WARKWORTH returned to winning ways and sit at the top of the Northumberland Cricket League, Premier Division with an important victory over fellow high-fliers Corbridge on Saturday.
There was also a win for Tillside, who are third, but defeat for Alnmouth & Lesbury.
Defending champions Warkworth recovered from their loss to Bedlington the week before to record a 45-run victory against Corbridge.
Warkworth’s Michael Sewell fell four short of his half-century as he was bowled by David Hardy, but his 46 helped the Castle Field side score 248-8 off their 50 overs. Chris Younger (34), Stephen Dargue (30), Daniel Younger (27), Billy Pringle (23), and Adam Hall (23 not out) also contributed to the Warkworth total.
Derek Robinson (3-45), Hardy (2-59), Andrew Dover (2-68) and Christopher Fowler (1-33) all struck for Corbridge.
In reply, opening batsman Fowler hit 55, while Tristram Douglas (35), Dean Robinson (29) and Richard Byerley (26) scored well, but it proved to be in vain, as Corbridge fell short and were all out for 203.
Chris Younger finished with 4-26 and Doug Potts (2-43), Daniel Younger (2-36) and Martin Clark (1-27) got in among the wickets as the Castle Field side prevailed.
Tillside continued their great start to the season with a five-wicket triumph against struggling Bomarsund.
In the battle of the Premier Division newcomers – with both sides promoted from Division One last term – Colin Thornton hit 54 for Bomarsund, but his side were all out for 143.
All five of the Tillside bowlers – Gareth Hill (3-13), Matthew McCreath (2-33), Matthew Whitty (1-20), Stuart Wright (1-28) and Alan Hindmarsh (1-39) – got in among the wickets.
Nick Whiteman picked up four wickets for Bomarsund, while Chris Mollon took a victim too, but it was not enough as Tillside hit a winning reply of 146-5.
Sean Whitty led the way with 47, and Keith Bickerton (36) and Liam Hindmarsh (20 not out) both contributed to guide Tillside to victory.
But there was to be no win for Alnmouth & Lesbury, as they found Blue Flames too hot to handle, losing by four wickets, in a match which saw Flames’ Majid Ansari take a hat-trick.
Batting first, Alnmouth started well enough, amassing 101 for the first wicket. Openers Tom Vickers (57) and Ian Pearson (62) both smashed half-centuries, while knocks from Rich Neil (37), Ben Oliver (34) and Robin Tudor (21) helped Alnmouth towards their closing total of 259-6.
But it was Ansari (3-35) who would make the headlines, grabbing a hat-trick with the wickets of Pearson, Tudor and Jonathan Denton. R Walker (2-35) and Andrew Horner (1-37) also struck for Flames.
And Alnmouth could not extinguish the Flames’ run chase, and unbeaten half-centuries from Richard Chapman (53) and Horner (52) saw them over the finish line with a winning reply of 262-6.
Walker and A Storey had also come close to reaching 50s, but fell just short, for 49 and 46 respectively.
Pearson (3-49), Nicholas Denton (2-41) and Ben Oliver (1-37) all took wickets for Alnmouth, but it was to no avail, as they slipped to defeat.
Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Berwick (190-8) beat Bedlington (189-7) by two wickets, Blagdon Park (228-5) beat basement side Bates Cottages (224-9) by five wickets and Stocksfield (173 all out) grabbed a nine-run victory against Clara Vale (164 all out).
Ulgham Village lead the way in Division One and they did their early-season promotion charge no harm with a 74-run win over Blyth.
Village’s Mark Plummer led the way with the bat, scoring 49, while Roy Haygarth (39), David Moore (31), Colin Tait (30) and Gary Hall (20) added valuable contributions as Ulgham closed on 228-7.
Kevin Thompson (2-55) and Cameron Walker (2-39) were the pick of the Blyth bowlers.
In reply, Mark Lawrence hit 53 and Arthur Gill finished with an unbeaten 27, but Blyth fell way short, with a score of 154-9 off their allotted 50 overs.
All four of the Ulgham bowlers got in on the wicket-taking act as Blyth were denied, with Haygarth (4-55) and Darrell Campbell (3-47) doing the bulk of the damage and David Charlton (1-16) and Moore (1-28) in support.
But there was to be no such result for Stobswood Welfare as they fell to a four-wicket, Division One defeat against Ashington Rugby.
Batting first, Stobswood for dismissed for just 118. And it could have been a lot worse, but for a wagging Stobswood tail. Number 10 batsman, Michael Beverley, hit 37 while number 11, P Patterson, was not out on 24, as the tail-enders put up a brave fight.
Their late flourish, coupled with 23 extras, helped add a touch of respectability to the Stobswood total, in an innings which had been dominated by Ashington’s Dean Greaves (6-13) and Lewis Tanney (3-33). David Wanless Senior (1-24) also struck.
But ultimately it was not enough, as Ashington hit the required runs with plenty of overs to spare.
A Wingfield (3-4) was the pick of the Stobswood bowlers while Richard Watson (2-15) and Patterson (1-29) also took wickets, but knocks from Paul Milburn (34), Chris Harwood (29) and Michael Adamson (22) helped Ashington towards a winning score of 119-6.
The other Division One results saw Monkseaton (214-7) beat struggling Gateshead Ethnic Minorities (130 all out) by 84 runs and Kirkley (159 all out) beat Whitley Bay (72 all out) by 87 runs.
Ulgham Village also lead the way in Division B2, and the table-topping 2nd XI grabbed their third league win of the season with a 124-run triumph against Hebburn twos.
A great knock from Peter Wilson (95 not out), as well as 36 from Mark Skinner, helped steer Village to 212-6 and then Mark Barrass (5-27) and Peter Donkin (3-19) were deadly with the ball as Hebburn were dismissed for 88. Jordan Cowe (1-24) and Wilson (1-15) also struck for Village as Ulgham recorded an emphatic win.
Defeat was on the cards for Stobswood Welfare seconds though as they lost their Division B2 clash against Bates Cottages twos.
K Dullaghan (4-45), A Mollon (2-46), A Todhunter (2-24) and Simon Urwin (2-29) were the Stobswood wicket-takers as Cottages were all out for 167 – with Chris Wilson (43) leading the way.
But Welfare fell short, and despite some resistance from top-scoring Todhunter (22) – although the extras column was actually the highest scorer with 28 – Stobswood were all out for 106, with Nathan Allan (3-4) the pick of Cottages’ bowlers.
Elsewhere in Division B2, Kirkley seconds (81-5) beat New Hartley Village twos (80 all out) by five wickets, while Monkseaton thirds conceded against Civil Service seconds.