Boldon go boldly on

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THE Warmseal Durham Senior League is up and running at last and Boldon have already laid down a marker following an opening day victory over champions Kimblesworth.

These two teams were evenly matched last term, losing just two games each in the whole campaign.

And there was very little to choose between them again on Saturday, with Boldon easing to a nerve-tingling two-wicket victory in a game dominated by the bowlers.

The one batsman to come to terms with the conditions was Stephen Meek, the Kimblesworth opener making 50 out of his side’s total of 101.

Only one more player reached double figures for the visitors as Michael Walker (5-16) and Karl Bellerby (3-16) ruled the roost.

But Boldon found it just as much of a struggle at the crease.

Their top individual score was 12 and but for a generous donation of 29 extras from the visiting attack, the result could have been very different as Adam Tinnion took five wickets on his debut for the champions.

It was the pairing of Gareth Smith (10no) and Geoff Sargon (5no) who played the heroic part, sharing in a match-winning ninth wicket stand that shredded one or two nerves.

Burnmoor got their campaign off to a flier by doing something they struggled to do on numerous occasions last season – bowl out the opposition.

And it was well worth it as the 28 points they collected for doing so took them to the top of the day one table.

Jimmy Daley did what Jimmy Daley does – rattled up some quickfire runs to make batting look easy while others struggled.

He hit nine fours and a six in a 73-ball 67 at Durham, sharing in an opening stand of 97 with Owen Lancaster (34).

Once he had gone, the other mere mortals eased Burnmoor up to 186-9 in 48 overs.

It was then over to the visiting attack, with South African Brandon Scullard picking up three wickets on his debut.

However, that was merely a pleasing sideshow to the main event from Ian Conn, who was straight in the groove with 6-37 as City were bowled out for 115.

Their last wicket put on 47 as Aussie Nick Hobson ended unbeaten on 71.

There were results in the other four games as well – quite a turnaround from 2011 when over 60 per cent of all matches ended in draws.

Eppleton squeezed out a solid five-wicket victory over Whitburn with an excellent all-round team performance, but South Hetton disappointed in their home game against Felling.

They did the hard work by bowling out the visitors for 120 and then proceeded to implode by collapsing to 96 all out themselves.

Short-handed Philadelphia came unstuck at Castle Eden, where Alan Unsworth picked up six for 31 in 14.5 overs to leave Phili (70 all out) staring down the barrel.

The Castle then pulled the winning drawbridge up by eight wickets to get their season off on a positive note.

So, too, did Horden, who swamped Norton by 10 wickets as Gary Ward (5-24) and Masood Mirza (3-10) skittled the Teessiders for a meagre 50.