TYNEDALE cricketers were left thinking what might have been after suffering defeat with the title in their grasp.

The Hexham-based side improved on last year’s form to play some of the best cricket across the whole county this season to advance all the way to the final in a new-look season format.

A proposed new format saw divisions combined and teams compete in smaller, localised groups before the winners of each group played in a finals day format.

Teams in Division One to Four played 40 over matches, while teams in Division Five and Six played 30 overs.

Tynedale advanced through initial group stage after winning six games out of seven, losing only once to local rivals Corbridge.

A victory over last season’s Northumberland and Tyneside champions Alnmouth & Lesbury boosted the side to the final against Swalwell.

However the side failed in their chase of the home side’s 199 target.

Swalwell posted 198-6 thanks to a strong 79 runs from former Tynedale man John Meadows. Forty runs from middle order batsman Stephen Smith steered Swalwell over the line.

Three wickets from Sam Mannion provided some respite for the away side despite frustration with the ball throughout the opening innings.

Tynedale’s batters entered the crease with a strong chance of sealing the championship after Swalwell’s modest score.

However the openers struggled to get a foothold in the game with Tom Cant and Oliver Fletcher out for three and five respectively.

The middle order batters faced further difficulty and suffered under the wrath of Swalwell bowler Nick Phillips’ fine form as he took five wickets.

Searching for springboard to push the innings on, Nathan Byerley top scored with 19 runs.

But Tynedale were bowled out for 72, losing by 126 runs.

Despite the final day disappointment Tynedale’s first and second team’s continued to impress throughout the season and performed well to reach their respective finals.