IT was a strong start for the Tyne Valley's sides after the first balls were bowled of the Northumberland and Tyneside Cricket League season.

The rearranged format of the league has seen the division's split regionally with Tynedale, Stocksfield and Corbridge all participating in Division Three.

Some would say that summer is officially in full swing as the sounds of league cricket punctuated the rhythms of village life.

Stocksfield started strongly and posted the highest score of the weekend with a barnstorming 294-8 off 40 overs that stifled Lintz from the off.

Chris Patterson set the tone early with a rapid fire 48. The batting lineup was on fine form with seven scores above 30 and some powerful hitting from Bewick and Chamberlain helped post one of the highest scores in club history.

In reply Lintz were restricted by the opening pairing of Tolchard and Scandle who found enough movement to cause problems despite the ban on shining the ball.

The home side were reeling at 57-5 before an excellent partnership steadied the innings.

A catch on the boundary by Archer off Rourke ended McVitties well made 73 and the game was back in Stockfield’s control; two run outs underlined a strong all around team performance. An entertaining 50 from Lintz wicket keeper Davis narrowed the margin, but a 93 run victory saw Stocksfield start with huge intent.

Tynedale hosted their first match of the season at Prior's Flat eager to continue last season's impressive finish.

And maximum points was the order of the day with the bowlers on the ball from the off.

Tynedale reduced the visitors to 51-6 with early wickets from Peter and Scott. Consett fought back, but the Hexham side kept the pressure on, eventually taking all 10 wickets for 123 runs.

In reply, Parker and Cant posted a 58 run opening stand before Captain Cant edged to first slip on 37. Parker and Fletcher ensured the score was chased down with the loss of no further wickets, steering Tynedale home for an opening nine wicket win.

Both Tynedale and Stocksfield are tied at the top of the league on 30 points alongside Whickham and Annfield Plain.

There was less fortune along the River Tyne, however, as Corbridge suffered defeat to Annfield Plain by five wickets.

The side posted a respectable 193 all out with Mark Rowell top scoring with 41, and Mattie Thompson (33), Hedley Renton (28), and Andrew Percival (24) adding to the score.

In reply, Annfield Plain sealed the victory in the penultimate over scoring 195 for 5 thanks to resolute innings from David Baxter (65) and a final not out paring of Shane Oliver (49) Sam Stephenson (28). Corbridge received seven points despite the loss.

Ponteland, participating in Division Tw, suffered an eight wicket defeat to Newcastle City, but received six points.

In Division Four, Kirkley thrashed Swalwell by nine wickets after bowling the away side out for 88.

Rowe and Farrely both scored 37 to ensure the total was achieved within 17.5 overs.

Tynedale II hosted Clara Vale and started the season off batting first on a solid deck. Adam Newton hit his maiden senior 50 with a 41 ball half century to post 242-5.

New signing Dan Toward worked his magic and notched up four early wickets in a spell that reduced Clara to 74-4.

Fellow Division Six side Stocksfield II were also successful after reducing GEMS to 63 all out and easing to 64-6 in reply.