A HEAVY defeat for Boldon left the way clear for Whitburn to take over at the top on Saturday, despite only drawing at Horden.
Whitburn had to settle for a share of the spoils in a game reduced to 92 overs, but the 12 points they picked up were enough to take them above a Boldon side who could only collect four batting points from a shock reverse against Kimblesworth.
Stuart Walker’s stupendous recent form continued as he flayed the Horden attack to all parts through the Whitburn innings.
Walker cracked 17 fours and a six in an unbeaten 133 out of a declared total of 234-5 in 46.4 overs.
Horden were never in any trouble when they replied, but neither did they threaten to win, despite an opening stand of 66 between Stephen McCoy (51) and Afzal Chouge (43).
Neil Johnson’s nagging accuracy put paid to any home ambitions as he picked up a miserly 3-34 in his 15 overs, with the home team happy to settle for safety on 174-5.
Kimblesworth were tipped to do well and are starting to live up to that billing, following up last week’s victory over South Hetton with a nine-wicket success against champions Boldon.
Andrew Biggs made it 12 wickets in two matches as he picked up 5-45 to pin Boldon to 201-6.
Only Matthew Sampson-Barnes (59) showed any potential to stick around with James Coyne (97no) and the leaders were to pay the ultimate price as Stephen Meek (61), Sam MacPherson (75no) and Michael Fishwick (34no) made a tough task look relatively simple.
Philadelphia were flying a few weeks ago but now appear to be in freefall, a seven-wicket defeat at South Hetton their latest reverse.
Tom Raine (43) and David Craig (66) gave Phili a solid start, but the innings fell away as John Pendlington’s burst of 5-45 sent them tumbling to 161 all out, Neil Young (65) and Liam Irving (56no) then masterminding the successful Hetton run chase.
Sura Malinga, right, has taken time to warm up at Eppleton, but he emerged as man-of-the-match in the home win over Castle Eden, bagging 5-32 as Castle crumbled for 138 and then hitting an unbeaten 41 to take his team to a five-wicket success.
Jimmy Daley rattled up yet another ton in Burnmoor’s home game against Norton, but once again the home team struggled to unseat stubborn opponents, who clung on for a draw on 173-7, 43 runs behind Moor’s 216-4 declared.
Concerns are mounting at Durham following their defeat at the hands of Felling – a loss that sent City to the foot of the table.
After collapsing to 99 all out there was just no way back for Durham as Chris Goudie (3-17 and 39no) inspired Felling to their first win of the season, enabling them to leapfrog their dejected opponents.