THE remote hamlet of Featherstone, near Haltwhistle, is best known for its ancient, beautiful castle and its Second World War prisoner of war camp.

However, regulars at the popular Wallace Arms pub had hoped to add cricket to the list in 2010 when their first competitive game, in the Smithson Twenty20 Cup for Northumberland teams, saw them pitted against the Tyne Valley’s highest rank club.

The newly-formed recreation team had been playing friendlies only but decided to throw their hats into the ring in the county cup. There was mass hysteria caused among the players and hamlet when they were drawn at home to Tynedale with the glorious backdrop of Featherstone Castle adding to the glamour of the tie.

Wallace captain Peter Richardson described the draw as a ‘side in the Conference being pitted against Manchester United in the FA Cup’ such was the difference between the teams.

Richardson selflessly dropped himself from the batting order due to the high interest among the 18-man squad turning out against Tyne, in the hope of pulling off a great upset.

However, anything other than a Tynedale victory was a pipe dream and the lowly hosts knew as much – they skipped the usual pre-match formalities of tossing a coin to see who would bat first, Wallace putting Tynedale in to ‘get it out of the way’.

Tynedale fielded a mixture of players from their first and second teams, and got off to a steady start as openers Michael Parton and David Newton both scored 18. Parton was caught by David Lister off the bowling of Graeme Lister, and Newton was caught by Duncan MacMillan from Jonny Wallace.

The Wallace Arm’s crowning moment came when a delivery from Fleming resulted in a catch for Ben Hampshire, seeing Tyne batsman Graeme Rowell back in the pavilion for a duck.

The Tynedale innings was anchored by the pairing of first teamers James Rainford and Jamie Crichton, who hit 67 not out and 47 respectively.

Tynedale legend Richard Darling went for 4, while Ben Lloyd remained undefeated without scoring.

Wallace’s opening bowling pair of Wallace and Fleming ended with two wickets each, and David McCormack claimed one victim, as Tynedale reached the 20 overs on 177-5.

Tom Whatson (7) and Hampshire (9) opened for Wallace before being clean bowled by Darling and Mark Armstrong.

The two bowlers were making things tricky for the top order, and Darling saw off Wallace for a duck, with Armstrong sending McCormack to the same fate, trapping him lbw.

Daniel Anderson (8) and top scorer Fleming (14) showed some resistance, Anderson departing when stumped by Lloyd and Fleming clean bowled by the same opponent.

Haltwhistle resident Dan Parker bowled Mark Douthwaite for a duck, bringing Lee Sutterby into the attack. He remained at the crease, accruing 12 runs.

David Lister impressed with 13 runs before caught by Armstrong off Parton, with Michael Wilcox not out without scoring to deny Wallace landlord Duncan MacMillan from getting in on the action as the minnows of Featherstone saw out the 20 innings by finishing on 74-8.

The tie left Richardson exclaiming: “The real winner here was cricket.”