Durham Cricket League: Lawson, Keen are five alive to bag rare Houghton victory

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The match of the day in Division Two saw Seaham Park produce a backs-to-the-wall performance to fend off title rivals Burnopfield.

But the story of the day came at bottom club Houghton, who won for only the second time this season.

The deadly duo of Niki Lawson (5-12) and Gavin Keen (5-15) turned on the style to skittle Silksworth for 65 to secure a 40-run victory for their team after they themselves had been bowled out for just 105, led by Adam Thompson (33) and Lawson (30no).

Stuart Middlemiss (5-26) and Ryan Jones (4-48) dominated the Houghton batters and thought they had set up a victory for the visitors.

Table-toppers Seaham Park dug in for 41 long and arduous overs to end on 58-6 and deny their title rivals, Burnopfield, the victory which would have sent them to the top of the table.

The visitors had amassed 180 in 45.5 overs, Gareth Breese once again to the fore with 12 boundaries in his 114-ball 86, while Michael Walker grabbed 4-64 and Michael McNicholas 3-22.

But then John Sample dropped anchor after the loss of an early wicket, batting through virtually the whole innings to end on 22 not out and defy the rampant Callum Thorp, who claimed 4-20 from his 10 overs.

The outcome was that Park take a 14-point lead into the final three matches, starting today.

Marsden were unable to gain any ground after a poor home display against Evenwood saw them clinging on at 121-8 in reply to 225-7. They are now 34 points off a promotion slot.

After six games without a win, Whiteleas got back on the trail with a four-wicket success against Murton.

Owen Peterson was their matchwinner with an unbeaten 73 which included five fours and five sixes as the home team successfully chased down a target of 186-6.

Ben Wicling (46) and fellow opener Lewis Aiken (31) were supported by Chris Winn (36) and Jordan Vout (40) for Murton, with Steve Martin snaffling 4-50. Winn took 4-60 in Leas’ reply,

Peterlee claimed a four-wicket win over Littletown, who were all out for 186, with Shashikant Kadam (79) and Dan Pearson (32) top-scoring as Strong bagged 4-61. Aaron Shellie (55) and Joseph Spalding (48) steered Peterlee home, despite Kadam’s 3-48.