Second XI coach Neil Killeen hailed Paul Coughlin’s 231 as “one of the best innings I have ever seen” after his side picked up the Championship title with a complete performance against Middlesex.
Coughlin’s innings was the second highest score in history for the Seconds and the base of a huge first innings total 504.
With his side on top, it took less than five sessions to bowl the visitors out twice and win by a huge innings-and-117-run margin, with 17-year-old Liam Trevaskis finishing with 6/31.
But Killeen praised Coughlin’s exceptional performance on what he declared a scintillating performance by his side.
“He has predominantly played as a bowler in the first team but that just shows what he is capable of as a batter as well,” he said.
“We were good right from the start with Cameron Steel, playing in a tough situation against his old club, to come out and play well and get 95 opening the innings.
“All the lads around him batted well and then Paul came in; to play that innings is probably one of the best innings I have ever seen.
“If we’d had to have written a script for that final, that definitely would have been it. Score 500 in the first innings and then bowl them out by the third day would be what we would write.”
Trevaskis stole the show as the shadows began to lengthen across Emirates Riverside, taking the final six wickets to fall on Thursday afternoon, but all the bowlers contributed across both innings.
Usman Arshad’s three wickets in an over after lunch on the second day put a huge dent in the Middlesex batting line-up with others chipping in, including skipper James Weighell and Brydon Carse as they continue to return from injuries earlier in the summer.
And Killeen had praise for the bowling attack – not just in this game, but for their consistency throughout the whole campaign.
For Liam to come in and take a six-fer is a fantastic achievement
“Our lads showed a lot more discipline than what their lads did. They bowled better lines and lengths - especially the lengths, we bowled fuller and got the edges – and then in the second innings the spinners have come into their own,” he said.
“For Liam Trevaskis to come in and take six-fer to win the Second XI Championship final is a fantastic achievement, credit to the Academy and the lads beneath to make sure those lads are ready.
“Special mentions go to the likes of Jamie Harrison and Gurman Randhawa as well, who have played a big part throughout the season. It’s testament to them and the way the guys have worked throughout the whole season.”
For Killeen, this is success at the first attempt after taking over the Second XI reins from Ali Maiden after he departed to take up a coaching role with England Women.
And the coach admits he has enjoyed the challenge and sees a bright cricketing future for many of the players on show over the last three days.
I think a lot of these guys have bright futures.
“It’s been great. To come into this job and follow on the good work that Ali [Maiden] did last year, be there for the lads and help them to do the right things; this year they have done that,” Killeen said.
“To see some of the young lads coming through – Eddie [Hurst] keeping wicket in this game, Liam [Trevaskis], George Harding, Josh Coughlin’s had a great season as well – and then the rest of the lads as well. It’s a very exciting future for Durham.
“It’s very exciting to see the talent coming through the club and what we’ve got going forward into the future; hopefully I don’t see much of these lads and they’re all playing first team cricket!
“That’s the beauty of the second team job, it’s about preparing them and getting them ready to play first team cricket. I think a lot of these guys have got big futures.”