CHESTER-LE-STREET emerged victorious from their top-of-the-table clash to regain the lead of the table.
Blaydon arrived at Ropery Lane with high hopes they could increase their lead over the champions and after an excellent opening session they seemed to hold all the aces.
Joe Reynolds (4-66) took out the top four home batsmen with just 55 on the board and when that became 155-7 it was Blaydon who were the happiest, as they had just dismissed Liam Simpson for 49 and were expecting to wrap things up.
But then Andrew Tye took over, cracking seven fours and four sixes as he raced to 84 from 67 balls before being stumped, having contributed his runs out of 114 made when he was at the crease.
Such was the effect Tye had that Chester were able to declare within 60 overs on 258-9 and he then rubbed salt into Blaydon wounds by removing their two openers, including Mark Stoneman, in a searing opening burst.
Allan Worthy (54) and Geoff Stewart (41) then dug in for a lengthy vigil until Graeme Cessford (4-35) and Andrew Smith (2-1) wrapped things up as the Cestrians claimed victory by 81 runs with more than 10 overs left to play with.
The Durham Academy went run-crazy against Stockton at the Emirates ICG as Rami Singh recorded his second century in two weeks. The loss of two early wickets only seemed to inspire Singh and he cracked 13 fours and three sixes in a magnificent 141-ball 126.
Sameet Brar (69) and Usman Arshad (42) gave Singh excellent support as the youngsters raced to a declaration on a massive 316-8 after 60 overs.
The Teessiders were never really in the hunt, losing wickets at regular intervals in their reply as Keaton Jennings (3-35) and Arshad (3-31) led the Academy to a convincing 110-run win.
Sunderland halted a run of four successive defeats, but only by the narrow margin of two wickets against Tynemouth, who posted 244-9 first up after Ben Debnam (78) had given them an excellent start.
The Wearsiders shared the run-making duties around, Joe Coyne’s opening 45 being complemented by the next five batsmen all getting into the 20s or 30s, which gave the home team sufficient momentum to ease to their close win, despite a fine spell of bowling from Barry Stewart (5-46).
Hetton Lyons also had batsmen in form at Jesmond, with Ryan Pringle cracking 13 fours and a six in his 83 and Paul Riddle (52) and John Tindale (40no) on song.
But Newcastle proceeded to cruise past a demanding target of 252 with plenty of wickets and overs to spare, their assault led by a belligerent knock from Jamie Atkinson, who hit 16 boundaries, including five maximums, in a blistering 91.
In the day’s other games, Ali Maiden (96) set Benwell Hill on their way to a 180-run hammering of Gateshead Fell and South Shields remained rooted to the foot of the table after losing by 110 runs to South North.
H Sunderland held off Hetton Lyons by 19 runs to progress to the Banks Salver semi-finals yesterday, while Chester-le-Street outgunned South North by 95 runs.
Dan Shurben’s 82 helped Sunderland make 224-9, restricted by Dominic Metters’ 4-29. In reply, John Tindale (64) and Jarvis Clay (55) starred for Lyons, but Kieran Waterson’s 5-37 and Jaspreet Singh’s 4-45 helped bowl them out for 205.