THE quest for the league championship trophy in the Alnwick and District Cricket League continues apace, the leading three clubs all winning on Saturday – albeit in vastly different circumstances.
Warenford maintained their six-point advantage over Mitford with Wooler a further 10 points back in third as the season enters its final third.
Defending champions Warenford recorded a comfortable 66-run victory over Embleton, thanks to an inspired all-round display from Dan Patterson.
He scored 69 in a total of 130 and followed up by taking six wickets for a mere 15 runs as Embleton crashed to 64 all out after 25.2 overs.
Title challengers Mitford had a nervous afternoon at bottom-of-the-table Howick before scraping home by one wicket in the third last over.
That they won was due once again to their number one batsman Matty Ellinor, who held the innings together with a defiant 67 in a total of 147-9 after the loss of early wickets. The visitors were 71-5 at one stage.
Brothers Ed and Alex Durie were joint top scorers for Howick with 37 apiece in a total of 145 which featured a ninth-wicket stand of 43 between Alex Durie and Andrew Marshall.
Kieran Little with 4-45 and Scott Lawson with 3-28 shared the bowling honours for Mitford while Alex Durie claimed 4-46 for the home side.
Wooler stayed in touch with the leaders following a hard-fought five-wicket win away at Alnmouth and Lesbury, Les Porteous hitting a half century in a total of 172-5, victory coming in the 42nd over.
Joe Dilnot also hit 50 for the home side.
Runs were also plentiful at Berwick where Brian Simmons starred for the home side with a handsome 134 in a total of 234-4 against Warkworth.
Stevie Lee top-scored for the visitors with 92 but they were still 42 runs adrift at the close for the loss of four wickets.
Best all-round performance on one of the best day’s cricket the league has witnessed this season came from young Toby Culham with 7-16 and 86 not out in Tillside’s eight-wicket win over Rock.