Boldon CA beat the weather and their opposition to pile the pressure on Seaham Park at the top of the Durham Coast League.
The two teams’ games were the only ones in the whole of the local leagues to survive yet another Saturday washout.
Seaham Park were in the Durham Coast League driving seat prior to the latest weather-beaten episode of a soggy campaign and remain in charge of the steering wheel – but only just.
Park did everything to get their home game with Ryhope on, but it very nearly backfired as the visitors came close to pulling off what would have been only their third victory of a difficult season.
Everything seemed to be going to the Park plan as they bowled the visitors out for a modest 130 in 40 overs.
Leading wicket taker Ali Watson was once again the cutting edge for the leaders, picking up 5-23 in nine hostile overs and with Stuart Pattison chipping in with 3-19, it looked like a home banker, despite a defiant 55 from opener Lee Gilbert, who carried his bat through the innings.
But then things started to go wrong as wickets tumbled and at 79-7 things were looking blacker than the sky for the home side.
Alex Ludlow (25) then joined immoveable opener Dave Hanson (40no) in an eighth-wicket partnership of 38 that got the title juices flowing again.
However, when two wickets fell back to back with the score on 117 it was left to skipper Mike McNicholas to stave off defeat as he survived the final five balls of the game.
Just how crucial those additional five draw points prove to be will be known in a fortnight, but what they did do was ensure Park stayed on top of the table.
But their lead is now down to just three points following a maximum from Boldon CA in their home game against Peterlee.
CA didn’t hang about as they rattled up a score of 201-1 in 37.5 overs and then declared, Dave Tate hitting a glorious 105no, a century which included 11 fours and four sixes.
Both Andy McCord (43no) and Carl Watson (36) added to the Tate gallery, sharing 10 boundaries of their own as Boldon laid down the gauntlet.
Peterlee were then dumped out for just 86, David Batty (4-12) and Tommy Nixon (3-17) ripping through them inside 28 overs to earn their side the full 25 points that will undoubtedly pressurise Park in the final two matches.
However, elsewhere it was a complete washout for the fourth time this season as the whole NEPL programme was washed away as the torrential and prolonged downpours took a terrible toll.
With just three games now left to play, today’s bank holiday programme has taken on even more significance, with much likely to hinge on the result of the game at Roseworth Terrace, where second-placed South North take on the leaders Chester-le-Street.
And there’s even less time left in the Durham Senior League as they, too, suffered their fourth blank of the summer, something that won’t have unduly worried Kimblesworth as it kept their 12-point lead over Boldon intact as well as meaning third-placed Burnmoor are out of contention barring any late miracles.
With no bank holiday fixtures in the league, Boldon end their campaign with two home games against South Hetton and Horden over the next two weekends.
Kimblesworth play at Felling and then go for glory on their own patch with a match against a struggling Durham City side.