A CENTURY from Tom Vickers helped steer Alnmouth & Lesbury to victory in their north Northumberland derby clash against Tillside in the Northumberland Cricket League Premier Division.
But there was to be no such luck for Warkworth, whose title hopes took a knock with defeat to Blue Flames, who went joint top with Bedlington.
Mid-table Alnmouth claimed their fourth league win of the season with a 60-run victory over Tillside, who sit one place ahead of their victors in sixth.
Two top knocks helped Alnmouth to their total of 213-6, with Vickers scoring 122, which included 14 fours, and Robin Tudor hitting 61, before being run out.
Cameron McGregor (2-49), Alan Hindmarsh (1-28), Gareth Hill (1-37) and Matthew McCreath (1-53) struck for Tillside.
But three wickets apiece from Ben Oliver (3-43) and Ian Clough (3-24), two wickets from Nicholas Denton (2-44), and a wicket each for Ian Pearson (1-21) and Rich Neil (1-16) saw Alnmouth dismiss Tillside for 153.
Gareth Hill (38), Gavin Turnbull (34) and Keith Bickerton (22) helped the Tillside chase but it wasn’t enough as Tillside fell short.
Warkworth lost out in the battle of the high-flyers, slipping to a 76-run defeat to Blue Flames.
A knock of 92 from A Storey helped Flames on their way, as they were all out for 213.
Adam Hall (3-30), Chris Younger (3-36), Martin Clark (2-38) and Doug Potts (2-61) struck for the Castle Field side.
But in their reply Warkworth found F Ahmed too hot to handle, as the Flames bowler grabbed 6-38 from 13 overs.
And two wickets from Keith Brown, and one apiece from R Walker and Nick Humble saw Warkworth fall for 137.
William Pringle (32) and Daniel Younger (36) tried to offer some resistance, as they took the score from 3-1 to 81-2, but it proved to be in vain, as wickets tumbled at regular intervals and Warkworth fell short of their target. Third-placed Warkworth slipped 21 points behind the league leaders. But they will try to return to winning ways on Saturday when they host north Northumberland rivals Alnmouth & Lesbury.
Bedlington kept their title hopes alive as they beat Corbridge by five runs.
Bedlington, who are locked on 219 points with Flames at the Premier Division summit, had been dismissed for 133 but edged a close encounter as fourth-placed Corbridge fell just short, all out for 128.
At the other end of the table, second-bottom Bates Cottages (242-7) gave their survival hopes a boost with a three-wicket win against Stocksfield (241-8), with Cottages’ Ross Sample hitting 121 with the bat.
But Clara Vale (243 all out), who are hovering just above the drop zone, also picked up a vital win, beating Berwick (186 all out) by 57 runs.
Basement side Bomarsund (190-8) are well adrift and fell to a three-wicket defeat against Blagdon Park (191-7).
High-flying Ulgham Village kept their assault on the Division One title alive with a dominant 88-run victory over struggling Whitley Bay. Darrell Campbell gave an inspired performance with both bat and ball, hitting an unbeaten 108 before taking a five-wicket haul.
The victory saw second-placed Village keep table-toppers Blyth in sight and heaped more misery onto Whitley Bay, who are second from bottom and in the relegation zone.
Batting first, Ulgham posted 222-2, with knocks from Colin Tait (45) and an unbeaten 40 from Roy Haygarth adding valuable support to Campbell’s ton.
Ivan Pearson (1-56) and Uzair Afaq (1-43) struck for Whitley Bay.
But while the Bay bowlers struggled to contain Campbell, their batsman fared no better, as a ruthless display of bowling saw him finish on figures of 5-24 from 11 overs.
David Charlton (3-10 off seven) also proved deadly with the ball, while Chase Evans (1-24) and Chris Herne (1-26) also struck as Bay were dismissed for 134.
While Village are battling it out at the top, Stobswood Welfare are scrapping at the bottom of the table.
And their survival hopes were dealt another blow on Saturday, as the basement side were beaten by league leaders Blyth, who romped to an eight-wicket victory.
A devastating spell of bowling from Blyth’s Surj Singh (5-29) helped see the table-toppers on their way as Welfare were all out for 136.
Opening batsman Richard Watson top-scored with 25.
But while Blyth’s opening batsmen fell cheaply, for a combined total of 10 runs, Welfare’s fight back was to be short lived as Mark Lawrence (74 not out) and Gary Quinn (42 not out) steadied the league leaders’ ship before sailing it over the winning line, with Blyth posting 137-2.
Richard Watson (1-31) and Daniel Watson (1-33) got the early breakthroughs for Welfare.
Elsewhere, Kirkley (278-8) beat Gateshead Ethnic Minorities (215 all out) by 63 runs while Monkseaton (160 all out) grabbed a 43-run victory against Ashington Rugby (117 all out).
It proved to be a bad day for Stobswood Welfare, as their seconds also fell to a heavy wickets defeat.
Mid-table Welfare twos were well-beaten by second-placed Civil Service seconds in the Division B2 clash, with the latter winning by 10 wickets.
Batting first, Welfare were all out for 51 – Service’s Kevin Doyle (4-23) doing the bulk of the damage with the ball.
In what was a dominant performance, Service grabbed the required runs in under 17 overs without a single casualty.
Unbeaten knocks from opening batsmen Edward Lord (22) and Neil McGuinness (21) saw Service home on 52-0.
Ulgham Village twos are one place ahead of Welfare in Division B2 and claimed victory on Saturday with a seven-wicket triumph against bottom side New Hartley Village seconds.
Mark Barrass (2-34), Jeff Thomson (1-26) and Chris Cowe (1-36) picked up the wickets for Ulgham as New Hartley Village posted 154-4 off their allotted 40 overs, with Michael Young leading the way with 57.
But Ulgham were successful in the run chase and an unbeaten 66 from Mark Skinner, as well as Adam Tait’s 49, helped them to a winning reply of 155-3.
Other Division B2 results saw league-leaders Hebburn twos (161-6) beat Kirkley seconds (68 all out) by 93 runs while Robert Tulip hit 118 for Bates Cottages twos (227-6) in a 101-run victory over Monkseaton thirds (126 all out).