Crucial wins see Burnmoor and Boldon keep up pace at the top of the Dukes ECB NEPL First Division

Hetton Lyons opener Brian Fenwick.
Hetton Lyons opener Brian Fenwick.

Burnmoor and Boldon are still clinging on to the coat tails of the three leading teams in the NEPL First Division after they both enjoyed vital victories.

Just one week after gaining that crucial confidence building first win, Seaham Harbour thought they were on another winner after bowling out visitors Burnmoor for 135, but glee turned to gloom as the Moor squeezed out a 28-run win.

In the end, Harbour paid dearly for being unable to finish off Burnmoor. They had their visitors 46-5 before allowing Kevin Dixon (23) and Liam Burgess (29) to put some bricks back in the wall on a day when batting was not the easiest of occupations.

Craig Stephenson (3-21) led an attack which sent down more than 53 overs.

Harbour slumped to 52-6 before a Stewart Pattison (32no) led recovery raised hopes as the home team edged up to 104-6.

But no sooner had the home team began to dream, the last four wickets went down for just three runs. Dixon and Burgess were once again the nightmare invoking pair as they took a couple of wickets each.

Boldon had to dig deep to defeat Washington after their visitors had set a challenging 188, Calum MacLeod (3-36) heading a quartet of wicket takers.

Chris Ellison set the tone for the run chase with an opening 46, but wickets fell at regular intervals, requiring the professional expertise of MacLeod to calm the nerves. He guided Boldon to a two wicket success with an unbeaten 64.

Sacriston did their title hopes the power of good when they defeated Willington to leapfrog them in the table.

Skipper Ian Jones (57) gave his team the base, and then an unbeaten 62 from Lewis Straughair pushed the challengers up to 226-7 in 52 overs.

Anand Singh (73) then threatened to take the glory, particularly when he was in a partnership with Steve Alderson (44no) which lifted the home team to 130-4, but when Singh became one of Callum Appleby’s four victims, the Willington roof threatened to cave in as three wickets went down without addition to the score, and a fourth nine runs later.

Some late defiance took the score up to 178, but by now Sacriston weren’t to be denied. Victory took them into second spot, 23 points behind Felling (93-8), who were less convincing in a two wicket home win against a depleted Mainsforth (92) in a game where runs proved precious.

Sunderland lifted the relegation clouds with a surprisingly easy home win against Brandon. Jas Singh (3-25) led an effective attack which had the visitors back in the shed for just 118, and then brother Rammi cracked an unbeaten 76 to send a collective sigh of relief around Ashbrooke.

A sensational debut by Tudhoe’s stand-in pro, Cameron Delport, was enough to lift Tudhoe off the floor of the First Division. The Leicestershire man smashed a 77-ball blitz that only ended on 183 not out when all his other team-mates were dismissed to leave a Tudhoe total of 260 in just 32.4 overs.

However, shell-shocked Blaydon dug in for 72 overs of resistance to end on 226-7 and deny their hosts victory.