A nine-wicket victory and top of the table

warkworth v blyth'''Warkworth's Billy Pringle plays one off his legs
warkworth v blyth'''Warkworth's Billy Pringle plays one off his legs

Table-toppers Alnmouth & Lesbury again romped to victory at the weekend in the Northumberland Cricket League, Premier Division, this time by nine wickets at Bates Cottages.

The win sees them cement their place as league leaders, maintaining their 40-point lead over second-placed Blagdon Park.

Bates v Alnmouth &Lesbury'''Alnmouth opener Paul Straker gets after the Bates bowling

Bates v Alnmouth &Lesbury'''Alnmouth opener Paul Straker gets after the Bates bowling

The home side won the toss and decided to bat, which looked to be a sensible decision at first as openers Paul Baston and Steve Black started well.

Black succumbed for 21 but Baston top-scored with 86 including 13 fours. However, the middle order put up little resistance, with only Michael Telford (25) reaching double figures, and although the tail wagged a little, Bates ended their 50 overs on 184-9.

Ian Clough took four wickets for 56 for Alnmouth while Ben Oliver and Nicholas Denton picked up two wickets apiece.

The away side made light work of batting though, only losing one wicket.

Openers Ian Pearson (63 not out) and Paul Straker (66) put on 135 before Straker was bowled and Andrew McDonnell (31) came in to finish the job.

Bates Cottages used nine bowlers as they tried to make a breakthrough, David Cragg taking the wicket for nine runs.

Fellow north Northumbrians Tillside also won, although it was their bowling attack that saw them through after scoring only 137 in the first innings against Corbridge.

Opener Keith Bickerton top-scored with 39, supported for a while by Matthew Whitty (17).

But thereafter it was a series of single-figure scores before a brief rally in the tail from Kieran Bullen (23) and Matthew McCreath (13 not out).

Corbridge’s Tristram Douglas took five wickets for 51.

In reply, though, the Tillside bowling attack was even more deadly, with Whitty also taking five wickets for a more economical 28 runs.

Liam Hindmarsh took 3-29 as Corbridge were all out for 101, handing Tillside a 36-run victory, keeping them away from the base of the table.

Warkworth weren’t as lucky as their neighbours, as they fell to a seven-wicket home defeat against Blyth, which saw them drop to fourth in the table.

Put into bat, it really wasn’t Warkworth’s day as only two batsmen – Keith Puddephatt (21) and William Pringle (10) – made it to double figures.

Extras also made a contribution of 17 as the home side were 72 all out in 28 overs.

Blyth’s David Ebdale was on fire with the ball, ending with figures of 8-16 off 13 overs.

Warkworth didn’t give up though and at one stage they may even have felt a victory was on the cards.

Thanks to wickets from Adam Hall (2-28) and Daniel Younger (1-26), they had the away side on the ropes at 9-1 and then 11-3.

Unfortunately, Mark Lawrence entered the fray, batting at number four, to steady the ship, eventually finishing the innings on 40 not out.

He was joined at the crease by Gary Cotterill, who ended on 18 not out, and the pair eased Blyth over the line in just 15 overs.