By Martin Walker
Newton Aycliffe’s cricket team maintained their promotion push with a four-wicket victory at home to Marske on Saturday.
In cool and overcast conditions at Aycliffe Sports Club, the home side won the toss and asked Marske’s second XI to bat first.
Matty Atkinson (pictured) picked up the man-of-the-match award after a terrific display of fast bowling gave him his season’s best figures of 6 for 25 from 16 overs as the visitors were 92 all out after 33.4 overs. Michael Howe also took three for 28.
It took Aycliffe 33.4 overs to score 93 for six, with Dave Atkinson scoring 46 and Chris Palmer 17.
The win puts Aycliffe on 272 points from 20 games and moves them up to third in the NYSD League second division.
Aycliffe’s second team suffered on Saturday when holidays and general player unavailability severely depleted their side at Preston.
Acting captain Tony Travis had to give debuts to several members of the club’s Under-15s and Under-13s sides.
But despite the heavy, 117-run defeat, the young debutants acquitted themselves well to the step up in standard.
Preston notched 147 all out, with Travis taking fiv for 34, Jack Slatcher two for 35 and Adam Lam two for 47, but Aycliffe were bowled out for 30 in reply.
Travis was MOTM with some tight medium paced bowling, while special mention must go to wicket keeper John Wardle who took three catches and a stumping.
The second team picked up five useful bonus points from this game and now have 188 points from 20 games.
Aycliffe’s first team go to Darlington to take on their second team this Saturday (1pm), while our second team are at home to Bishop Auckland’s second XI.
There are special Bank Holiday fixtures next Monday, with the first team at home to Barnard Castle and our second team going to Yarm.