WITH all seven Readers Durham Cricket League First Division matches suffering decimation by downpour, the more hardy souls in the second tier managed quite a bit more play – with one outright result and one game where there was an extended period of play.
Seaham Park were the one team to defeat both the elements and their opponents, their home game against Shildon Railway done and dusted in a total of 42.1 overs.
It looked like the visiting batsmen were trying to catch a train as a couple of run outs heaped needless agony on an already ailing innings, and with John Sample (4-26 from 12 overs) and Alex Ludlow (3-18 from nine overs) travelling first class, Shildon were shunted aside for just 62 in 26 overs.
Park then steamed to an eight-wicket victory in 16.1 overs, skipper Dave Hanson (26 not out) and James Ferguson (26 not out) taking their side through to the final destination after a couple of their colleagues got off at an earlier stop.
There was plenty of play in the crucial meeting at Bill Quay between two teams who have their sights firmly set on promotion, and both will be relatively satisfied with the outcome given the fact that Durham City could only manage a limited amount of play at Langley Park, where they had the hosts on 61-5.
Whiteleas owed a huge debt to Owen Peterson, whose splendid innings rescued his side and then placed them out of Bill Quay’s reach. He dominated Leas’ innings, smashing an unbeaten 107 after his team got into early difficulties losing their first three batters for just 18 between them.
Peterson joined with opener Andrew Potts (49) initially in a salvage job, and then gave them lift off to a 35-over total of 187-4. He blasted nine fours and six sixes in his superb display, while Potts included six boundaries in his innings before falling one short of his half century.
Dave Brown claimed three of the wickets to fall in his nine over spell.
Quay gave the run chase a real go, but, with just 25 overs available, it was always a tall order, and they ended on 161-7, Jeff Tudor (33) and John Newstead (three fours and two sixes in 40) their main contributors.
Quay earned 12 points from the game, while Leas took 10, and that helped both improve their standing against the other main contenders, Durham City, who were restricted to a seven-point return at Langley Park.
The other two matches in the division fell victim to the weather halfway through the first innings, Murton standing on 81-5 at Ushaw Moor when the rains came, and Ryhope making it to 56-3 at neighbours Silksworth before their early bath.
In the First Division it was frustration all round with every single game aborted early in the afternoon, with very little meaningful play.
There were only 15 overs possible at Easington, but at least title-chasing Tudhoe were able to squeeze out three bowling points in that time.
With Burnmoor restricted in their efforts at Crook, it meant that their lead was reduced to just 12 points with nine games to go.
Kushen Kishun was causing all sorts of problems for Easington before the rain came to save them, the South African picking up four wickets for 26 runs in 7.4 overs. With Ian Grainger bagging another couple, the hosts were in disarray on 50-6, the disappointment for Tudhoe being that they got no further chance to ram home their advantage.
Burnmoor stood on 96-1 at Crook when their game ended, Stephen Meek making a half-century and Neil Young unbeaten on 35, but more worryingly key man Paul Craig had to retire hurt at the start of the game, the fear being that he could have suffered a fracture when struck on the hand.
Fortunately, hospital tests revealed just severe bruising and he should remain available as the run-in unravels.
It was all very similar elsewhere, the 16 overs of play at Marsden enabling Horden to reach 52-1, 22 overs at Boldon CA seeing the home team struggle to 49-3 against Philadelphia, Castle Eden reaching 80-1 in 16 overs against Evenwood, and Esh Winning making it to 46-3 at Dawdon before the inevitable curtain call.