Ben Roberts innings of 84 helps Toronto Workers to 39-run win over Newcastle City in Newcastle district cricket

TOP SCORE: Ben Roberts was strong through midwicket and the covers during his knock of 84 against Newcastle City at Learmonth Park on Saturday. Picture: David Stewart
TOP SCORE: Ben Roberts was strong through midwicket and the covers during his knock of 84 against Newcastle City at Learmonth Park on Saturday. Picture: David Stewart

BEN Roberts compiled a breakthrough innings of 84 to lead Toronto Workers to victory over Newcastle City in the Newcastle District Cricket Association first grade match on Saturday.

Toronto made 7-247 from its 40 overs, then dismissed the home team for 208 in the 39th over.

It was the Kookaburras' first win of the season, but opening batsman Corey Brown said the win was worth more than the face value of the six competition points.

"I think this will really give our younger guys a general lift," Brown said.

"It's only one win, but there is a buzz about the place this week coming up to the two-day cricket.

"We'd been good in patches in our other games, but on Saturday we put in a good, solid performance with bat and ball, with everyone contributing pretty well."

Roberts came to the wicket with his team 3-105 and some 20 overs to be bowled.

Brown said it was a breakthrough innings for the No.5 batsman.

"We needed someone to bat long into the back end of the innings, and that's what Ben did," he said.

"Ben's got one of the best cover drives around, and he just picked his zones really well, especially over cover and through mid-wicket."

Earlier, Brown (22), new English recruit Michael Pepper (27), Josh Westwood (26) and captain Adrian Chad (40) got the visitors off to a lively and productive start.

The Englishman looks to be a handy recruit.

A professional player with Essex, Pepper, 21, is a right-handed batsman and wicket-keeper who promises to bring some stability to Toronto in front of, and behind, the stumps.

Brown said his new opening partner looked good before falling lbw to a ball that some at the ground thought struck the batsman outside the line of the stumps.

"He just looks a very calm and confident player who watches the ball closely and drives the ball very well down the ground," Brown said.

Brown said Pepper also impressed at wicket-keeper.

"He looked very good, and took a stumping off Finlay Thornton (2-34) which was pretty sharp."

The asking rate of seven runs per over proved too much for Newcastle City.

Andrew Somerville (4-27) claimed the best figures for Toronto who will travel to play Wests this Saturday in the first of this season's two-day fixtures.

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