Thursday 17th May and although it has been a long time coming delighted to make a return to the pleasant Park Drive ground in Hartlepool where Durham seconds were taking on Worcestershire seconds in a Second XI Trophy one day game. Plenty of Yorkshire connections around with James Middlebrook one of the umpires, Kevin Sharp, now the Worcestershire head coach, George Rhodes son of Yorkshireman Steve Rhodes and Ben Twohig born in Birstall in the Worcester side.
Twohig's dad was keen to inform us of an error in the Second XI annual, to which we had introduced him, in that his son was not born in Dewsbury but in Birstall (very different). No doubt this will be noted in due course by editor Howard Clayton.
The welcoming clubhouse at Hartlepool has been refurbished since our last visit some years ago but the rest of the the ground retains its pleasant appearance with attractive houses and trees around the playing area and the park across the road a suitable venue for a lunchtime stroll around the lake. Nice to see Mike Taylerson, our Hartlepool correspondent, in residence with friends from Darlington, originally from York, who admitted to being regular readers of our blog (the more the merrier).
Durham won the toss and batted first with in form opener Liam Trevaskis soon going well, again being watched by England Under 19s John Abrahams. Jones went cheaply but Trevaskis and Harte put on 110 for the second wicket in fine style before Trevaskis was out for 71 (seven fours and one six). Harte was looking good until he was bowled by Finch for 74. Wicket keeper Davies, who impressed at Headingley last week, was also back in the runs before being run out for 56 and the icing on the cake came from young hopeful Scott Steel with 47 not out at the end. 284-5 looked a stern target.
Worcester had won all four games in this competition so far and batted full of confidence. However the strong Durham pace attack soon had them in trouble with McCarthy, Main and particularly Gareth Harte, the South African, among the wickets. The top five were back in the pavilion with the total on 74 and it was left to the two youngsters, Dell and Twohig to get them out of trouble. Together they put on 81 for the seventh wicket. Twohig went for a well played 45 and Dell continued to make top score of 60 before Worcester were all out for 203 in the 43rd over of this fifty overs a side contest. Durham winners by 81 runs.
After the late lunch interval word soon passed around the ground that lots of food was left, as usual prepared in abundance by the admirable Mrs Mulholland, previously well known for her catering skills at Darlington. Now that her husband is starring for Hartlepool she has transferred her allegiances. We managed to devour a plateful of left over cakes which were delightful and certainly much appreciated.