HORDEN built on their shock defeat of Readers Durham Cricket League First Division title-chasing Burnmoor with victory over rock-bottom Evenwood in a game lasting a total of just 28.3 overs.
Skipper Carl Watson blew away the Evenwood batting in an eight-over burst in which he claimed 6-18, and with Sahil Madgaonkar (4-34) adding his considerable input the visitors were skittled for 57.
Horden then wrapped up an eight-wicket win in just 11.2 overs as Madgaonkar cracked seven boundaries in an unbeaten 34 from 34 balls.
It was a case of “to me, to you” at the top – but there wasn’t a Chuckle Brother in sight as Burnmoor and Dawdon played pass the parcel again with the leadership.
Burnmoor did the chuckling as they went back into pole position with a hard-fought victory over Mainsforth while their rivals were being held at Castle Eden.
Just one week after losing their unbeaten record, Moor recovered their composure, their first defeat of the season put firmly behind them as South African Brydon Carse turned in an excellent all-round performance to earn his side a 35-run victory.
After the loss of a couple of early wickets, Carse (62) and Paul Craig (32) settled home nerves in a third-wicket fightback. When Karl Bellerby (32) added some late runs, Burnmoor felt secure enough to declare with 187-6 on the board.
A similar move the previous week had ended in a shock defeat to Horden, but Carse (3-21) and Gary Brown (4-46) ensured there was no repeat as Mainsforth were bowled out for 152.
Castle Eden’s in and out form has made them potentially dangerous opponents, and Dawdon found the going tough as the home openers, Liam Irwin (76) and Dean Langridge, put on 150, Langridge then carrying his bat for an unbeaten 94 as a declaration came on 206-4.
The visitors had plenty of batsmen getting a start in the run chase, but none could go on to make a decisive contribution, and with defeat looming at one stage with seven wickets down, the eventual final total of 200-7 owed much to the resilience of Craig Price (34no) and James Dent (30no), who first of all saved the day, and then nearly earned their side an unexpected victory.
Hylton travelled to Esh Winning with three wins in their last five matches tucked under their belt, but they found no joy against the title chasers, who grabbed a maximum points haul to put the pressure on the teams above them.
Stuart Hall (73), Michael Oughton (72) and Jalat Khan (67 not out) powered Esh to a declaration on 255-5, and then the splendid Khan (4-16), along with Paul Chivers (3-29), bundled Hylton out for 163.
Alan Mustard (4-45 and 22) and Chris Allan (51) at least derived some personal satisfaction from a tough day.
Marsden secured a much-needed victory, their win at Easington lifting them out of the bottom two at the expense of their hosts.
Mark Woodhead (5-18) and Paul Snaith (4-27) routed Easington for 50, but it wasn’t all plain sailing for Marsden as they lost six wickets in scrambling past the meagre target.
Philadelphia had a bit of leather chasing to do at Tudhoe as Simon Davies hit an undefeated century out of an impressive total of 254-8, although, among the bowling debris, Stephen Robinson continued his splendid season with a spell of 4-45.
Shaun Hauxwell was then in the runs again, but his 83 stood glaringly alone as Phili were left hanging on at 169-8 when stumps were drawn.