NE Premier League: Sacriston dream dies as Felling clinch First Division title and promotion in last-day decider

Washington batsman Aidan Beck survives at Ashbrooke. Picture by Tim Richardson
Washington batsman Aidan Beck survives at Ashbrooke. Picture by Tim Richardson
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Felling clinched promotion to the Premier Division, when they held off the challenge of unbeaten Sacriston at High Heworth Lane on Saturday.

Second-top Sacriston had to win the game, but they crucially lost the toss and the home side decided to bat first, scoring 223-9 in the process.

Sunderland bowler James Davies powers in against Washington at Ashbrooke

Sunderland bowler James Davies powers in against Washington at Ashbrooke

An opening stand of 92 between skipper Stuart Walker (78) and Gary Scott (57) put them on their way, with Walker hitting 11 boundaries to Scott’s eight.

This alleviated the nerves and Ian Hunter added 31. Graeme Bridge claimed brilliant figures of 5-35 and Callum Appleby took 3-50, but Sacriston still faced a daunting challenge.

Sacriston lost Dan Anderson for 16 at 42-1 as Scott took the first wicket, adding 39 for the second before fellow opener Ian Jones departed for 26.

Martin Hubber made 11 as Sacriston slipped to 107-3. Will Gidman (69 not out, with nine boundaries) and Reece Carr (41 not out, with five fours) kept them alive with an unbroken partnership of 77. However, the umpires were getting concerned with the light and eventually took the players off for bad light, with the score on 184-3, with only 40.3 overs bowled.

With the points as they were, Felling won the league by four points and although Sacriston went unbeaten throughout the season, they were pipped at the post.

Tudhoe were relegated after they lost at home to Brandon, who piled up 281-6.

Chris Peareth scored a brilliant 104, with Ryan Nicholson adding 41. Matthew Brown posted a half century (53) and David Lawlor hit 37 not out. Harrison Whitfield returned creditable bowling figures (3-71) in the batting blitz.

Tudhoe were never in it and lost early and regular wickets, with opening bowler Moin Ashraf claiming 6-57, in an excellent spell. Stephen Newton, with a hefty 40 batting at number 10, was the only highlight of the home side’s batting, as they struggled to 135 all out.

This result meant that Blaydon survived, even though they went down heavily at Seaham Harbour.

Set 245 to win, after Dale Shaw (69, with 11 fours and a six) and Ian Pattison (57, with nine fours and a six) both hit half-centuries after Mark Marwood had scored 34. Andrew Boal added 29 not out down the order.

The visitors really struggled after opener Paul Underwood was out for 53. Only a late burst by Sam Henderson (39) made the score somewhat respectable as they were all out for 146.

Craig Stephenson plundered 3-58, while Dylan Bacon and Dale Shaw both struck twice.

Willington finished a creditable third, but lost heavily at home to Burnmoor, who secured a fourth-placed finish.

The visitors scored a massive 280-7, with Steven Meek (55), Paul Craig (65), Karl Bellerby (31) and Liam Purdy (34) all contributing.

Burnmoor’s Purdy (3-22) and Bellerby (5-31) Moor’s mammoth win, by 191 runs. Connor Hodgson top scored with 23 in a poor display of batting by Willington.

Sunderland lost at home to Washington by 17 runs, with the visitors only managing 101 all out.

Zaheer Shahbaz took (4-23) and Greg Applegarth (2-4) to skittle the Harraton side.

But, in reply, the Ashbrooke outfit could only muster 84 all out, with Sam Brigham top scoring (28). On the bowling front, Trent Mais took a remarkable 7-50 to steer Washington home

Mainsforth had a very comfortable win at Boldon by nine wickets. The home side batted first and only scored 117 all out, with Phil Shakespeare (38) top-scoring, batting at number nine. Jonny Barnes (3-8) and Curtis Bihari (5-63) were the visitors’ bowling heroes.

Robert Chismon then smashed 56 not out and Muhammad Laghari added 45 not out to seal an easy win.