ANOTHER weekend, another mass of abandoned matches in the Durham Senior and Coast leagues, with just three out of 12 surviving the torrential rain of last Thursday and Friday.
In the Senior League, Whitburn are finding it difficult to get into their rhythm, and they went down to a disappointing home defeat to Felling who, in securing 28 points for their win went 16 clear at the top of the table.
Paul Leonard featured in two important stands for the visitors. Firstly, he helped put on 71 for the second wicket with Dan Clark (41), then he joined with Phil Taylor (66) in adding 85 for the third wicket.
But when Leonard went for 51, it heralded the loss of six wickets for just six runs, Felling slipping from the splendour of 159-2 to the rather more sobering 165-8.
They did eventually manage to wriggle up to 195, but Stuart Walker (4-31) and Paul Cook (3-30) at least gave Whitburn the sniff of a chance.
When Walker (43) helped ease them up to 100-3, a draw seemed virtually assured until the second major collapse of the day brought disaster.
The splendid Leonard (4-26) and Chris Goudie (4-27) suddenly put the skids under the hosts, who lost their last seven wickets for 12 runs, and the game by 83 runs.
Marsden made full use of their go-ahead to notch their first victory since returning to the league.
In a hard-fought game, played on an inevitably slow, low pitch, they triumphed by five wickets.
Three early wickets for Steven Neilson (3-12 in eight overs) put Marsden in the driving seat, but Norton eased their way back through Nick Thomas (43) and it took Paul Hobson’s introduction as fourth change to tip the scales back in the hosts’ favour.
Hobson picked up five cheap wickets and precipitated a late collapse which saw the visitors bowled out for 145.
Marsden then enjoyed the most solid of starts to the run chase, through openers Chris Mann (41) and Patrick Jackson (38), and, even though there was a mini collapse as Kenny Gresham grabbed three cheap wickets, the home team had enough left in the tank to secure the win.