Conn trick gives Phili problems in derby draw

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PHILADELPHIA had to show resilience to hang on for a Warmseal Durham Senior League draw in a rain-wrecked derby at Burnmoor.

A truncated game did not stop Moor laying down the gauntlet by declaring after just 27 overs with 166-5 on the board. Brandon Scullard hit four sixes in reaching 54 not out, and with Owen Lancaster (41) also on the attack the Moor handed Phili 39 overs in which to chase victory.

As it turned out, veteran bowler Ian Conn got the upper hand with a 15-over spell in which he took 4-32, and this stunted Phili’s ambitions as they crawled to 92-6 to claim a draw.

Kimblesworth were the biggest gainers in the rain-hit programme as they managed to take 14 points out of their draw at Whitburn after dominating for long spells.

An opening stand of 113 between Steve Tombsett (50) and Kevin Dixon set the tone for Kimblesworth. When the Australian departed, Dixon then contributed to a second-wicket partnership of 88 with Craig Burke.

Dixon eventually fell 10 short of a deserved century after hitting seven fours and two sixes, but Burke continued to turn the screw with five towering sixes on his way to an unbeaten 88 as the visitors closed on 268-3 after 49 overs.

Whitburn lost two wickets almost immediately when they set off on the run chase, something that dampened expectations, and Stuart Walker (47) and Peter Marshall (38) dug in to hold off the attentions of Tombsett (5-36) for long spells, the success of their efforts measured by the fact that their side managed to cling to eventual safety on 166-9 after 52 overs.

It was 37 overs-a-side at Durham City, with visiting Boldon putting on 164-6 in their time at the crease, skipper Chris Ellison leading by example with eight fours in his 52.

City (134-7) were in with a chance while Aussie Nick Hobson (59) was cracking four fours and two sixes, but once he became one of Karl Bellerby’s three victims the writing was on the wall – and it said draw!

There were some long faces at Castle Eden when the realisation dawned that their home game against Norton would not beat the weather, but the damage to their status as leaders was limited – they are a handsome 40 points ahead of second-placed Felling, and hold an even bigger lead over those just outside the top two, with the additional bonus of having a game in hand.

The other matches off were at Eppleton, where Marsden were due, and South Hetton, where Horden were scheduled to visit. For South Hetton it was doubly disappointing as they could only watch from the sidelines as Durham City picked up some bonus points to leapfrog them and consign them to the wooden spoon slot.