HORDEN’S 142-run humbling of Castle Eden propelled the East Durham side into second place in a congested top of the table in the Warmseal Durham Senior League.
Castle Eden had hoped the arrival of their new overseas man Habib Quereshi would signal a revival in their fortunes, but the heavy defeat saw them drop to the foot of the table and very much into relegation trouble.
Quereshi did well enough with the ball, picking up 3-34 in his 10-over stint, but with Graham Smith (33) adding stability at the top of the Horden innings, it gave Adelvin Phillip the freedom to play his shots and he smashed nine fours and two sixes in his 64 as the visitors totalled 215, only using 39 overs in the process.
But any fears they had handed Castle too much rope to score runs quickly evaporated as Gary Ward (5-33) and Adam Dixon (3-22) ripped through Castle, the home team bowled out for just 73 inside 30 overs.
The victory took Horden on to 154 points, just six behind leaders Kimblesworth, who were held to a draw at Norton, with the Teessiders’ last pair at the wicket when stumps were drawn.
Eppleton’s ambitions suffered a setback after they came off second-best in their home draw with Boldon.
Matthew Sampson-Barnes hit 14 fours and a six in a bristling 89 and with James Coyne hitting most of his unbeaten 58 in boundaries, Boldon rattled up a formidable 271-7 in 55 overs.
The total didn’t give Eppleton much incentive and they settled for safety as Kyle Davis batted through for an unbeaten 67 as the hosts closed on 129-7 after 41 overs, Sampson-Barnes ending a perfect personal day with five wickets.
Durham City experienced the joy of victory for the first time and their six-wicket success over Philadelphia was enough to lift them out of danger for the time being.
In a good all-round team effort, Subhan Christudas bagged 2-15 and scored 37 to take man-of-the-match honours.
It was also a good day for Felling, who earned only their second victory of the campaign with a seven-wicket success over Whitburn.
Skipper Ant Trotter (4-25) set up the chance and then Chris Goudie (64) led the successful run chase against a disappointed visiting team, who have now slipped to sixth after looking potential champions just a few weeks ago.
Burnmoor were held to their eighth draw in 12 matches as South Hetton fought hard to defy their hosts.
Jimmy Daley notched up another 62 runs, but with the other top order batsmen failing, it took an excellent unbroken sixth wicket partnership from Alec Linsley (42no) and Martin Thursfield (29no) to get Burnmoor up to 177-5 and a declaration, John Pendlington (3-25) impressing in the Hetton attack.
Mohammed Zahid (4-37) then kept chipping away at the visiting batsmen, who decided discretion was the better part of valour and dug in for a draw on 142-7.