Blyth recover from disastrous start to beat Kirkley
Staring another defeat in the face with five wickets down for 25 in the 12th over, Blyth found belief in their batting and came storming back to win with seven overs remaining.
Kirkley were put in to bat after a rain delay reduced the game to 45 overs a side.
Kirkley batted first with Andy Kemp opening the bowling for Blyth from the pavilion end while Kevin Thompson came up the hill into a stiff breeze.
Opening bats Craig Johson and Will Asher found batting with the wind at their backs much easier and they brought the half century partnership up in the 13th over, although, both were dropped on a few occasions.
Blyth skipper Mark Lawrence made a bowling change, taking Thompson off after eight overs into the wind, and Kemp was changed next over, with Cameron Walker replacing him.
It was an inspired change as Walker made the breakthrough, having Asher stumped by Quinn for 26 after an 88-run opening partnership.
In his next over Walker struck again, clean bowling Johnson for 41 including eight fours.
Lawrence trapped Ritchie lbw without scoring, then in just 12 overs 63 runs were added, with Nicholson scoring all but ten.
Walker took his third wicket when he trapped Nicholson lbw for 53, a knock including seven sixes and a four with the 50 in 42 balls.
Lawrence then sent Johnson back, bowled for 11.
Then Lawrence caught and bowled Smith without scoring and Carr caught Farrelly for two off Walker.
Moon became Walker’s fifth wicket when he trapped him lbw for one before Whittaker and Singh put some useful runs together for the ninth wicket before Roberts clean bowled Singh.
Whittaker finished 16 not out and Turnbull one not out as Kirkley made 183-9.
Blyth’s bowling figures were A Kemp 0-37, K Thompson 0-39, M Lawrence 3-42, C Walker 5-46 and P Roberts 1-8.
Blyth made a disastrous start to their reply as Singh made a double breakthrough in his third over, removing Carr and Smith, then in his next over Hudspith was caught by Nicholson without scoring.
Kirkup followed Hudspith back to the shed in Ashers’ next over, caught by Ritchie for seven, then Chan Purma was Singh’s fourth wicket when he was caught by Asher for four.
Lawrence and Gary Quinn pulled Blyth back into the game as they played with caution and waited for the bad balls.
The pair brought up the 50 partnership after just eight overs, Lawrence taking the game to Kirkey with some big sixes as he brought up his 50 from 36 balls including four sixes and four fours.
However, Nicholson sent Lawrence back when he trapped him lbw, ending a 78-runs prtnership for the sixth wicket.
Walker came in and survived at least three dropped catches, however, he hung around with Quinn.
Kirkley’s heads were starting to drop as Blyth gradually eased their way towards their target.
Twenty-five runs were added when Turnbull bowled Walker for six.
Roberts joined Quinn and the pair saw Blyth to the win with an unbeaten stand of 57.
Quinn remained 65 not out with seven fours and one six and Roberts unbeaten on 26.
Kirkley’s bowling figures were W Asher 1-39, J Singh 4-39, M Nicholson 1-41, J Turnbull 1-49 and R Moon 0-15.
Kirkley 7 points
Blyth 28 points
Blyth seconds gained 30 points when Monkseaton thirds failed to field a team.
Next Saturday Blyth firsts are at home against Berwick with a 1 pm start while the seconds travel to Howick with a 1.30pm start.