Round 8 saw the us bringing 2020 to a close with our matches against Wallsend in what was anticipated to be closely fought matches across all four grades with both clubs in the top four of the club championship.
In first grade at Lynn Oval, Stockton and Northern Districts won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket that kept the bowlers interested all day but also rewarded application with the bat. The seagulls found hard in the first session to be 2 for 85 at lunch and in a strong position but regular wickets after lunch and some fine bowling from the Wallsend seamers saw the last wicket fall at 174. Skipper Nick Foster top scored with 67. In response, a fired up Tom O'Neill decimated the Wallsend top order with an excellent spell of fast bowling to leave the visitors reeling at 6 for 52 at the close of day one. On day two Wallsend made the Stockton and Northern Districts bowlers work hard for the win but eventually the seagulls got the four required wickets to bowl Wallsend out for 135 to claim a crucial win and go to the christmas break in the top four. Tom O'Neill claimed another five wicket haul with 5 for 46.
Second Grade start their clash strongly by posting a very competitive 214 at George Farley Oval against a strong Wallsend team. Laurence Kelly led the way again with the bat with a polished 77. In response Wallsend were 1 for 24 at the close of day one and the match evenly poised. Unfortunately the rain had the final say with week two washed out and the points shared. Second grade go into the christmas break in first place.
The Third grade fixture at Corroba Oval was in the balance after day one after Wallsend batted the whole day for 231. The Seagulls toiled hard in the batting friendly conditions with Tyler McInnes again leading the way with the ball taking 4 for 42. Third Grade are within touching distance of the top four, sitting in 6th at the break.
Fourth grade were well and truly in the box seat after declaring at 9 for 273 after 49 overs and having Wallsend 2 for 25 at the end of the first days play. An amazing performace by Alex Ward who scored 201 not out was the highlight of the day and quite possibly the season. Alex single handedly took the game away from Wallsend with 30 fours and 6 sixes in a brutal display. Once again the rain ruined what was bound to be a seagulls victory and the points were shared.