Dawdon’s day is done.
A heavy defeat at the hands of title rivals Mainsforth has left the Green Drive outfit with little or no chance of catching runaway leaders Esh Winning, who now enjoy a handsome lead going into the last five games of the campaign.
With each side knowing they had to go for broke, and Dawdon depleted by unavailabilities, Mainsforth went for the throat, rattling up 221-8 in 47.1 overs, Faisal Iqbal (54 from 65 balls) and Jonny Barnes (59 from 72 balls) putting their side in a position of strength.
That enabled John Sweeney to blast six fours and four sixes in a 44-ball 62. Dawdon were then completely undone by Barnes, his 11-over spell returning figures of 5-23 as the visitors were ripped out for 81 inside 30 overs.
Esh Winning, meanwhile, were picking up their expected 30-point haul from their game against Boldon CA, skipper Dave Lawlor (seven fours and four sixes in 77) and fellow opener Stuart Hall (16 fours and a six in 76) giving them lift-off before a declaration after 40 overs on 214-4.
A brave Boldon rearguard action saw them survive 44 overs before eventually being bowled out for 139, the defeat now making the maths add up to what has been known for many weeks – certain relegation.
The win increased the Esh lead over Dawdon at the top of the table to 67 points, and only Mainsforth, sitting third with a game in hand but seven points further back, have the remotest possibility of challenging the champions-elect in the closing weeks.
At the opposite end of the table, it’s looking bleak for Hylton following their heavy home defeat at the hands of Horden which left them 30 points adrift of safety with just five to play.
Akshay Jambhekar (79no and 3-29) was the star turn as Horden piled on 240-4 and then bowled out their rivals for 133, Adam Dixon (4-18) and Carl Watson (2-48) wrapping up the win which should ensure his team’s place in the top flight for another season. Lee Jackson (66) and Wayne Birks (39) helped out in Horden’s innings, with Marlon Black taking 2-48.
John Stokoe top-scored with 26 for Hylton
Just who joins Boldon in Division Two next season has still to be decided, but Hylton are left with a mountain to climb if they’re to claw back the deficit on third bottom Bill Quay. Quay were on the receiving end of a brilliant Dean Langridge century at Castle Eden, the opener carrying his bat through 41.5 overs to end on 126 not out from 120 balls. Set a target of 219-6, Quay closed on 132-8, a battling 42 not out from 98 balls by Chris Malley ensuring his side didn’t lose.
Easington and Durham City (167-7) drew. Vinit Dhulap (47), Ryan Higgins (41) and Stephen Brett (32) led Easington to 225-9, with Newsom grabbing a brilliant five-wicket haul. City replied on 167-7 as Jake McCann (48), Callum Steel (31) and Dani Hazell (22) top-scored, with Dhulap, Gary Ward and Jordan Wilson all striking twice.
Philadelphia slid to a 48-run home defeat at the hands of Crook after being bowled out for 163, Ashley Chilcott’s half-century and 46 from Shaun Smith proving in vain.
Peter Greenwell took 3-50 in Crook’s 211 all out.