Race is on at top of tight table

Alnmouth v Stocksfield'''Alnmouth 's Rob Tudor bowling
Alnmouth v Stocksfield'''Alnmouth 's Rob Tudor bowling

THE weather was a bit kinder to the fixtures this weekend, allowing Warkworth to stay in the Premier Division title hunt in the Northumberland Cricket League thanks to a 38-run victory over Tillside.

Things are tight at the top, with three teams separated by a point.

High-flying Blue Flames won, by two wickets at Blagdon Park, and are locked on 191 points with Warkworth, but Bedlington lead the way with 192.

Warkworth batted first against Tillside and built up their total thanks to a team effort with six players scoring double figures. Opener Keith Puddlephatt top scored with 34 in his side’s 162 while Cameron McGregor took 4-28 off 12 for the visitors.

In reply, Tillside got off to a bad start, losing the top three in quick succession.

From 16 for 3, Gareth Hill helped to steady the ship with a rapid 57 off 74 balls, but three wickets from Doug Potts (3-41) and Chris Younger (3-26) put paid to the middle order and tail respectively and Tillside were all out in the 36th over for 124.

Alnmouth & Lesbury were beaten by eight wickets in their home clash with Stocksfield.

Despite being 46-1 at one point, the home side’s innings slowed as Emerson Brown took a lean 5-34 for off his ten overs. Alnmouth & Lesbury’s top scorer in their 145 all out was Andrew Hodgson (44).

An unbeaten 55 from Stocksfield’s Duncan Ayre was the highlight as they romped home to win for the loss of just two wickets.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Bates Cottages (91-2), hovering just above the drop-zone, won their first game of the season, beating Corbridge (86 all out) by eight wickets, largely thanks to a man-of-the-match performance from Ross Symington who took 4 for 20 with ball coupled with a knock of 58 not out.

Berwick (174-9) beat Bomarsund (130 all out) by 44 runs, Blagdon Park (197 all out) lost to Blue Flames (203-8) by two wickets, Blyth (236-9) were 87-run winners over Kirkley (121 all out) and Clara Vale (149 all out) lost by six wickets to Bedlington (150-4).

In Division One, second-placed Ulgham Village weren’t able to win at struggling Monkseaton and are 10 points behind table-toppers Blyth.

Monkseaton were put into bat by the visitors and initially struggled, but 43 from Ben Windass and 32 from Ian McDine further down the order saw them reach 151 all out.

Pick of the Ulgham bowlers was Darrell Campbell (6-24) who also top scored with 30 in an innings of three ducks and six single-figure scores.

On the bowling front, Monkeseaton’s Matthew Kleynhans went one better than Campbell too, ending on figures of 7-19, with Ulgham all out for 107 in a 44-run defeat.

It wasn’t a better day for bottom club Stobswood Welfare who sunk to a 70-run home defeat to Gateshead Ethnic Minorities.

Batting first, Gateshead posted a large total of 205 all out, thanks to 61 from Zohaib Shahid and backed up by 39s from Mohsin Khan and Nasir Iqbal. Ian Watson impressed with 5-51 for the home side’s bowling attack.

In the league’s other game, Ashington Rugby (164 all out) won by 83 runs over Blyth (81 all out).

Ulgham also slipped to defeat in Division B2 where their 183-7 wasn’t enough to overcome Bates Cottages (206 all out).

The Cottages, batting first, were helped to victory by half-centuries from opener Chris Wilson (56) and C Fenwick (67).

Ulgham’s attack spread the wickets around but Chris Cowe took 3-42. Ulgham scored well in reply with Mark Skinner (46) and Mark Barrass (34) among others providing useful knocks.

In the end, they ran out of overs, only managing to reach 183-7 in their 40 overs.

Stobswood ran out as 49-run winners over Monkseaton with K Appleby (48), E Black (31) and K Dullaghan (30) contributing to the total (165-7).

Dullaghan was also the pick of the bowlers as he took 3-19 to help limit Monkseaton to 116 all out.

Elsewhere, New Hartley Village (50-9) lost by seven wickets to Hebburn (53-3) and Kirkley (160 all out) beat Civil Service (120 all out) by 40 runs.