Hylton failed to secure victory against Bill Quay to stay deep in relegation trouble – but they have slashed the gap to third-bottom Easington to just nine points.
Alan Mustard’s side could only draw their home game with Quay, but they earned 16 points for their troubles, giving them a glimmer of hope for the final couple of weeks.
Quay’s Usman Malvi hit five fours and three sixes on his way to a century, in the process lifting his side to a formidable 252-9, with Mustard grabbing 3-78.
Mustard (seven fours and a six in 64) and Adam Bewick (nine fours and five sixes in a belligerent 93) put Hylton in with a real chance of victory, until Micky Orridge (4-48) intervened, with the Castletown side pegged back to 240-9 from just 40 overs of batting.
Meanwhile, relegation rivals Easington (171 all out) managed to stop Castle Eden beating them, but only just with the home team on 168-7 at the close.
Stuart Pattison’s unbeaten 70 from 103 deliveries gave visitors Easington a fighting chance, even though Dan Baldwin returned impressive figures of 5-34 from 11 overs, but then Dean Langridge (71 from 90 balls) looked likely to become king of the Castle until visiting skipper Dane Wilson put the brakes on with 5-38 in 12 overs.
Already-relegated Boldon CA won for the first time this season – a marvellous outcome for a club with heart who have battled with dignity in the face of adversity.
Before Saturday ’s clash with Crook Town, CA had played 19 matches and only amassed 33 points in total after 18 defeats and a washout, but George Lincoln (4-14) and Sean Smith (3-42) combined to bowl out Town for 101, and then an unbeaten 42 in 61 balls from Adam Slater secured the shock of the summer.
Esh Winning moved to within eight points of the title as the game against their main rivals ended in stalemate, and it could be they are celebrating sooner rather than later as Mainsforth need more than 22 points from their game in hand, against Horden today, to take the fight into this coming weekend.
The champions-elect were led from the front by skipper Dave Lawlor, who hit six fours and four sixes on his way to an opening 71. With Paul Chivers adding a late 53, Esh set a target of 182-7.
Chivers proved the difference with the ball, picking up 4-32 from 12 overs after Lee Hutton (32) and Brady Smith (58) had briefly threatened to spoil the party. The home team finished on 155-7.
Durham City’s faint title hopes evaporated altogether as hosts Dawdon blew them away for 46 in 17.4 overs, the last seven wickets crashing for just eight runs as John Leslie ripped through them with a breathtaking spell of 7-16, backed by Richard Ede’s 3-30.
Dawdon then romped to a 10-wicket success inside 11 overs to leave their opponents pointless.
Horden drew with Philadelphia. The Colliers made 212-9, with Wayne Birks (57) and Scott Birks (34) leading the way, while Adam McGuire bagged 4-37, with Steve Wright and Halliday striking twice.
Phili got within 21 runs of victory, ending on 192-4 as Shaun Smith made 91 and Shaun Hauxwell 60. Scott Birks took the wickets of both openers.