he was dispatched a country mile out of the ground from the subsequent free-hit.
Despite the two early wickets, Stockton were keeping up with the run-rate and putting themselves in a good position through the middle overs to stage a challenge in the last 10 overs. After a good start to his spell, Jack Spofforth dropped a few short balls and was duly punished with three large sixes hit to the long boundary from his bowling.
Tom Loten (1-23) and Dave Brent (2-25), however, bowled superbly well and picked up three important middle order wickets to further dent Stockton’s hopes of completing the win, before Harwood Williams (3-23) completed the win by cleaning up the tail. Stockton finished their innings 179 all out from 38.3 overs giving us a 73 run victory.
This gave us our first competitive win of the season and moved us into the second round of the ECB Royal London Club Championship, where we will play South North Bulls CC who comprehensively beat Driffield Town CC in Round 1. It was an excellent all round performance with bat and ball and gives us the reward of a day out in the Toon to play one of the most highly rated club sides in the country!