Tillside right on the heels of league leaders after win
TIllside recorded a five-wicket win at Ulgham in the Northumberland Premier League at the weekend.
And the win took them to within one point of leaders Ashington Rugby, although they do have a game in hand.
Skipper Gareth Hill lost the toss and the visitors elected to bat first.
It proved on the day that wickets were not going to come easily as Ulgham dug in and valued every wicket.
Calum Bickerton got the breakthrough but not even that sparked Tillside into life.
Then an incredible bit of team fielding between Law Atkinson and Jake Birkett produced the next wicket. Atkinson launched the ball in from the boundary and Birkett took it above his head, jumping up and flicking it out the back of the hand to run out the opener.
Tillside’s performance in the field was not great after that, dropping five catches.
They only claimed another four wickets, Bickerton finishing with 3-37 and Cameron McGregor 2-31.
However, they were well supported by Craig Robertson, Birkett and the returning Ben Toulson as Ulgham finished on 137-7.
In reply, Tillside got off to a solid start with Liam Hindmarsh racing to 21.
The Etal side then lost Ross Hindmarsh and Jack Bagness and suddenly they were in a bit of trouble.
Atkinson and Birkett stabilised the innings. They kept the scoreboard ticking over and put the visitors in a good position.
But Birkett and Law departed with 40 still needed and five wickets down.
Tillside could not afford to lose another wicket as it would mean losing batting points, and it was left to Hill and Toulson to steer the ship home.
Hill finished 25 not out and Toulson unbeaten on 11 - 28 points acquired on the day which keeps Tillside in the title race.
Berwick won by five wickets when they met Blyth in the Premier League.
Blyth batted first and put on a decent score of 187, with Steven Emery claiming 4-41.
In reply, Berwick were always up with the run rate and 60s from both Sean Wales and Scott Middlemist saw them chase it down with five wickets in hand.
Berwick 2nds lost by two wickets to Civil Service.
After losing the toss Berwick were put in by the home side.
And apart from an excellent 63 from opener Iain Thomson and a solid 48 from Rory Hindhaugh, no one else reached double figures as they totalled 143-7 in their alloted 50 overs.
John Colley and Nikhil Bharti did the main damage with the ball as they took three wickets apiece for Civil Service.
In the reply, Joe Osbourne did his best to keep Berwick in the game as wickets fell at regular intervals - he finished with 4-36 from 12 overs - but a number of Civil Service batsmen scored runs and they eventually reached their target for the loss of eight wickets. Don Marshall top scoring with 40.
Warenford suffered a heavy defeat at home to Cramlington.
The visitors won the toss and took first knock, with Daniel Craddoc (59) and Tony Kay (32) the maintays of an innings which ended after 37 overs with Cramlington all out for 182.
Graham Rodgerson, 4-51, Michael Thompson 4-50 and Neil McDonald 2-14 took the wickets for Warenford.
However, in reply only three home batsmen reached double figures, opener Daniel Patterson (21), Rodgerson (19) and Kerry Shotton (16), as the home side were all out for 83.
Cramlington’s Ian Black did the damage as he finished with seven wickets for only six runs from three overs as Warenford collapsed.
Tillside 2nds saw their division two title hopes suffer a hiccup when they went down to a narrow 11-run defeat at the hands of Embleton.
Hedley Grey hit 40 as Embleton opened up with 135, home bowlers Kevin Logan and Joe Bickerton both taking four wickets apiece.
Tillside were then all out for 124 in reply.
An unbeaten 65 from Angus Todd helped Wooler to a comfortable ten-wicket win over Warkworth 2nds in division three.
Visitors Warkworth were all out for only 106 with Ben Briggs and Connor Lee both hitting 27. Thomas Comber took 4-19 and William Blackburn 3-19.
Todd’s innings, which included ten fours, saw the Glendale side coast to 108 without loss, their target being reached in less than 21 overs.