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A Geordie All-Rounder: 14 - An Exciting Season

Malcolm Scott, continuing his sporting autobiography, tells of success at both football and cricket.

In September 1953, after my cricket exploits, I returned to Cleadon Juniors for my final season. The season had hardly started when I got a letter from Durham Football Association telling me I had been selected for Durham (under 18 s) v Westmorland at Shildon in the First Round of the F. A. Counties Youth's Competition. I also noted that Albert Franks and Tom Watson (Boldon Juniors) who both played for Shields Schoolboys with me were also in the team. We beat Westmorland and Northumberland after a reply in the second round, but unfortunately lost to Liverpool at Consett in the third round.

During the remainder of the 1953/54 season I played for Cleadon Juniors who finished third top of the J.O.C League Division I. I enjoyed my three years with Charlie Coulson's team and made many friends whom I still have today.

The 1954 cricket season was welcomed by large crowds at Wood Terrace who came to see if the John Saunders Cup winners could now win the league championship. C.S. Nayudu returned to Shields and with Alec Coxon professional at Sunderland another exciting season was assured.

It was also an exciting season for me as I worked my way up the batting order at Wood Terrace and shared the spin bowling with Nayudu. I enjoyed opening the batting, scoring 310 runs at an average of 18 and won the bowling prize (professionals exempt) taking 48 wickets at 10.5. Nayudu did even better, again taking 100 wickets at 9.5 and scoring 600 runs at 28.5. No wonder we won the league championship, with Alec Coxon's Sunderland breathing down our necks only four points behind.
The Durham County game I recall best was against Yorkshire Second XI at Middlesbrough. We set the Tykes 308 to win in a limited time. They were coasting towards victory until we got two unexpected run outs in the closing overs. With the final pair at the wicket they required only 5 runs to win as I started the last over. I remember 'throwing one up' a bit wider than usual. The batsman accepted the invitation to hit the ball out of the ground, missed it and Arthur Austin made an excellent stumping. We had beaten the 'Tykes'.

After keeping wicket for Durham for 19 years, I had the satisfaction of providing Arthur with the distinction of making a successful stumping off the final ball of his long Minor Counties career.


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