UWMCC gathered outside Gin’s early on Saturday morning, stocking up on baguettes for the 7 hour journey ahead. The tour party was a couple light, missing Steggs, Lids and Barclay through illness and Stroud to a last minute internship.
The tour almost started disastrously as the Megabus driver refuted the booking email that we presented to him, however a quick call to Megabus HQ quickly straightened out the problem and we were on our way.
We were met at our hostel by old boy Ali West, who had made the trip up from Leeds to enjoy a final UWMCC night out. He also made the mistake of revealing his sister will be joining UWLHC next year, so keep your eyes out for a West in the Copper Rooms next year.
After dinner in the hostel bar, we headed out first to Sinners, then to Digital, minus Hall, leaving the club as others entered, grumbling about excessive smoke machines.
On Sunday we played our first game at Littletown CC, a little ground in the Durham countryside that just 18 months earlier had been an overgrown field. A very short boundary one side had the batsmen licking their lips but the bowler friendly pitch made sure of an even contest between bat and ball.
UWMCC were asked to bowl first and Swatton and Hutson were asked to share the new ball. Both made some early inroads, as a smart leg side stumping from anti-sesh Khatri gave UWMCC the perfect start. Swatton soon removed the other opener, who had both played NW Prem cricket, a couple of overs later. A series of part-time spinners (Neds, Teds, Jewson and Knott) took wickets but leaked runs throughout and one batsman batted nicely for 70 odd. UWMCC were set a target of around 180 from 35 overs. The pick of the bowlers, Swatton, finished with 3-36.
The chase started poorly as Denne fell early on, before the trio of Williams, Walker and Hall were dismissed by a twelve year old seamer. Soon after, anti-sesh fell in unusual fashion, cracking a cut shot straight into the jaw of short extra, only for it to somehow end up in his hand. A great catch, but probably not worth the cost of two teeth and a trip to A&E. UWMCC never really recovered from these early losses despite nice batting from Teds (35, sweeping up the better Edmonds’ award for the day), Neds (32) and Jewson (19), who managed to get us to 138 all out.
Comic moments included Denne’s tumble off a fence trying to retrieve the ball from a cow field next door, JT’s serious phobia of a horse and Knotty getting the only golden of tour, greeted by elated cheers from the boundary.
After fines master Hall had dished out his punishments for the day, we headed to a nearby playground to wait for the bus home.
Sunday night was a quiet one.
Monday saw UWMCC head to the beautiful ground of Backworth CC, situated on a large estate complete with golf course and bowling greens. UWMCC were asked to bowl first, and to open the batting was an elegant left-hander, who it later transpired had played some IPL cricket. In the IPL he wouldn’t have seen many bowlers like Danny Williams, and so when he got a half-tracker he could only sky it to Stodhart at deep backward square, who held an excellent catch.
UWMCC continued to take wickets as Hamza swung the new ball nicely and Stodhart bowled some tidy off spin, along with the part-time spin of Teds and Liam, who both managed to sneak a few wickets. We also fielded excellently, Liam in particular taking two excellent catches in the deep. Tedmonds also secured his better Edmonds’ status by an outstanding catch, leaping like a salmon to catch a looping leading edge off Stods’ bowling. UWMCC were set a target of 147.
The chase started well despite but Marjot (12) nicked off and a seemingly in-form SDT fell for a duck. Matty Howe (40) played some elegant strokes through the offside and Neds (35) took the attack towards the bowling, taking us towards our target. After both fell, Teds (18*) and Liam (36*) guided UWMCC to their target with plenty of overs to spare.
Following a Toby Carvery on the way home, UWMCC headed out first to Bijoux, where Marj, JT and Walks were excited to meet Geordie Shore’s Ricci, before again ending in Digital.
On Tuesday we faced Stocksfield CC at another picturesque ground in the hills west of Newcastle. As we were the touring side, Stocksfield forfeited the toss and captain for the day Steggs chose to bat. Jonny Hall opened up alongside anti-sesh and the two built a fine opening partnership, Hall falling first for 20. Anti-sesh continued to play some lovely strokes in passing 50. Before the game, captain Sturrock had then instructed players to show some flair once they were settled in, which resulted in anti-sesh’s downfall for a stylish 68. Useful runs from Teds (44), Jewson (18) and Sturrock (16) saw UWMCC reach a very competitive 230-8.
Rob Clayden (3-37) bowled beautifully with the new ball, taking a couple of early wickets to leave Stocksfield CC struggling. However, a big 3rd wicket partnership brought them back into the game and a fantastic hundred from their opening batsman saw them home, though he was given a life as Jewson collected a stumping chance, but simply missed the stumps.
During the chase UWMCC witnessed John Liddle bowl 4 overs in a cap, resulting in some heavy financial damage, had it not been for fines-gate, in which one day of fines was missed by Hall.
Again UWMCC headed to Bijoux in the evening, before ending up in the underwhelming Florita’s and House of Smith.
UWMCC had a welcome lie in on Wednesday as the game was an evening T20 at Whiteleas CC. At midday the tour party headed to the South Shields beach for a game of touch rugby. Jonny Hall revealed a fear of sand in his shoes, which inevitably resulted in his shoe being buried, and momentarily lost.
The evening game saw UWMCCs strongest team on tour. Again we were awarded the toss and chose to bat. Knott, promoted to open to avoid facing spin, and Williams opened up. Whiteleas then chose to open with spin. Knotty managed to avoid a king pair on tour, and UWMCC got off to a reasonable start. However a typical UWMCC collapse ensured we were well under par, reaching Nelson only, most notably due to a pleasant 31 from Nedmonds.
Whiteleas got off to a flying start and their opener raced past 50 to take the game away from us. After he retired out of pity on 58, UWMCC were able to come back into the game as anti-sesh and Hamza bowled tightly and both picked up some wickets. Whiteleas were able to sneak home by 5 wickets in the final over.
We were treated to a delicious curry and chilli after the game, before getting the metro back to Newcastle and heading to Purdu for the night out.
Thursday was our final game of tour, against Marsden CC. UWMCC batted first again and lost wickets regularly, with a captains knock of 42 from JT and 27* from Jewson (who played out a maiden in the penultimate over) helping us reach 146-9.
In reply the new ball partnership of Godfrey (3-30) and Hutson (3-18) wreaked havoc with the Marsden top order, reducing them, with the help of Liddle’s (2-17) off spin, to 28-8. However, a ninth wicket partnership of 102 left UWMCC staring a seemingly impossible defeat in the face. However Walker removed their number 10 and then Clayden was brought on to bowl his first over of the game, striking with his third ball, and completing a thrilling 8 run victory.
With several members leaving on Friday, the entire tour party headed out to the Fat Hippo for a burger meal, before heading to the upstairs of Sinners for a circle organised by Swatton. In the absence of purple, and with the offer of 3 vodka trebles for £5.50 being the best value, UWMCC resorted to wacking trebles. Danny Williams, in charge of the fines money for the week, enjoyed dishing out some extra punishment. Thanks to Tedmonds and Liam who ran circle.
After a scandal, somewhat characteristically involving Dave Slayden, the rest of UWMCC ended in Tup Tup, where Jewson among others was not a fan of the genre of music on show.
On our final day of tour we had planned to watch Durham v Notts, but the weather intervened leaving us to watch France vs Germany in a rather plush Wetherspoon’s next to Chester-le-Street. Our final night out was spent in Tiger Tiger.
Many thanks to everyone who toured for helping to make it a such an enjoyable week, it was a fantastic send off for some of our graduates. Enjoy your summer and all the best for the year ahead.