Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Club's So Worthy of Place in Finals; Blaydon in Fourth Lord's Decider in Five Years

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Club's So Worthy of Place in Finals; Blaydon in Fourth Lord's Decider in Five Years

Article excerpt

Byline: STEVE BROWN

BLAYDON Cricket Club are preparing for their fourth visit to Lord's in five years on Sunday after qualifying for the National Indoor Finals.

Captain Allan Worthy has praised a "fantastic achievement" after his side came through two northern regional final matches - despite him being out first ball in both!

National indoor champions in 2007, Wellstream Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League Senior League Blaydon won the county title for the fifth successive year.

Victory in the North East play-off against Corbridge saw the Tynesiders travel to Derby for the northern regional finals.

Batting first against Derbyshire champions Spondon in the semi-final, Blaydon made the worst possible start - losing Worthy to the very first ball of the game.

However, with runs across the order, they staged a fine recovery and posted 160 from their allotted 12 overs.

Graeme Bridge top scored with an unbeaten 45, youngster Lee Whitfield making 38.

Last man Gary Stewart provided late impetus, striking 25 runs from one over to leave Blaydon in a very strong position at halfway.

Stewart then struck twice with the ball to stifle a spirited Spondon reply and leave his side 15 runs ahead at the close.

The final saw Blaydon again bat first against Yorkshire champions Acomb, Worthy completing a miserable day with the bat as he was again dismissed first ball.

When Paul Freary, Peter Howells and Stewart also fell cheaply, Blaydon were teetering at 80-4 with their final pair at the wicket.

Again, however, Bridge and Whitfield counter-attacked and both made splendid halfcenturies as Blaydon closed on a competitive 136.

Acomb calmly went about the run chase and were cruising at 90 without loss before a brilliant stumping from wicketkeeper Howells and a smart run-out from Whitfield put Blaydon back into contention.

Finally, it was left to Worthy, who held his nerve to bowl the final over and redeem himself for his batting failures as his side ran out 10-run winners.

Worthy said: "It is a fantastic achievement to secure yet another trip to Lord's.

"I am proud of the way we battled back after I gave us dreadful starts in both games! …

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