Hartlepool's first XI celebrated a victory this weekend after beating Marton although the second XI were defeated by Guisborough.
After last week’s victory, the 1st XI returned home to Park Drive ready to face Marton, who are always a strong side and regular title contenders.
Rain in the week leading up to the match made for a pitch with a hint of green that looked likely to favour the seamers, so it was no surprise when Hartlepool were asked to bat first.
Despite the slow pace of the wicket, the Hartlepool batsmen were able to keep the score moving along throughout the innings. Jonathan Rickard led the way with six fours and three sixes during his 62.
He was supported once again by Craig Symington, providing another solid performance in the second half of the innings with 53 not out, and Symington’s partnership with Alan Tebbet (26) guided the 1st XI to a total of 179 for four.
Captain Symington’s words during the tea break must have resonated particularly strongly with Callum Prosser as he wasted no time in getting among the Marton batsmen by striking in the first over, setting the tone for Hartlepool to take control.
Prosser’s accuracy and aggression was unwavering as the opposition capitulated to 20 for five.
A gutsy knock of 47 from Marton’s Sam Jones proved to be a forlorn hope as Symington returned figures of three for 29 and Ollie Mole opened his season's account with one for 12.
It was Prosser, however, who deserved all the accolades, finishing with figures of six for 33 from 14.4 overs.
It was a just reward for some excellent bowling this season, which in turn, thanks to new league rules, secured the first 25-point victory of the season by 76 runs.
Peter Rhoden took his second XI to Guisborough hoping for a strong performance that would kick start their season.
The Priory Men had struggled in Division 1 last season and Rhoden hoped the game would offer a good chance of securing plenty of points.
Losing the toss, ‘Pool were asked to bat and made a steady if unspectacular start against some accurate bowling.
Johnston was the first wicket to fall with the score on 34 but after that it became a procession. The home side's star player Jonny May returned figures of 15-9-16-7 as Hartlepool crumbled to 58 all out.
Inspirational words from skipper Rhoden were needed and Hartlepool started brightly. 1st XI veteran Anthony Fawcett and new signing Rob Walker bowled tidily and both openers riding rode their luck early on.
A hamstring injury to the unfortunate Fawcett led to the first breakthrough as Smith induced a false stroke with a genuine long-hop.
A second wicket for Smith followed before Walker took three quick scalps.
However, with such a low score on the board there was to be no further success; the home side securing a five-wicket victory.
© Cricket World 2014