Champs toppled from the top

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CHAMPIONS Warkworth were knocked off the top spot in the Northumberland Cricket League Premier Division as they fell to Berwick.

But Tillside maintained their fine start to the season with a four-wicket victory over Clara Vale while Alnmouth & Lesbury returned to winning ways with a three-wicket triumph against Bomarsund in the league’s top tier.

Warkworth’s low-scoring loss at Pier Field saw Corbridge – who beat Stocksfield by six wickets – leaf-frog them at the summit and move into pole position.

The champions’ bowlers did their job, as hosts Berwick were dismissed for 110, with Doug Potts inflicting most of the damage with the ball, finishing with 5-31, while Daniel Younger (2-32) and Adam Hall (2-15) also struck.

But Warkworth found batting even harder than their hosts did and were all out for 79, with Scott Middlemist (5-21), Martyn Elliott (3-27) and David Currie (2-19) proving deadly with the ball.

Billy Pringle (17) top-scored for Warkworth.

Things were better for Premier Division new boys Tillside as they beat Clara Vale to make it five wins from seven top tier games.

Tillside bowlers Gareth Hill (4-24) and Kevin Logan (3-26) took the bulk of the wickets as Vale were all out for 102. Matthew McCreath proved economical, giving away just six runs from 8.1 overs, as well as taking a wicket, while Liam Hindmarsh (1-26) and Cameron McGregor (1-17) gave valuable support.

Muhammad Rehan was the only Vale batsman to offer any kind of resistance to the Tillside bowling attack, top-scoring with 29.

There was a wobble in the Tillside reply, with top-order batsmen dismissed cheaply, but McGregor posted 18 to steady the ship before Hill and McCreath steered their side over the finish line with unbeaten knocks of 33 and 24 respectively.

Riaz Mohammed (3-42) and Rehan (2-36) picked up wickets for Vale but they couldn’t stop Tillside, who posted a winning reply of 103-6.

Alnmouth & Lesbury recovered from their defeat to Blue Flames the week before to beat bottom-two side Bomarsund.

Their three-wicket victory was helped no end by bowlers Ben Oliver (4-33), Robin Tudor (4-31) and Nicholas Denton (2-19) who picked up the 10 Bomarsund wickets between them to dismiss their hosts for 156, with John Haig Jnr (37) and Jack Concannon (33) the pick of the batsmen.

But Alnmouth had their own batting star, with opener Ian Pearson scoring 52.

His half-century, which included nine fours and a six, as well as a knock of 25 from Rich Neil, helped Alnmouth hit the required runs, as they posted a winning reply of 159-7.

Chris Mollon (2-37), David Seccombe (2-18), Adam McTaggart (2-30) and Gary Mordey (1-49) struck for Bomarsund.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Bedlington (277-8) beat Blagdon Park (174 all out) by 103 runs while Blue Flames (286-4) piled more misery onto Bates Cottages (200 all out) as they beat the bottom side by 86 runs.

Division One league leaders Ulgham Village continued their early-season promise with a win over struggling Stobswood Welfare.

Half-centuries from opening batsmen Colin Tait (53) and Mark Plummer (66) helped Ulgham towards their total of 161 all out.

And it was a good job that the pair were in fine nick, as only two other Ulgham batsmen managed to reach double figures, as Stobswood bowlers Ian Watson (6-61) and Daniel Watson (3-35) proved deadly with the ball.

But Ulgham were to have their own hitmen as David Moore (4-30), Darrell Campbell (3-25) and David Charlton (2-3 off four overs) got in among the wickets as Stobswood were skittled for 92.

A Wingfield (25) and Essey Black (24) offered some resistance but it was to be to no avail, as basement-side Stobswood fell to their fourth Division One defeat of the season.

At the top end of the table, Ulgham lead the way by 10 points but second-placed Kirkley (155-3) kept them in sight with a seven-wicket win over Whitley Bay (153 all out).

Other Division One results saw Blyth (149-3) beat Monkseaton (146 all out) by seven wickets, while Gateshead Ethnic Minorities (109-6) grabbed a four-wicket win over Ashington Rugby (108 all out).

In what is shaping up to be a good season for Ulgham Village, their second string lead the way in Division B2 – despite a heavy eight-wicket defeat to Stobswood Welfare twos on Saturday.

Peter Wilson top-scored with 37 as Ulgham ended on 140-9.

Simon Urwin (2-30), K Dullaghan (2-29), P Robertson (2-31) and A Mollon (2-21) struck for Stobswood, before Dullaghan (47), Mollon (42) and an unbeaten 28 from K Appleby helped Stobswood post a winning reply of 141-2. Mark Skinner (1-25) and Jordan Cowe (1-7) grabbed the two Stobswood wickets.

The defeat made things close at the top, with Hebburn 2nd XI one point behind Ulgham and Civil Service seconds a further two points behind that.

Hebburn (146 all out) did their promotion hopes no harm though with a 49-run over league rivals Civil Service (97 all out).

Saturday’s other Division B2 matches saw Monkseaton thirds (107-5) beat New Hartley Village twos (105 all out) by five wickets and Kirkley seconds (220-7) beat Bates Cottages twos (218-6) by three wickets.