Ritzema crucial to victory

Just one game reached a conclusion, but for the victorious Ponteland it was an important one as it lifted them out of the bottom few spots and into the comparative comfort of mid-table.

The at Lanchester was in a match reduced to 40 overs per side, the visitors posting a target of 147-9 which was much more than looked like being the case in the early stages. Kieron Taylor (3-41) struck some early blows in the home attack, and with the first five wickets mustering just 19 runs between them it looked like an early finish.

But skipper Wayne Ritzema found someone to stick around, Ed Common adding 26 vital runs as Ritzema went to his half century with five fours and a six. Tom Common (33) then provided a late injection of pace as he smashed three sixes and suddenly Ponteland had a total to defend.

And defend they did as Lanchester failed to get to grips with the run chase.

Opener Nav Ahmed (26) looked like he might spark his team into life, and then Kevin Dixon (29) gave some late hope, but with Tom Common and David Waters sharing six wickets Ponteland kept a firm grip on proceedings as the home team were bowled out for 127 in the 39th over.

The only other match to see any decent amount of play was at Alnmouth where Tynedale looked in control until a downpour ended proceedings.

The visitors set a target of 169 after contributions throughout the order, John Meadows (35 from 52 balls) and Tim Raglan (31 from 43 balls) providing a solid platform despite some steady bowling spells from Robin Tudor (3-35) and Paul Straker (3-41).

But then the wheels looked like coming off for Alnmouth as David Newton had them on the run with an 8 over spell in which he claimed three wickets for 12 runs. When the rain came to the rescue Alnmouth were a perilous 33-5 from 16 eventful overs.

Both took ten points from the game, a return that took them into joint second place in the table, ten behind leaders Ashington.

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