DAWDON are the new 3D Sports Durham Coast League leaders after former top dogs Murton crashed to another defeat as their batting imploded once more.
Murton looked to be in the ascendancy when they dismissed visitors Seaham Park for just 131 in 40 overs, Richard Bentley and Jordan Vout sharing eight of the wickets to fall. But for the second time in the last few weeks their batting collapsed spectacularly as they were skittled for 53 to lose by 78 runs.
Alex Ludlow was the main architect of their downfall, bowling 12 almost unplayable overs, nine of those without conceding a run, to end with an analysis of 5-10. With Michael Evans and Farukh Iqbal grabbing a brace apiece there was no escape as the resistance was ended in the 34th over.
With just five points to add to their wafer thin one point advantage at the start of play it was no wonder Murton’s season long dominance of the table came to an end, but at least it could have been worse as Dawdon went top on the back of a home draw which earned just 11 points for their own tally.
Dawdon looked to be heading for big things against Ryhope when Jamie Greenwood (53) and Shoaib Akhtar (39) were sharing an impressive third wicket partnership, but when both went in quick succession it all went a bit pear shaped as James Errington (5-39) struck back.
The final total was 148 in 48 overs, but then it was Ryhope’s turn to struggle as David Coates (3-15 in 10 overs) and Liam Cowell (4-5 in 8 overs) applied terrific pressure to leave the visitors down to their last pairing who salvaged a draw on 109-9 after 35 overs.
Easington managed to make up a little bit of ground on both the teams above them, but they were also grateful to their last two men for seeing out a few nervous balls to earn a draw at Seaham Harbour.
Andrew Stephenson (81) was the inspiration behind the Harbour’s declared score of 190 for 8, and then Dave Tarn (56) and Ben Wilson (32no) played key middle order roles as Easington came within 16 runs of victory on 175-9.
Boldon CA appear to have completely turned their season around. After going 14 games without a win, they made it three victories on the trot with a comprehensive defeat of Bill Quay which was a triumph of team effort.
CA struggled to 154-8 before declaring after 48 overs, Tommy Nixon their top scorer with 32. Quay were then unlocked for 93 inside 28 overs as Carl Watson (4-22) and Mark Cox (3-12) did the business with the ball.
In the day’s final game, the weather had the last laugh after Peterlee had recovered from a horrible start to total 148 and put Washington on the rack at 18-3. A thunderstorm then ended what looked like building into a closely fought game.
Sacriston look as likely as anyone to challenge Swalwell’s superiority in the NTSL, and they made it three wins in a row with a 68 run home win over Morpeth.
A third century in four games from the brilliant Moh Ali set Sacriston on their way, and then 54 from youngster Reece Carr, and a bruising 91 from Ian Hunter, rushed their team to a formidable 311-4. Morpeth hit back well through Jonny Wailes (87), but it was always too big an ask and they eventually fell for 245.