Mixed fortunes for Hartlepool in games with Billingham and Darlington
Hartlepool once again had mixed fortunes over the double weekend.
Pool’s first game was a prosperous one.
Having thrashed Billingham Synthonia just a few weeks ago in the league, Pool were then subsequently thrashed in a MacMillan Cup tie.
Pool got the upper hand in this league game too, as they secured the league double over their near neighbours with a comfortable six-wicket victory.
Pool bowled first and restricted the home side to 161-9 on a tricky surface.
Despite being a frontline bowler down due to Callum Prosser’s thumb injury, Pool’s spin trio did the business.
Dale Metcalfe once again took the new ball and showed how effective spin can be at the top of the order.
He bowled very economically which resulted in chances being created at the other end, the pressure being piled on by his tight deliveries.
Pool lost wicket-keeper Alan Tebbett midway through the first half after a loose throw bounced outrageously and caught him square on the chin.
The burly wicket-keeper was floored like he had been hit by an Anthony Joshua punch.
Fortunately for Pool, Phil Mustard was able to step into Tebbett’s shoes.
Adam Greenwell, Chris Atkinson and Tom Wing did their best to get Billingham to a respectable score but with Chris Smith and Aussie import Jonathan Carson each grabbing three wickets and the variety of Chris Harrison grabbing a brace, their total never seemed enough.
In reply, Pool lost John Watson cheaply, but had their strongest top order available to them.
Neil Coverdale and Phil Mustard moved the score on effectively, picking up ones and two that were available; punishing the bad ball but respecting the sharp turning balls.
Pool lost both Coverdale and Mustard after good starts, but the fit-again Jon Rickard saw Pool ease home.
Billingham: Greenwell lbw Hsrrison 33, Khan b Stabler 8, Holmes c Zmustard b Smith 11, Bobb c Zmustard b Smith 10, Nahmood c Mustard b Smith 12, Hussain b Garrison 14,C Atkinson c Rickard b Carson 20, M Atkinson lbw Atkinson 6, Harper c Seymour b Carson 12, Wing not out 22, Cull not out 0. Extras 13. Total for 9 wickets 161.
Bowling: Stabler 1-29, Metcslfe 0-16, Smith 3-55, Garrison 2-27, Carson 3-21
Hartlepool: Coverdale lbw Hussain 46, Watson lbw Bobb 6, Mustard b Cull 51, Seymour b Hussain 6, Rickard not out 25, Carson not out 5. Extras 24. Total for 4 wickets 163.
Bowling: Harper 0-18, Bobb 1-43, Cull 1-29, Nahmood 0-27, Hussain 2-22, Greenwell 0-1
Yesterday, Pool’s bowlers found the going more difficult.
Darlington posted a score of 230-5 as James Dobson and Mohammed Saad both made telling contributions.
Dobson made 74 whilst Saad made 107 as the Quakers ensured the Pool bowlers had to work hard for their corn.
With Pool’s batting dealt a blow with the news Mustard was required by Durham, they knew they needed to bat well if they were to chase down an imposing total.
Things were going well until the loss of John Watson.
He was closely followed to the pavilion by an in-form Neil Coverdale, after some confusion with Jon Rickard.
However, after Pool had started to rebuild, the heavens opened and brought play to a premature end. Pool finishing on 84-3 with just over half of the overs completed.