Tillside 2nds and Wooler both confirmed as league winners
Tillside 2nds were crowned Northumberland League Division 2 champions at the weekend without fielding a ball.
And Wooler were also confirmed as Division 3 champions, despite a second succesive loss, this time away to Rock.
Tillside’s penultimate game of the season was called off on Friday when Backworth 2nds declared they could not raise a team, the points thereby putting the Etal side in an unassailable position at the top of the table.
This is the second successive league championship (and promotion) for the 2nds, who will now play in Division 1 next season.
Wooler, meanwhile, who had lost their unbeaten league record the previous week against Gateshead EM, fell again, this time at Rock, where they went down by 53 runs.
But the six points gained means they go into the final game of the season on 438 points, one ahead of Alnmouth and Lesbury who have already concluded all their fixtures.
Tillside 1sts saw their lead at the top of the Premier Division cut to only one point, when they were beaten by Backworth 1sts.
It means Tillside now go into the final game of the season this Saturday, against Kirkley 1sts, with the slenderest of leads over Ashington Rugby, who play at home to Ulgham 1sts.
Tillside 1sts lost by five wickets to Backworth, whose 80 point penalty incurred earlier in the season looks as if it is going to cost them dearly.
Gareth Hill hit 71 as Tillside out on 139 in their innings. Scott Shannon took 4-35 for Backworth, who in reply chased it down in 35 overs with opener Alan Robson their top bat on 59. Jake Birkett took 3-64.
Also in the Premier Division, Berwick 1sts lost by six wickets away to Warkworth, who look as if they are set for a top four finish.
Berwick batted first and were all out for 105 with Scott Middlemist, Martin Hush and Steven Emery (no) all getting into the 20s.
Tom Burnett took 4-14 for Warkworth, who in reply rattled off 107-4 in 33 overs with Ian Clough on 33 not out and opener Rory Wilson on 27 not out.
Ulgham had a 49 run victory over Gateshead EM 1sts in the Premier League.
Roy Haygarth top-scored with 39 as Ulgham put on 152 all out with Mukhtar taking 3-18 for the visitors.
In reply, GEMs were all out for only 103 with Mukhtar their top scorer on 26.
Nick Dodds had a fine spell with the ball and finished with figures of 6-49.
Brian Thompson was back on form, hitting a century for Warenford as they beat Civil Service by 122 runs in Division 1.
Thompson, recently recovered from a broken ankle, hit 104, and with Michael Thompson on 70, Dan Patterson on 60 and Alan Sinton on 48, Waren posted a fine 357-5 in their 50 overs.
Ashish Jha top scored with 63 as Civil Service replied with 235, Michael Thompson taking 3-56.
In Division 2, Embleton’s game away to Whitley Bay was cancelled.
Wooler went down at Rock but did just enough to secure the Division 3 title.
Rock put on 138 with David Short on 24, withb Robert Matthieson taking 4-33. Angus Todd then hit 45 as Wooler replied with 85. Kevin Wilson took 6-16.
Alnmouth and Lesbury did their best to keep the pressure on with an 82 run home win over Warkworth 2nds.
Ian Pearson hit 57 as Alnmouth posted 163-8 in their 40 overs, with Paul Smith taking 3-34.
In reply Warkworth made 80, with no one reaching double figures, Nicholas Robertson and Leon Midgley both taking three wickets.
Alnmouth are now guaranteed runners-up in the table behind Wooler.