EPPLETON reclaimed second spot in the Dukes North East Premier League First Division with an emphatic 105-run home win over Willington on Saturday.
Graham Hoban was the rock in a 52-over Eppleton total of 235-6, the skipper hitting 12 fours and a six on his way to an unbeaten 95. Rizwan Ullah added 39 not out down the order, while Liam Mallaburn made 29 and Calum Jefferson hit 19. Calvin Stephenson and Gaurav Jathar both struck twice.
Willington got off to a decent start in their reply as opening pair Jathar (44) and James Stock (33) put on 70, but once they were parted the roof fell in with all nine wickets going down for a further 60 runs, the 10-man visitors collapsing to 130 all out.
Craig Scurr (4-16 from nine overs), David Wilkinson (3-54) and Zaheer Shahbaz (2-32) caused the damage.
A battling display earned Seaham Harbour a share of the spoils at Washington in a weather-reduced game.
Ian Pattison (69 from 85 balls, with 10 fours and a six) and Shaun McKenna (52 from 65 balls, with six fours and two sixes) helped Harbour achieve a respectable 166-6 in 33 overs, with youngster Nathan Newton adding an unbeaten 15 down the order.
Adam Randall impressed with 3-58 for Washington, backed by Ashley Thorpe (2-36).
In reply, Washington never really got near the required rate as their 29-over innings closed on 130-6, Dan Shurben making 45 and Daniel Woolston 27 not out. Craig Stephenson bagged 2-38.
South Hetton’s woes continued when they were beaten by eight wickets at Brandon after managing just 124 first up.
The writing was on the wall at 10-3. Although there was a mini revival, it was to be Eddie Watson and Jamie Robinson’s day, the pair bowling unchanged for 26.5 overs. Robinson closed with 4-64 while Watson ended with 6-48.
Omar Shahid (31) and Daniel Stewart (23) top-scored for South Hetton.
The chase was simplicity itself, Lewis Newby adding the final flourish with 43 not out from 28 balls as Brandon wrapped up the win inside 27 overs, despite Shahid’s 2-53.
It was home sweet home for South Shields as a third Wood Terrace victory in as many matches, accompanied by a first defeat of the season for Sacriston, left the Shieldsmen with a handsome 29-point lead at the top.
All three games that Shields have won in that home spell have been low-scoring affairs, and Saturday was no different as Boldon were sent packing for just 99, Neil Mulvaney (33) the only man able to cope with an attack in which Chris Stewart (3-39) and Tim David (4-13) excelled.
And it was David who ensured there would be no dramas in the run chase. Despite losing four of his colleagues for just 16 runs between them, the Aussie eventually found a willing accomplice in Adam Dawson (21no), and blasted a rapid unbeaten 62 to ease furrowed brows and gain his team a six-wicket win.
Sacriston’s demise was a shock. Previously unbeaten, they had home advantage against a Felling side who have struggled for most of the season, but the form book was turned upside down as Paul Leonard and Daniel Clark ran amok.
There was no real sign of the trouble to come when the hosts made their way to 27-1, but four wickets then fell as just one more run was added, and when another mini collapse followed to leave Sacriston on 49-8 there was to be no way back despite a spirited rearguard action that took the eventual total up to 86.
Clark took 3-31 and Leonard a brilliant 7-37 as the rampant pair bowled unchanged through 29 overs, Clark (42no) going on to seal the win inside 28 overs.