Sacriston Colliery CC were beaten, but not bowed, by Northop CC in the fifth round of the National Village Cup, meaning their cup run is over for another year.
7am on Sunday morning saw Sacriston set off on their journey to Northop CC in North Wales some 180 miles away.
A bus of over 40 players and fans were excited about the game against Northop CC who play in the North Wales Cricket League Division One. When the bus arrived just after 11am we saw a very picturesque ground with a game already taking place in the under 9s, the weather was beautiful and the sun stayed out all day making it an excellent day to watch cricket.
Sacriston won the toss and elected to bat first on what looked a good deck and with the weather being very warm the hope was that runs on the board would tire the home side out for the second half.
After the first over it was clear the ball was keeping low and playing on the front foot was a must, Anderson was soon dismissed when he tickled one behind for one in the third over.
This brought Fort to the crease and him and Peel batted well with Fort being more aggressive taking the odd chance along the way.
When drinks arrived, Sacriston were in a good position with only one wicket down and 90 runs on the board. Soon after drinks Fort was caught behind for 45 with the two of them adding a 100-run partnership in the process.
Peel soon got his half century but was out in the next over when he was brilliantly caught at cover, this brought Hubber to the crease who hit two fours in his first two balls.
He set the tone by scoring quickly and it looked as though Sacriston would easily get to 200. However, a cluster of wickets soon fell with six wickets falling in the last seven overs.
Sacriston could not capitalise on a good platform and only managed to score 193 which was probably 20-30 runs short.
When Northop came in to bat they showed they were used to the surface and set off at a good pace with Sacriston unable to make any early inroads into their batting line-up.
Right from the off they were scoring at the correct run rate and even when Hubber dismissed the opener Williams for 17 this brought in another aggressive batsman - Hayes.
One of his early acts was to hit a six over long-on losing the match ball - which was moving about a little - in the process.
Unfortunately for Sacriston, the old ball did nothing. Opener Harry Lewis was doing his job, nudging the ball around and waiting for any ball on the leg-side to hit the boundary.
When Hayes was dismissed for 29 this brought Foulkes to the crease who was very nervous early on edging a lot of balls to leg but he and Lewis added vital runs and took the score over 160 before Lewis attempted a two and an inch-perfect throw from Forst, 50 yards away, left an easy job for Potts to see run him out for 65.
Another wicket fell with 10 needed when Dixon had new batsman Williams caught at deep mid-wicket but it was all in vain with the home side completing victory with 18 balls to spare and set up a home tie in the last 16.
At the end of the match drinks were flowing, free food was provided by excellent hosts Northop and even a game of stumpy was taken in by some of the players.
On the journey home the bus was full of joy despite the defeat with everyone singing and enjoying a few drinks for what was an excellent day in Sacriston's first season in the Village Cup.
Hopefully this will be just the start of Sacriston playing in the Village Cup. The bus arrived back in Sacriston just after midnight and there were probably a few sore heads in the morning.
© Cricket World 2014