Bedlington secure dramatic win

Craig Robinson took the last wicket for Bedlington to claim a dramatic win at home against Benwell & Walbottle. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com

Craig Robinson took the last wicket for Bedlington to claim a dramatic win at home against Benwell & Walbottle. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com

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At a little after 2pm on Saturday Bedlington were 16-4 and some four hours later Benwell & Walbottle were 71-3, seemingly cruising to a victory target of 110.

At no stage during this period did it seem possible for Bedlington to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

Somehow, though, the bowlers rose to the occasion and snatched a dramatic two runs victory despite being second best for the majority of the 80 overs that the game lasted.

There was little indication of the drama to follow when on winning the toss home skipper Darren Leason had no hesitation in choosing to bat first.

Chris Younger and Kevin Harnett opened up and by the time Leason departed third ball without scoring, following Harnett (1), Chris Younger (7) and Dan Younger (0) the hosts were 16-4.

Craig Robinson and Sean McCafferty set about trying to rebuild the innings and the pair built a partnership of 49 before Robinson fell, bowled by Raza for 26.

Sean McCafferty fell next, stumped off the same bowler for a patient 31, and when Nicky Douglas departed the hosts were 80-7.

Lee Frost received a poor lbw decision and fell for a well made 17, but Chris Taylor and Paul Rutherford managed to add a vital 15 before Rutherford perished for a vital 18 and Sam Taylor was again victim of a very poor lbw decision which gave Ian Pratt impressive figures of 6-25 and the home team a final total of 109.

Hassan Raza, the Benwell & Walbottle professional, claimed 3-27.

The visitors got off to a fast start but were pegged back by Chris Younger, who claimed two quick wickets to leave the score 17-2 with Smith and Bell having departed.

A partnership of 38 between Reed and Raza threatened to take the game away from Bedlington, but yet again the introduction of Paul Rutherford and Nicky Douglas helped turn the tide Bedlington’s way.

Rutherford removed the dangerous Reed, caught by Dan Younger for 14 with the score on 55, and Douglas had professional Raza caught by Craig Robinson for 39 with the score on 71.

With only 39 required and six wickets in hand, this still should have been a straightforward run in for Benwell & Walbottle, but that was not the case.

Birrell and Robbie fell quickly to leave the visitors 76-6, but a dangerous partnership between Denehy and Robson took the score to 96, with 14 runs or four wickets required for victory.

Rutherford again breathed life back into Bedlington, removing Denehy for 13, and Robson fell just after being bowled by the returning Chris Younger for 14 at 101-8.

Rutherford removed Richardson without scoring and suddenly Bedlington were only one wicket from victory with the hosts needing nine runs.

With the score on 107 and only three runs required for victory, Craig Robinson came back and bowled Malcolm Brown for two to give the hosts a superb two runs victory and the most unlikely 20 points of the season.

All of the bowlers contributed to a fantastic victory Craig Robinson 1-30, Nicky Douglas 2-21, Chris Younger 3-26 and Paul Rutherford, - superb again – with 4-21.

Bedlington 20 points

Benwell & Walbottle six pints

This week sees a trip to Whickham and with Craig Robinson, Nicky Douglas and Kevin Harnett unavailable, Ben Harmison, Matty Tanney and Steve Williams look set to step up.

Meanwhile, the Terriers’ second team got back to winning ways with an emphatic 148 runs victory at Benwell & Walbottle.

Batting first, Bedlington made 208-9 with Steve Williams top scoring with 51, but the highlight of the innings was an unbeaten tenth wicket stand of 50 between Jonny Richards and Nicky Carr, who both made 34.

In reply, wickets fell regularly with Richards taking two, Josh Watson three and the ageless Williams 5-2 off seven overs, six of which were maidens.

On Saturday Bedlington seconds are at home to Ryton.