Whitburn so close to toppling Dukes ECB NEPL Premier Division league leaders

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Whitburn missed out on a victory over Dukes ECB NEPL Premier Division league leaders South North by just two runs.

The home side must have thought they had won the game, when they bowled the visitors out for just 75 runs.

Craig Smith with 5-28 and Ian Elliot 5-15, tore the batting order apart, with only Simon Birtwisle (18), Rob Peyton (15) and Jonathan Wightman 14, made double figures.

However, at 0-2, with Stephen Humble (a magnificent 6-29) and Jonathan Wightman (3-28), striking early, the home side were on the back foot.

Agonisingly, they fell three runs short of victory, with the last pair of Smith and Mark Elliott putting on 14 for the last wicket.

It looked as though they would win, but Birtwisle had Elliott trapped in front for 12, in taking the last wicket.

Benwell Hill are now third, after a 45-run win at struggling South Shields.

The Hill batted first and only made 97, with Kyle Coetzer scoring 39 off just 16 balls, including six fours and two sixes, with Matthew Muchall taking a brilliant 7-52, off 11.4 overs.

In reply, Michael Dunn scored 30, but Haseeb Azam with an excellent 5-13 off just 12 overs, was too good and Shields could only manage 52 all out.

At the bottom, Felling are now 16 points behind South Shields after they lost heavily at home to Tynemouth, by seven wickets, who leap away for the relegation area, with the win.

It’s getting tight at the top of the First Division and particularly second position, as Boldon in third, defeated Willington by 41 runs.

They made 149, with Barry McCarthy scoring 45, Umar Waheed 19 and Jonathan Shakespeare also added 19 late in the innings, but Calvin Stephenson kept them in check with 4-36.

In reply, Willington only made 108 all out, with Shakespeare taking 3-17 with the ball and Ian Male returned 3-10.

On the batting front, Peter Leggett with 23 and Elliott Foster 20, putting on 25 together, but it was not enough.

In Division Two of the Readers Durham Cricket League, Ushaw Moor are up to second place after a narrow 27-run home win over Marsden, who drop to second.

The ‘match of the day’ began with Ushaw having first knock and they made a modest 132 all out.

Peter Maddison with 34 not out, kept the innings together, with Patrick Stephenson hitting 29, opener Mike Thorpe with 24 and Aaron Proud 22.

Michael Elliott returned 4-39 with the ball and James Sneller took 3-43.

Marsden then started brightly with Nisal Francisco making 25 and Chris Mann 17, but Stephen Hancock took 3-13, to disrupt them, but Elliott with the bat (21) and Sneller (19), tried in vain, as Thorpe with the ball returned a match winning 3-7, late on to bowl them out for 105.

Hylton had to settle for a draw at Boldon CA after scoring 211-3 declared.

Ben Taylor hit 30, Adam Bewick an excellent 76, Kevin Mustard with 37 and Marlon Barclay 42 not out, scored the runs.

The home side made 148-6, to earn a creditable draw, with Stuart Smith scoring a brilliant 83 and Andrew O’Connell chipped in with 30 runs to his name.