CHESHIRE could not prevent hosts Northumberland from winning both games in a double-header at Jesmond on Sunday when their bid ended to progress in the Unicorns T20.

However captain Rick Moore said the impact made by young players like Oulton Park’s Ben Gibbon has made the campaign a productive one.

“We have struggled a bit this year,” he said.

“We’ve missed a few players, particularly bowlers, and that’s made it hard at times.

“But there are pluses because we’ve blooded a few youngsters, like Ben and Rob Sehmi [from Toft].”

Opener Ollie Law marked his first county appearance in four years by scoring 88 from 55 balls, including seven sixes, when the visitors posted 166-8 in the opener.

However he was eclipsed by Chris Peareth (Dunnington) who saw Northumberland home with an over to spare after finishing unbeaten on 97.

SCORECARD > Northumberland 170-3 Cheshire 166-8

The home team had a target of 159 to win the second encounter and they again timed their chase perfectly with ex-Durham batsman Adam Hickey (83) leading the way.

Ed Fluck (60) had earlier passed a half-century for Cheshire.

SCORECARD > Northumberland 159-3 Cheshire 158-7

“It was great to be able to get Ollie back on the front line,” added Moore, a former first-team skipper at Oulton Park.

His side have one more group-stage fixture remaining when Lincolnshire, who maintained a 100 per cent record with two wins over Staffordshire, travel to New Brighton on Sunday.


Unicorns T20

Sunday, June 9

Group One: Lincolnshire 165-8 Staffordshire 148-9, Lincolnshire 129-7 Staffordshire 72; Northumberland 170-3 Cheshire 166-8, Northumberland 159-3 Cheshire 158-7.

TABLE > How they stand