Big shock as Burnmoor slip out of top two

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A WHEEL has come off the Burnmoor bandwagon in the Readers Durham Cricket League, and it doesn’t just look like a simple puncture repair job will do.

The seemingly invincible champions suffered an almost unprecedented third defeat in six outings on Saturday to not only lose their place at the summit, but also in the top two.

They gave up the fight alarmingly easily against Castle Eden. Their latest humbling could not have been more emphatic, going down by nine wickets to a side who had hoped to parade their new overseas signing, but instead managed to get the job done comfortably enough without him.

The home team were rolled over for just 103 in 39 overs, with skipper Keith Bailey (4-22) and Ryan Ball (4-20) in top form. John Spellman junior then guided his side to their win with an unbeaten 49 as the visitors triumphed inside 25 overs.

With just a single point gained, Burnmoor were certain to lose their position at the head of the table and Tudhoe’s route to the top was painless – at least it was for them, although not so for the visiting Marsden team who were sent home pointless after being skittled for 76 in 21.4 overs as Kishen Kushen (5-44) and Ian Grainger (5-26) completely undid them.

Grainger went on to blast an unbeaten 42 from 35 balls as Tudhoe won by nine wickets inside 13 overs.

Esh Winning were the biggest movers among the leading pack, taking maximum points from their home thrashing of Easington by 132 runs, the victory moving them into second spot, just 14 behind the new table-toppers Tudhoe.

There were half-centuries for Michael Bussey, Steven Jackson and Jon Hodgson as Esh piled on 252-6 before declaring in the 43rd over, although they did not need anywhere near the number of overs they had given themselves as Easington were blown away for just 120 in 22 overs, Ryan Moralee picking up the excellent figures of 4-9 in 5.3 overs.

The game of the day came at Bunker Hill, where hosts Philadelphia squeezed out a five-run win over Mainsforth after setting their opponents a target of 198-4.

Anthony Hornby made 79 from 97 balls, his innings including 14 fours and two sixes, but then he had to retire after being injured and it was left to skipper Shaun Smith (48 not out) to provide the finishing touches to the home innings.

Mainsforth looked in control of their response, but, when in sight of victory, a calamitous collapse saw their last five men muster 11 runs between them as Stephen Robinson (5-54) and Lee Innes (3-30) grabbed an unlikely victory for the hosts.

In the other top-flight games, Steve Chapman (3-35 and 79 not out) spearheaded Crook’s seven-wicket win over a fast-fading Dawdon, Sahil Madgaonkar (131 not out with 12 fours and five sixes) and Adam Dixon (5-11) enabled Horden to hammer Hylton by 135 runs, and Boldon CA scrambled to a two-wicket success over bottom club Evenwood after Ian Male had posted notice of intent with a spell of 7-31.