EARLY pacesetters Easington (133-8) are sliding down the Readers Durham Cricket League table despite still clinging to an unbeaten record.
They found hosts Crook (167-5) in surprisingly feisty form after their own abysmal start to the campaign, and Town held most of the aces in a drawn match in which Aussie David Embleton (35 and 3-41) played a key role.
There was great relief for Durham City who emerged from a difficult period with a hard-fought three-wicket home win over Hylton.
Alex Johnson’s five wicket haul, allied to three wickets from Max Scarr, enabled City to bowl the visitors out for 157, and then Nick Maiolo scored his maiden century to inspire the home team to a much needed victory that allows them to look upwards in the table and start thinking about a possible top 14 berth.
Already in that group are Murton, and they consolidated with a 46-run victory over hosts Bill Quay after posting a target of 196.
Aidan Vout (48) and Ian King (36) were the principal contributors before Jon Sample (4-46) and Alex Ludlow (3-36) worked their way through the Quay line-up.
Elsewhere, a half century from Shoaib Akhtar and a miserly four wickets for four runs by Mark Ewart secured a comprehensive 114-run victory for Dawdon against Shildon.