The top of the table clash between Alnmouth and Tillside at Alnmouth on Saturday certainly lived up to expectation and kept the crowd interested right up until the final over.
Tillside won the toss and asked the home team to bat, a decision they may have questioned as Paul Straker and Russell Hughes proceeded to put on 195 for the first wicket.
Straker was dismissed for 86 and Hughes followed shortly afterwards for 98; some excellent running between the wickets by Tom Vickers (22 not out) in the final overs, enabled a total of 243-5 to be posted.
Wicket takers for Tillside were Jake Birkett and Alan Hindmarsh.
Tillside looked well out of the game at 103-5 but a great quick partnership of 70 by Jake Birkett and Ian Sim, threaten to win the game, when 70 runs were needed off the last 10 overs.
The Alnmouth bowlers held their nerve and once both danger men had been dismissed – Birkett for 90 and Sim for 41, then the Tillside innings slowed and they finished on 229 for 9 some 14 runs short.
Nick Denton was the pick of the Alnmouth bowlers with 4-44 and the other wicket takers were Matt Willcocks (2), Paul Straker ( 2) and Ed Brunton.
The win moves Alnmouth 33 points clear at the top of the league, whilst the defeat pushes Tillside down to fifth some 41 points behind.
Alnmouth 2nds had a great eight wicket win away at Lintz 2nds. The home team were dismissed for 178 with Richard Neil (3), Lukas Robinson (2) Peter Robinson (2) Shaun Hutchinson (2) and Harry Sutherland amongst the wickets.
Alnmouth lost two early wickets but a great unbeaten third wicket partnership of 168 between Ali Batey (105 not out) and George Lindley (58 not out) saw the visitors home, with 10 overs remaining. The win keeps the Alnmouth title hopes alive.
Alnwick 1sts won by 11 runs on their visit to Morpeth 1sts.
Michael Brewis hit 43 and Ben Threlfall 41 as Alnwick posted 175-9 in their 50 overs with Callum Lawn taking 3-46 and three other bowlers claiming two wickets apiece.
In reply, Morpeth saw opener David Rutherford hit 66. james Craigs hit 24 and Nathan Byatt 23, but they fell short at 164 all out, with just one ball remaining. Threlfall and Max Harrison both claimed three wickets apiece for Alnwick.
Alnwick 2nds won by a massive 230 runs in the corresponding game against Morpeth 2nds.
Harry Lobb hit a fantastic 150 not out and Alan Straker 58 as Alnwick put on 254-2 in their 45 overs.
Morpeth were all out for a paltry 24 with 14 of those runs coming from Ryan Hope. Andrew Wright took 4-9 for Alnwick.
Tillside 2nds lost by 21 runs at home to Ryton 2nds.
G Rowell hit 50 and P Clarke 41 as Ryton opened up with 155 all out. Michael Tait took 4-5 and Davy Robertson 4-19 for the Etal side, who in reply slipped to 134 all out with Robertson top scoring on 33.
Warkworth 1sts had a 16-run win over Stobswood 1sts.
Ian Clough hit 50 as Warkworth posted 196 whilst Daniel Cook hit 72 in reply for Stobswood, who fell short at 180 all out with Clough claiming 3-47.
Warenford lost by 153 runs when they travelled to face Whickham 2nds.
Whickham posted a big score of 271-7 in their 50 overs, with Matthew Purdy leading the charge with a century, ending on 107.
Opener Jordan Symonds weighed in with 50 and Patrick Cooper with 47.
Kevin Thompson emerged as Warenford’s top wicket-takjer with 3-64.
In reply, Waren got off to a poor start with the usually reliable Brian Thompson out for a duck.
They went on to lose five early wickets and that was a position they could not recover from. Their top scorer ended on 31 and they were eventually all out for 118 in the 37th over, with two Whickham bowlers claiming three wickets apiece.
Alnmouth and Lesbury won by only three runs when they faced Bomarsund at home.
Leon Midgeley top scored with 37 as the Howick side posted 117 all out with Alex Breeze taking 4-21.
In reply, Bomarsund saw Michael Wills top score on 26, but they came up short at 114-9 in their 40 overs with Oliver Tulip taking 4-17.
Wooler had a nine wicket home win over Corbridge 2nds.
Corbridge were all out for only 76 with Andrew Aitchison taking 4-21 and Robert Matthewson 3-15.
In reply, the Glendale side chased it down in 16 overs with Les Porteous on 37 and Angus Todd on 33 not out.
Embleton were forced to concede their game away to Ashington Rugby 2nds when they were u able to fulfil the fixture.
Warkworth 2nds lost by 48 runs away to Hebburn 2nds.
Martin de Jager hit 50 as Hebburn put on 160 all out with Adam Jobson and Connor Lee both taking three wickets.
Warkworth managed 112 all out in reply with Lee top scoring on 30.
Rock had a six wicket home win over Kirkley 2nds.
The visitors were all out for only 60 with Michael Yeoman top scoring on 18, Kevin Wilson and Adam Dunn both claiming three wickets apiece.
Rock chased it down in 15 overs for the loss of four wickets.