THE championship will be decided on the final day of the season this Saturday.
After another day when rain wrecked most of the programme, leaders Kimblesworth and last season’s champions Boldon remain separated by 12 points with both having to settle for drawn finishes in their respective games.
Each took 11 points, with Kimblesworth having lost two hours play at Felling and Boldon’s clash with South Hetton being interrupted by the rain six times.
Kimblesworth, who will entertain bottom club Durham City in next Saturday’s finale as Boldon meet mid-table Horden, will fancy their chances of clinching the title.
They were in a strong position in this weekend’s penultimate fixture before the weather became the only winner.
Sam MacPherson, Craig Burke and Paul Craig all hit half centuries as the leaders romped to an impressive 225-3.
MacPherson, with the top individual score of 57, shared partnerships with Burke, who made exactly 50, and Craig, who went on to remain unbeaten with 53 after an unbroken stand with Mike Fishwick, who finished on 38 not out.
Felling had lost two early wickets for only 45 runs when the game was concluded.
After all the rain interruptions, Boldon were left without enough time to push home their advantage against South Hetton.
Mike Walker with 65, including 44 in boundaries, gave them the perfect start to an innings which saw them top the 200 mark in 46 overs.
Geoff Houmark finished with an unbeaten 42. Neil Young (61) gave South Hetton a powerful start but once Karl Bellerby got into his stride the wickets began to tumble.
He finished with 3-45 runs as Hetton responded with 119-4 from the 27 overs to which they were restricted.
The only game in the entire day’s programme to reach a conclusion was at Horden where Norton were well beaten.
The Teessiders had an uncomfortable day against Gary Ward (5-58) and Adam Dixon (3-33 from 15 overs) as they were bowled out for 142. Only Aslan Riaz, who top scored with 49, put up a fight.
When Horden replied, Stephen McCoy (54) and John Minnis (50 not out) always looked more at ease, and a seven wicket victory was their reward.
The three remaining games at Burnmoor, Eppleton and Durham City failed to get beyond the half way stages. Sura Malinga (3-26) had Whitburn in trouble on 102-6 when the rain ended Eppleton’s visit, while Burnmoor (117-6) against Philadelphia and Castle Eden (122-3) at the City ground suffered early finishes, although the two extra bonus points Phili collected lifted them off the foot of the table as they passed the wooden spoon to Durham for the time being.