Horden collapse ends title dream

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HORDEN’S title dream was shattered when they lost out to table-topping Tudhoe by 20 runs, but it could, and perhaps should, have been different.

Host club Horden looked to have done most of the hard work when they skittled Tudhoe for just 97 in 38.1 overs, Scott Birks in superb form with a 12 over spell which included five maidens and saw him claim four wickets for 14 runs.

With Adam Dixon (3-19 from 10.1 overs) and Sahil Madgaonkar (3-34) picking off the rest of the visiting batsmen, tea would have tasted particularly pleasant for the home side.

Dixon then opened out for Horden with the game’s top individual score of 24, but it was downhill from then on as Ian Grainger claimed his wicket and then went on to terrorise the rest, the home team’s last five batsmen mustering just three runs between as the home innings imploded to end on 77 after just 23.4 overs of batting. Grainger ended with figures of 7-38, while South African Kishen Kushen finished with 3-38.

Given the low scoring nature of the game Tudhoe took just 20 points from the win, and their leadership could have been under threat if Burnmoor had managed to win their game at Bunker Hill, but they were unable to do so as time ran out on their run chase with plenty of wickets in hand.

Burnmoor only faced 43 overs as they tried to knock off Philadelphia’s first innings score of 190-7, and they failed by five runs as time was called on the match. Moor went into the last over needing 10 to win with five wickets standing, but Peter Greenwell picked up 1-4 in his final six balls to frustrate the defending champions.

The Moor took 13 points from the game, but are now 12 behind Tudhoe. 26 further back in third are Esh Winning after they were undone at Mainsforth where the home team were able to exploit favourable bowling conditions.

Gary Cummings led an effective home strike force, grabbing 4-29 from his 12 overs, and with only Michael Oughton (35 from 33 balls) looking likely to break free Esh crumbled to 84-9 before declaring in the 40th over in the hope of picking up an additional five points if they won. But that was never on the cards as Mohammed Nawaz dominated with an unbeaten 54 to lead the home team to a seven wicket success in 24.1 overs.

At the opposite end of the table, Hylton did themselves the power of good with an excellent home victory over Crook, and they are now 34 points clear of the relegation zone.

It was a real team batting effort which saw Hylton put on 199-8, John Stokoe top scoring with 46, and the same could be said of the bowlers who were well led by Aussie Clint Gilbert (4-13).

After some early promise, Town fell apart, their last eight batsmen scoring just 16 runs as they collapsed to 64 all out to lose by 133 runs.

That win means it’s going to take an awful lot for Marsden and Evenwood to save their skins, but at least both showed on Saturday that they have plenty of fight left and haven’t thrown in the towel just yet.

Evenwood’s surprise victory over Dawdon was only their second of the summer, and it came courtesy of new signing Mohammad Sharif who pinned the visitors down in a 10.3 over spell in which he picked up 4-11. Set a target of 109 the bottom club eased to a four wicket win in 41 overs only to learn they were still some 68 points short of safety following Hylton’s big win.

Marsden faced tough opposition in the shape of Castle Eden, but they stuck to their task well after the Castle set them a target of 186-7 on the back of a half century from skipper Keith Bailey, and they ended on 126-7 with Malcolm Mann batting through most of the innings to finish on 55 not out.

The final top flight game lasted just 40 overs. Boldon CA were routed for 76 by the Easington attack of Jordan Wilson (5-37) and Sameer Haque (4-28), and then Adrian Hedley (31 from 29 balls) and Dave Tarn (30no) rushed the visitors to an eight wicket win.

BILL QUAY saw their lead over Durham in Division Two cut to just a single point when they surprisingly failed to overcome bottom club Peterlee.

Indeed, they almost lost the match when their hosts finished on 130-9, just six runs away from the Quay’s first innings total of 136-9.

Six wickets from home skipper Alex Laidler, and then a half century from Aussie Chris Moran, almost produced the shock of the season.

Meanwhile, Durham City were picking up the maximum 30 points, skittling Ushaw Moor for 79 and then knocking the runs off in double quick time with nine wickets to spare, Nick Maiolo (3-4 and 47 not out) once again their star turn.

And Whiteleas managed to make ground in third place with an emphatic 108-run defeat of hosts Shildon, skipper Ray McRae leading by example with 9 fours and a six in 93 as the Leas piled on 183-9 in 41 overs before handing over to Steve Martin (5-16) who shunted the Railwaymen aside for 75.

In the other two games Ryhope gained a welcome win at Murton, and Seaham Park defeated Silksworth. Chris Lawrence hit 58 as Ryhope successfully chased down a target of 132 with five wickets to spare, and John Sample’s 89 was supported by Ali Watson’s six wicket haul as the Park won by 95 runs.