Hartlepool improved much improvement from last weekend as they secured two draws and a big win in their weekend fixtures.
Symington Makes His Mark As 1st XI Get Best Of Draw
After losing heavily last week, the 1st XI travelled to Marske, a team whose form is not dissimilar to Hartlepool’s this season.
The sun shone brightly and Hartlepool were pleased to have first use of a typically hard and flat Marske wicket and a series of good partnerships saw the visitors complete one of their better batting performances this season.
A 90-run partnership between Rickard and youngster Jake Richardson took the score to 129 for two before Rickard was caught after scoring his third half-century in four games.
Hartlepool players and spectators alike have grown accustomed to the reliability of Craig Symington in the middle order. Realising the side needed to capitalise on their strong position, Craig was aggressive and innovative in scoring 39 from just 41 balls. The 1st XI totalled 208 for seven at the completion of 50 overs.
The Hartlepool bowlers knew they would have to bowl well in order to take ten wickets on what had proved to be a good pitch. The introduction of spin saw wickets begin to fall and Hartlepool grew more confident of a win.
Skipper Marc Symington, bowling in his first league match since injury, opted for off-spin and marked his return with an excellent spell and figures of five for 41 from his allotted 17 overs.
With the score at 116 for six, Marske seemed to abandon pursuit of victory and batted cautiously, aiming to attain as many draw points from the match as possible.
Despite the best efforts of the bowlers, 'Pool were unable to take any more wickets and had to settle for getting the better of the draw, coming home with 14 points.
Improved Seconds Battle To Draw
The 2nd XI welcomed fellow promoted side Norton to HQ on a glorious sunny day. Winning the toss, captain Peter Rhoden asked the visiting side to bat first.
The veteran Ian Jackson marked his return to cricket with two wickets while young Will Griffiths continued to impress, picking up three wickets in a fine spell.
Unfortunately Hartlepool let a good position slip as Adam Fenby (107 not out) and JJ Kean (65 not out) compiled an unbroken stand of 150, Norton finishing on 232 for five declared.
‘Pool’s batting was strengthened with Alan Tebbett and he batted sensibly with Dan Shurmer after Rhoden fell early. Shurmer compiled an excellent 76 whilst others batted around him. A much improved performance saw ‘Pool score 193 for seven and secure a draw.
Piper & Peek Star In One-Sided Game
The match was reduced to 35 overs per side. Hartlepool were put in to bat and posted a good 235 for three thanks to a century from James Piper (104 not out), Kevin Peek (68) and Gary Cunliffe (30 not out).
When Ayton batted they had no answer to Kevin Peek (5-1), Lewis Playfor (2-1) and Ollie Mole (2-2) and were routed for 33.
Special mention to Piper for a great innings and captain Kevin Peek with a return to form.
© Cricket World 2014