RAMPANT Ryhope got their 3D Sports Durham Coast League season off to the most emphatic of starts as they hammered champions Boldon CA by 125 runs.
In arguably their best performance for many a year, Ryhope swept aside the title-holders, who lost on just one occasion in the whole of 2011.
And it was youngster Connor Pearson who was the inspiration, with a brilliant innings that battered the Boldon bowling.
Pearson rattled up 16 fours and two sixes in a 116-minute stay at the crease.
When he was eventually out he had made 101 from just 118 balls faced and put his team in a strong position on 207-7.
The only Boldon bowler to escape with decent figures was another young player, Ben Reay, who finished with four wickets for 33 runs from his 10 overs.
CA were then put to the sword by a four-pronged home attack and crumbled to 82 all out inside 30 overs.
Leading the hungry pack was James Summerside, who bagged three for 24 from 10 excellent overs and with Micky Thorpe (3-20), John Errington (2-25) and Chris Lawrence (2-8) also on song, there was just no let up for the chastened champs.
Murton made it two wins in two outings, thereby doubling their full season tally of 2011 victories within the first fortnight of the new campaign.
But this one was a much closer affair than their first, with Bill Quay battling to the very end before going down by a single wicket.
Quay struggled to 103 after John Sample and Keith Chapman had shared 24 overs. Chapman ended with figures of 4-24, while Sample had seven maidens in his stint, conceding just 14 runs for his three wickets.
Murton’s reply came in fits and starts. They appeared in bother when the first three wickets mustered just nine runs.
However, skipper Davey Hanson (35) and Jordan Vout (25) patched things up to such an extent it looked like being a breeze.
But a chill wind blew up again as a couple of impetuous run-outs and three wickets for Chris Little raised the prospect of a dramatic Quay win until late salvation was delivered by the final Murton pair.
Seaham Park claimed their first victory with a 41-run win at Hylton.
Dale Shaw (41) and Umar Akhtar (38) were the key players as Park put on 148 and then deadly duo Kamran Mansoor (4-45) and Alex Ludlow (5-24) did the business with the ball to put Hylton out for 107.
Dawdon were the day’s other winners, easily overcoming the challenge of Peterlee as David Coates (4-14) and Mark Ewart (3-17) spearheaded a home attack which saw the visitors skittled for 52, a total which did not test the hosts as they powered home without loss inside 10 overs.
Washington hit a stumbling block at Seaham Harbour where the home team denied them victory by clinging on at 60-8 in reply to a target of 181-6.
Lee Rushworth (49) and Darren Hickey (46) hit form to set the challenge to the home team, but that challenge was never taken up as the Harbour shut the gates for 40 overs.
Easington found Silksworth just as stubborn after setting the visitors 201 to win. The Silks showed much more application than their opening day horror show and held out comfortably enough on 111-7.