ON a day when the batsmen got their own back on the bowlers who have dominated this rain raddled summer, Burnmoor managed to extend their lead at the top of the Warmseal Durham Senior League to 37 points after easily dismissing the challenge of third-placed Felling.
Four centuries were scored around the league with firmer pitches seeing the number of runs scored increase significantly, although one side effect being that four of the six games ended in stalemate.
But there were no such problems for the Moor as they skittled hosts Felling for 75, the home team contributing to their own downfall with their first two batsmen run out before Brandon Scullard (2-16), Paul Davidson (3-33) and Gary Brown (3-19) mopped up the rest.
Phil Taylor (47) stood glaringly alone in the Felling innings, showing just what could be done with application, and Dave Lowther applied the same attributes as he eased the Moor to an eight-wicket success with an unbeaten 33, the visitors home and hosed inside 18 overs.
As expected Castle Eden (205-8) found Horden (157-6) a tough nut, and one they just couldn’t crack despite an unbeaten century from skipper John Spellman. Horden pro Massod Mirza is in a rich vein of form at the moment and he headlined again, picking up 4-40 and then holding his team together with an unbeaten 57.
The only other winners on the day were Whitburn, but Norton made them fight all the way before conceding a three-wicket defeat.
John Watson (67) and Patrick Mitchell (50no) enabled the Teessiders to reach a challenging total of 205-4, but Stuart Walker (45) combined with Neil Ayre (116) to set up an exciting win, even though Jon Kean (5-74) struck some late blows that made the home team have to scramble over the line in the dying moments.
There were plenty of runs at South Hetton, where the home side felt able to declare against Philadelphia on 234-6, half centuries from Alex Nicholson and Dan Stewart providing a much needed fillip to the home team’s confidence.
But an impressive second-wicket stand between Tom Raine (53) and Rob Johnston held out hope of a successful Phili run chase until John Leslie struck to remove the Aussie for an outstanding 102, a ton that included 17 fours and four sixes. A late clatter of wickets then subdued the visitors ambitions and they closed out on 202-7.
The fourth centurion was Stephen Meek. He hit 16 fours and a six in a vibrant 113 and this enabled Kimblesworth to set Eppleton a challenging 226-5.
The run chase never really got off the ground, and when Kyle Davis fell for 40 the visitors were left with a dig in job which they completed on 136-8.
Another team providing stubborn resistance were Marsden, who thwarted hosts Boldon with a backs to the wall effort.
Boldon had runs throughout the order as they notched up 184-6, and Nick Sampson-Barnes (4-34) then had Marsden on the rack as the first three batsmen to fall made just a single run between them. Cue Marsden skipper Chris Mann who did what he does best, digging in to salvage a draw for his side with an unbeaten 55 out of 102-5.