The first full weekend of cricket was a disappointing one for the club with two defeats out of three for the senior teams and a losing draw in the other fixture.
Led by new captain Marc Symington the first team welcomed Barnard Castle to Park Drive on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Losing the toss the home side were asked to bat first and were immediately subjected to trial by spin. Scoring was difficult and wickets fell at regular intervals.
At 50 for four it was looking difficult but a superb unbroken partnership of 101 between Neil Coverdale (88 not out) and Alan Tebbett (29 not out) steadied the ship and at least provided a total to defend. However, 151 for four off 50 overs was a lot less than hoped for.
In reply Barnard Castle suffered little difficulty in acquiring the runs with overseas amateur Ben Turner in particularly good touch. The Australian made 90 not out from only 95 balls and despite the use of seven different bowlers the visitors romped home by 10 wickets with 13 overs remaining.
Following promotion last year Peter Rhoden’s men travelled to Billingham Synthonia for their first game in Division 1.
Winning the toss and asking the opposition to bat hopes were high for early wickets. An early bowl for Chris Smith saw the initial breakthrough before veteran Chris Harrison castled another two wickets.
However, home skipper Mike Atkinson was holding up one end and he combined with Chris Atkinson for a partnership of 82 that could have taken the game away from ‘Pool. Both fell in consecutive balls and Vish Chandraskhar (4-34) removed the tail leaving 193 for victory.
Pools reply started well until a batting collapse saw them go from 47 without loss to 80 for seven. Under 17s captain James Piper was joined at the crease by Vish and they set about surviving.
Eventually both batsmen grew in confidence, Piper in particular showing maturity beyond his years, and the scoring rate improved. In the end only running out of overs seemed to prevent an unlikely victory after a partnership of 87; Piper unluckily missing out on a deserved half century and finishing 49 not out.
After last weekend’s narrow victory, the third team travelled to Barnard Castle full of confidence. After being asked to bat they lost wickets at regular intervals and were eventually dismissed for 153. Paul Jackson (32), Darren Peek (42) and skipper Andy Barnard (22) made the only notable contributions.
In reply Castle started steadily with Aidan Wiltshire (29) and Peter Stanwix (63) producing a fine partnership. Pool eventually took wickets with Under 15s captain Josh Noble being the pick of the bowlers (3-31). However, the innings of Stanwix, and a total of 28 extras, proved the difference as the home team scraped home by three wickets.