Readers Durham Cricket League by Chris West
THE first programme of the bank holiday double header saw Dawdon become outright leaders of the early-season table, and with Burnmoor tucked in behind them in second spot, the meeting between the pair this afternoon is likely to be an enthralling affair.
Horden were another side putting down a challenging marker on Saturday when they sprang a surprise by overcoming a fancied Philadelphia team.
Easington are next up for Horden today, and they will still be smarting by the manner of their defeat at the hands of Dawdon.
They were unceremoniously bundled out by the Green Drive men for an inadequate 73, the innings littered with six ducks as Anthony Watson ran through the lower order in double quick time to end with 5-21.
Stephen Gale’s opening 36 then virtually ended the match as a contest and Dawdon romped to an eight-wicket win with the minimum of fuss.
Meanwhile, Burnmoor were rocking in their home game against Boldon CA.
The defending champions were in desperate straits on 79-7 before skipper Alec Linsley (33 not out) joined young McKenzie Wright (50 not out) in a match-saving unbroken eighth-wicket partnership of 87 that eased concerns.
These two took the Moor through to 166-7 in 50 overs, and then the home attack took devastating control as CA crumbled to 49-7.
Enter skipper Tommy Nixon (35 not out) along with Ian Male (10 not out) to park the bus and frustrate the Moor attack right through to the end of 44 overs when stumps were mercifully drawn with Boldon on 77-7.
Horden look to have found a useful overseas player in Sahil Madgaonkar from Mumbai.
The Indian dominated the home game against Phili, cracking a 98-ball 84 with six fours and a six as Horden posted 150 all out, and then claiming three cheap wickets as the visitors were bundled out for 121, Adam Dixon (4-29) providing the most effective support.
Phili had their own top performers in the shape of Stephen Robinson (5-28 from 12 effective overs) and Mirza Baig with 3-31, and the injured Lee Innes was still able to contribute 44 from 55 balls with the bat.
But these contributions were not enough to avoid a 29-run defeat.
Tudhoe blasted out a warning to the rest of the pack with an impressive 84-run home win over Hylton.
Simon Davies was at his very best for the hosts, cracking six fours and seven sixes on his way to 112, and that innings lifted Tudhoe to a 44th over declaration on 210-9.
Gavin Barnes and Alan Mustard did well enough in the Hylton attack as they shared six wickets, but only James Waller (32 not out) looked likely to stave off defeat as the Wearsiders were rolled over for 126 inside 38 overs, with Ian Grainger (4-25) heading the Tudhoe strike force.
Castle Eden recorded a useful victory on a bowler-friendly wicket at Crook which saw 16 wickets fall whilst just 151 runs were scored.
New pro Prateek Dabholkah (4-17) and Richard Ede (4-29) combined effectively to topple the home side for just 75, and then Alan Unsworth kept his head while others struggled and his unbeaten 40 eased Castle Eden to their four-wicket success.
After a first week washout, Esh Winning kick-started their campaign with a 20-run home victory over Marsden in a low-scoring game.
Jalat Khan took the undoubted man-of-the-match accolades in this one, his knock of 66, which included three sixes and seven other boundaries, underpinning Esh’s 41.2 over total of 131-9.
He then went on to claim 5-20 as Marsden were bowled out for 111 despite Connor Elliott carrying his bat for an undefeated 58.
In the final top-flight game, Gary Cummings’ five wickets did for Evenwood, who lost by 42 runs at Mainsforth.
Duham City lead the way in Division Two following a surprisingly comfortable 50-run victory over Seaham Park.
City were bundled out for a modest 102 but then found the match winner in Tom O’Neill, who bagged 5-12 to leave Seaham stranded well short on 52.
Bill Quay are second following a 96-run home win over Langley Park, the success mainly inspired by Berwick Hall’s blistering 94 which included no fewer than seven sixes.
After a free week on the season’s opening day, Whiteleas produced a maximum points haul from their 74-run beating of Murton to move into third spot, with a game in hand on the two teams ahead of them.
New pro Hamad Ul-Hassan (82 not out) earned his debut corn.
Ryhope gave credence to the view that they will be among the promotion contenders with a six-wicket home victory over Ushaw Moor.
Connor Cheal (4-15 from 7.4 overs) undid the Moor for 135, and then close-season signing Adrian Hedley cracked a 33-ball 47, which included three maximums, to propel the hosts to their success in just 28 overs.
Silksworth were the other winners.
Jon Hayes (3-41) and Michael Underwood (4-29) combined to bowl Peterlee out for 109. Despite young Aussie Chris Moran causing a few flutters with five wickets, he could not divert Silksworth from a four-wicket win as Michael Nicholson (35) and Paul Howe (36no) gave the chase solidity in a second-wicket stand of substance.