Whitburn right back in contention after back-to-back wins

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If it gets any more crowded at the top of the Warmseal Durham Senior League table the executive will be levying a congestion charge!

Following another weekend of stormy weather, just two teams managed to make any real progress.

Whitburn and Norton were the only sides to record victories, the Teessiders emerging as the latest of seven teams in the log jam at the top of the table.

For Whitburn, who had gone from championship favourites to outsiders after a slump in form, their second win in a row moved them right back into contention in a season which has now witnessed 45 draws in 78 matches.

With a delayed start, and rain an ever present threat, Durham City were confined to 40 overs when they took first knock. A situation which gave an urgency to their batting that put them under pressure, particularly as Stuart Walker (4-39) and Aiden Bannister (3-37) kept picking up wickets.

Jake McCann (39) and Rob Flunder (32) managed to share 10 boundaries between them as City eased up to 159-9, a score that looked more than reasonable with further time being lost.

But Whitburn were determined not to let their chance slip, and with Walker cracking nine fours and a six in a rapid 58, and Andy Turns lofting three sixes and three other boundaries in an even more rapid 35, the home team rushed across the winning line in exactly 20 overs.

Philadelphia and Norton enjoyed an excellent battle at Bunker Hill before the visitors emerged victorious by just two wickets after successfully chasing down a target of 189.

Philadelphia were in early trouble after their first five batsmen mustered just 50 runs between them.

But 43 from Ian Hauxwell, followed by a wonderfully defiant 60 from number nine batsman Adam McGuire, making his homecoming debut, set a challenging total, but one the visitors were up to as late runs also saved them when they looked down and out on 160-8.

Castle Eden managed to haul themselves off the foot of the table, but only just as they clung to a draw at Kimblesworth with eight men down and only 120 on the board after 32 overs of defiance.

They had been set 181 to win by their hosts, but Colin Myers had ensured it would simply be a backs-to-the-wall job with a spell of 4-18.

The best of the other drawn games was at Boldon where a cloudburst saved the champions from almost certain defeat.

Skipper Chris Ellison (63) had been the driving force behind Boldon’s 40 over score of 171-7, and with 35 overs to get the runs Burnmoor looked sure to do so when standing on 163-4 with three overs left – but that’s when the heaven’s opened to make any further play impossible.

Owen Lancaster looked as though he had set up victory as he opened out with a half century for the Moor.

Eppleton’s big weekend turned into a bit of a damp squib with Friday’s washed out Armbrister final being followed by an abandoned game at Horden where the home team were 111-5 when the tide came in.