Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Options at Last for the Skipper; Local Cricket

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Options at Last for the Skipper; Local Cricket

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW WILKINSON

MARTIN Cull is having to think hard to get his bowling combination right, and he's delighted about it.

The Billingham Synthonia skipper has waited a long time to have such options in his attack.

"I don't have to bowl spells of 25 overs now," he said with some relief, then added. "Just the 17!" The 32-year-old has been one of the league's most consistent bowlers over the years, but now has more major wicket takers in the side than has often been the case.

Over the last six-and-a-half seasons he has taken almost 400 NYSD League wickets.

"Now I can turn to Stuart Lobb, Craig Symington and Tariq Aziz. They are all players who can win games on their own, but we don't rely only on professionals," said Martin.

"I think that this is one of the better sides that we have had during my years at the club."

The league table supports that view, with Billingham in the top half going into this weekend's double programme (weather permitting).

So is the skipper highly satisfied? No, not particularly.

"I feel we could have had a lot more points," he said.

"We lost our opening game against Great Ayton when we went back out after rain when in my opinion the wicket wasn't fit. And we should have won games against Middlesbrough and Guisborough."

And Normanby Hall, who host Billingham on Sunday, scrambled a last ball win when the sides met at Synthonia.

"It could have been a tie, but we missed a run out," said Martin. "But they are a good solid side, who have done well this season.

"Overall we could have had a lot more points and maybe have been as high as second, though leaders Hartlepool are very strong. They are the only side so far to beat us easily."

The games are coming thick and fast for Billingham. They were in Macmillan Cup action last night, then after tomorrow's home game to Stokesley, they make the short trip to Normanby.

"Three games in four days is no problem," said Martin. …

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