STOCKTON kept their Newcastle District Cricket Association semi-final hopes flickering –and possibly killed off Wallsend’s –with a 14-run victory in Wednesday night’s Twenty20 showdown at No.1 Sportsground.
A big-hitting final over from Stockton’s Sam Jenkinson proved the difference in a hard-fought affair.
After winning the toss and batting, Stockton looked set for an average total until Jenkinson unleashed in the 20thover, hitting two sixes and a four to take 18 from the bowling of Pat Magann.
That left Stockton with 8-141 to defend.
Batting at No.5, Jenkinson finished unbeaten on 60 from 36 balls, which included three sixes and four fours.
Matt McGovern was the pick of Wallsend’s bowlers, with 2-22 from his four overs.
Wallsend suffered an early blow in their run chase when guest player Nathan Price, on loan from Randwick-Petersham, holed out for 12.
Skipper Jake Montgomery (24) and Jake Scicluna (23) tried valiantly to resurrect the innings, and 23 sundries did not help Stockton’scause.But two run outs, combined with tidy spells from left-armer Lucas Sargent (3-21) and off spinner Nick Foster (2-20) ensured Wallsend finished with 9-127.
CLOSE CALL: Stockton batsman Sam Jenkinson just avoids being run out by Wallsend keeper Josh Forsyth. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
The win lifted Stockton to 40 points, six points behind fourth-placed Toronto, with eight rounds remaining.
Wallsend remained 16 points adrift of the top four.
In Thursday’s fixture, competition strugglers Waratah-Mayfield and Western Suburbs will do battle at No.1 knowing that the wooden spoon could be riding on the outcome.