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Magnificent seven!

Simon old takes no persuading that a week is a long time in cricket.

Just seven days ago the Sunderland skipper was predicting a top-four finish but two wins in three days at the weekend, coupled with other favourable results, has changed his mind.

"Last week, it looked as though we might end up about fourth but we are now in with a shout for honours after defeating Philadelphia and Norton in the double bank holiday programme.

South Northumberland are favourites but if we can achieve a big win in our final game of the season against Durham Academy, who knows what might happen.

"South North have Norton to play and if we win by the maximum 30 points they would required 18 to clinch back-to-back championships.

"All we can do is look after ourselves and hope that South North slip up. The difference between the two sides is 13 points so perhaps it will be lucky 13!" insisted Old.

The skipper was delighted with his side's performances in the double-header.

"I thought we played some very good cricket and an encouraging fact was the number of people who contributed to it.

"It was not a case of just one or two players doing the job but a real team effort which we will certainly need in our last match.

"Andrew Pratt came in and scored runs in both matches and, hopefully, he will be available againl.

"It's certainly not going to be easy but South North will be looking over their shoulders and thinking they could yet be caught," added Old.

South North were involved in an amazing game at one-time leaders Blaydon on Saturday.

It looked all over for the home side when they were sent back to the pavilion for just 85 runs after labouring through 54.3 overs, but incredibly, South North did not managed half the target, being dismissed in 19.3 overs for just 41.

On a day when bowlers dominated, Reon King and Lee Crozier did the damage for South North but it was Blaydon's Craig Simpson who took man-of-the-match honours returning the magnificent figures of seven for 10 from 9.3 overs.

Runs were a lot more plentiful for John Graham's side against Tynemouth on Monday when a century from Adam Heather and another six wickets by King, taking his weekend haul to 10, helped earn South North a crucial victory and set up a final day winner-takes-all confrontation.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 1, 2004
Words:407
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