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IT was crash, bang, wallop time in the NEPL on Saturday.

Crash - South Northumberland were skittled for one of their lowest-ever scores. Bang - Chester-le-Street came back with a vengeance as they overwhelmed Gateshead Fell, and wallop - Sunderland hammered Newcastle in the Wear-Tyne derby.

Blaydon were the slayers of the Bulls despite looking down and out at the interval after being cleaned up for 129. Kiwi Cole McConchie came to the crease with the score on 6-2 and helped put on 59 for the third wicket with Allan Worthy (22) and ended with a crucial 72-ball 45 as the home team limped to their modest total in 50 overs.

There were another four wickets for Lee Crozier, but even he had to play second fiddle as Gary Stewart (3-10) and Martin Pollard (4-25) then ripped the South North response to shreds.

Bulls were at one time 14-7 before capitulating for 49, not their lowest score in the league - that was in 2004 when they were bowled out for 41, by Blaydon.

Meanwhile, at Ropery Lane the Cestrians restored their pride by hammering Gateshead Fell by 177 runs. The home batsmen were in their element, Alan Mustard (36) and Fraser Crawford (50) joining Andrew Smith in punishing partnerships, with Smith hitting 94 in 96 balls. A declaration eventually came after 57 overs, and with 271 needed for victory Gateshead crumbled for 93 as Andrew Bell picked up five for 32.

Newcastle were unable to cope with the Sunderland attack at Ashbrooke. Kieran Waterson (6-27) and Chris Rushworth (4-24) were almost unplayable as the Tynesiders were out for 54 in 18 overs, Sunderland then sweeping to an eightwicket victory.

In the first game of the season at Denton Bank the Muchall brothers did for the home team with Mattie (3-23) and Gordon (3-21) leaving the Hill with a mountain to climb. Set just 120 Gordon Muchall hit an undefeated 49 that earned Shields a four-wicket win.

A 67 from skipper Ben Debnam was not enough to save Tynemouth who found the youthful Academy side more than a handful and were unable to defend a score of 157 as Durham won by three wickets, while Hetton Lyons came out on top by 25 runs in a low-scoring encounter with Stockton. CHRIS WEST
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 7, 2012
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