Easington Lane WMC v Thornaby The Griffin, Sunday 16th October 2022, 10.30am

As I tick off more of the grounds in the local leagues, my options for new places to visit get fewer. The various Sunday leagues provide some fresh choices though and I took Henry along to South Hetton Cricket Club to watch a first-round tie in the Heart Foundation Cup between Easington Lane WMC and Thornaby The Griffin.

As you’d expect at this level, there weren’t any stands, or even dugouts. There were changing rooms though, so at least the players didn’t have to get togged up in their cars. It was well attended, with around fifty or sixty people turning out and a few more wandering over for the second half, carrying pints from the clubhouse on the other side of the cricket field.

Thornaby, of the Stockton Sunday League, went ahead around ten minutes in against the run of play. Easington, of the Peterlee and District Sunday League, grew into the game as the half went on and after hitting the bar and forcing a succession of corners drew level on the half-hour. They took the lead from a penalty not long before the break that the Thornaby keeper was unlucky not to keep out.

The contest looked over early in the second half when Easington added a third, but Thornaby pulled one back with a quarter of an hour remaining. Despite the ref playing a fully warranted five minutes of added time they couldn’t force an equalizer though and it was Easington that progressed to the next round.

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