NE Premier League: Chester-le-Street get a little extra help as they take 43-point lead into final three weeks of the season

Whiteleas bowler Abdul Ameer Afridi powers in against Silksworth in Saturday's Durham Cricket League match. Picture by Tim Richardson
Whiteleas bowler Abdul Ameer Afridi powers in against Silksworth in Saturday's Durham Cricket League match. Picture by Tim Richardson
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Chester-le-Street go into the final three games of the season with a 43-point lead at the top of the Premier Division.

The awful wet weather across the region intervened in all of the matches, with South North and Newcastle unable to make any ground up on the leaders, who secured an extra point, six to their rivals’ five.

Rain stops play at Washington, where the weekend clash with Willington did not even get started.

Rain stops play at Washington, where the weekend clash with Willington did not even get started.

The Cestrians’ last three games include away trips to former front-runners Newcastle and South North, sandwiched by a home derby fixture with the Durham Academy, meaning they could not hope for a harder run-in, but the cushion is large.

They managed to get seven points from their game, after restricting visitors Whitburn to just 67-5 off 34 overs and were able to increase their lead at the top by one point.

Liam Simpson removed opener Ben Shurben early on and then two wickets each for Andrew Bell (2-12) and John Harrison (2-9), had the visitors in big trouble, before the rain intervened. Daniel Woolston top-scored with 19.

Durham Academy played South Shields and the Wood Terrace outfit had made 101-4, before the washout.

Shields opener Tim David led the way with 34, while Liam Trevaskis (2-22) and George Harding (2-13) returned decent bowling figures.

Eppleton, in search of vital points to avoid the drop, travelled to Stockton and took eight points.

The Church Road men had the Teessiders 92-6 in serious trouble when the rains came, with opening bowler Paul Davidson returning 3-36, off his 10 overs, with Craig Scurr taking 2-7.

A rapid half-century by opener Allan Worthy (53, including eight fours and a six, off just 71 balls) got them off to a fine start, but they then lost four wickets for just 28 runs.

Eppleton are 33 points ahead of perennial late-season escape artists Gateshead Fell, who secured nine points from their abandoned clash with South North.

The visitors were really struggling at 102-8, with some brilliant opening bowling from Graham Onions (4-31) and Adam Whatley (3-31).

But then David Rutherford, coming in at nine, blasted 36 not out, before the rain came.

Tynemouth had Hetton Lyons 133-6 at Lilywhite Terrace, with Tahir Khan the main instigator.

He grabbed 3-26 and Andrew Smith took 2-58, before the weather intervened. Brydon Carse top-scored for the home side (33), with Robert Talbot making 32.

Newcastle travelled to Benwell Hill, but only managed to pick up six points. The home side batted first and lost Joe Moore early on, but then Phillip Nicholson (53), Mark Dale (45) and skipper Kyle Coetzer (50no) batted well for a total of 152-3, off 39.3 overs.

Nicholson and Dale put on 67 for the second wicket and then Nicholson and Coetzer added 83 for the third.

Of the five First Division games which made a start before the weather intervened, bottom club Tudhoe were the only team to pick six points, while everyone else made five points.

They had Burnmoor 54-2, with Paul Craig (24no) and Ross Hodgson (22no) making good progress.

In the other games, Boldon were 85-0 against Blaydon, with Chris Ellison cracking 51 not out.

Sunderland had progressed to 116-1, with batsmen Muhammad Khalil (60no) and Kamran Hussain (39no) totally in control at Seaham Harbour.

Felling in second place, were 61-0 at Brandon, with an unbroken partnership between Stuart Walker (20no) and Gary Scott (40no), before the rain came along.

Leaders Sacriston were 37-1, with Ian Jones on 21 not out, after Daniel Anderson had been bowled by Curtis Bihari for 15, at Mainsforth.

Washington’s home clash with Willington did not get started at all.