IN a complete washout in the Warmseal Durham Senior League, not one single match over the double weekend was completed, with a miserable Saturday being followed by a soggy Sunday.
With the whole programme spoilt, the spotlight fell on Jimmy Daley, who hit 101 not out for Burnmoor at Castle Eden in the first game of the weekend, a knock that included 16 fours and four sixes.
It was the former Durham man’s fourth consecutive league ton and eased his batting average above the 200 mark!
The other feature on a dispiriting Saturday afternoon was that Kimblesworth’s star continues to rise.
They put on 175-9 in their home match against Eppleton, Stephen Meek cracking seven fours and five sixes in his 78 before grabbing 2-2 to help reduce the visitors to 48-5 before the early closure.
With no team having enough time to force a result, it meant the table was little changed going into yesterday’s matches.
However, the eight points Boldon managed to cobble together from their match at Bunker Hill returned them to the top of the table by a single point from Whitburn, who never even got out of the starting blocks.
And at least it set up a grand Sunday showdown between first and second – or at least that was the theory. However, the practice proved rather different.
Forecasts suggested the rain would return with a vengeance by mid-afternoon and they proved depressingly correct, with Whitburn standing on 167-5 when the end came.
Stuart Walker’s fabulous run came to an end, but at least he got another 65 runs under his belt before he lost his wicket for the first time in many weeks.
Walker and Neil Ayre (51) enjoyed a second-wicket partnership of 108 with the game nicely poised after Boldon battled back.
Both sides took seven points to leave Boldon still one clear, but Kimblesworth clawed an additional point back in their draw at Burnmoor and are now looking menacing in third place, just two points behind Whitburn.
However, their main claim to fame yesterday was that they got the master blaster out.
Jimmy Daley was just warming up with eight boundaries in 38 when he tried to launch his first six and was caught on the boundary – to bring his average plummeting down to a mere 160.
Burnmoor were 152-7 when the tide came in, but they remain within touching distance of the leaders, with only 26 points to make up.
Durham City were the most frustrated by yesterday’s events as they looked poised to gain their first victory and ease their relegation worries.
Visitors Norton were cruising along at 57-2 when Subhan Christudas was introduced to the City attack.
Just 35 runs later, the Teessiders were all out for 92, Christudas picking up impressive figures of five wickets for 10 runs.
However, even though the innings was wrapped up inside 26 overs, unlucky Durham did not get the chance to launch a much-needed victory charge.
Castle Eden also looked in a strong position at Felling, where they reduced the home side to 89-6 in 42.2 overs, Alan Unsworth (3-22) and Ryan Ball (2-12) doing the damage.
However, even though Felling escaped they now only have a four-point margin of safety over Durham at the foot of the table.
Neil Mulvaney burst back to form for Philadelphia after a quiet spell.
He came to the crease with Eppleton’s Sura Malinga rampant and smacked 10 fours and seven sixes in a rumbustious 91.
With Ian Hauxwell also cracking along, with seven fours and a six in his 43, Phili had reached 192-6 in 43 overs, Malinga’s figures still pretty impressive as he took 5-43 in a 15-over burst.
South Hetton’s John Pendlington caused hosts Horden problems, sending down 13 overs, to pick up 4-32.
But with Horden tottering on 122-8 after 39 overs, the match became the last sad victim of the weekend.