Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Trio's Loss Has Dampened the Flames; SG Wealth Management Northumberland League

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Trio's Loss Has Dampened the Flames; SG Wealth Management Northumberland League

Article excerpt

CHAMPIONS turned strugglers Blue Flames believe missing three key batsmen for most of the campaign has hampered their title defence.

Flames skipper Keith Brown had hoped to guide his men to a strong battle to retain their Premier Division crown - instead they are battling the drop.

Brown is still waiting for an appeal date for banned former Bates Cottages professional Fiaz Ahmed, while Andrew Storey's broken finger has now had to be reset and he is likely to miss the rest of the season.

Student Steve Pinnington is struggling with university commitments, and the dangerous top-order trio have left a hole in Brown's batting arsenal.

Flames overturned a poor start to grab a priceless win over Clara Vale last weekend, recovering from 50-6 to edge to a two-wicket victory, ending on 198-8. League rule changes have outlawed professionals this term, but a number of players formerly paid now offer their services free. Ahmed is keen to enter that category, but Flames are still waiting for a date for the appeal hearing. …

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