COMPETITIVE cricket made its long-awaited return to the Tyne Valley last weekend as teams in the West Tyne League throughout the district played their part.

After the first round of games, the top of Division One is currently tied between Hexham Leazes, Newton and Belsay all on 20 points.

The Hexham side posted a 57-run victory over Humshaugh after posting a strong score of 186-9 inside 35 overs.

Mark Armstrong top scored with 80 before he was caught by George Ridley off the bowling of Robert Forster. Lucas Holmes also helped the home side post the high score after scoring 53 runs before falling to the bowling of Stephen Thompson and caught by Owen Murtough.

Despite their struggles withe bat, Robert Foster posted Humshaugh’s best performance with bowling figures of 5-28 off seven overs with one maiden.

Despite steady scoring from the away side’s top order, the Hexham Leazes bowlers soon got the better of Humshaugh with Tom Mawson, Mark Armstrong and Ben Teasdale all contributing three wickets.

A resolute 46 runs from Newton’s Chris Wilkie helped steer the side towards victory against Wylam in the team’s opening fixture the season.

David Teasdale (35) and Neil Prince (29) contributed towards Wylam’s 105 all out in 25.2 overs with Newton’s bowlers stifling the Wylam attack.

Brian Taylor posted the best figures of the game with 4-16 inside 4.2 overs with 2-15 from Emmerson Brown, 2-16 from Andrew James and 2-28 from Andy Goulding made it hard for Wylam’s batters.

Newton reached 106-8 in 33.3 overs and fought off a determined Wylam bowling attack, which included an impressive spell of 3-26 from Richard Opie, 2-14 from Tom Barnett and 2-15 from Tony Parker.

Belsay defeated Matfen by eight runs after posting 151-9 before bowling Matfen out for 143. Haltwhistle received 19 points after a win over Stamfordham by five wickets.

Haydon Bridge’s match against South Northumberland was voided after their opponents pulled out of the season.

In Divison Two Humshaugh II, Hexham Leazes II and Haltwhistle II all got off to winning starts