EASINGTON pulled off their best performance to date when they defeated the powerful Kimblesworth, in the Readers Durham Cricket League, with an outstanding display that left their illustrious opponents floored by six wickets.
Paul Craig couldn’t have done much more for the beaten visitors – he hit 14 fours and three sixes on his way to a century – but with Kamran Mansoor (3-50) and Mirza Baig (3-37) working their way through the rest, Kimblesworth slid to 158 all out in just 38 overs.
What Craig did, Ryan Higgins repeated, the young batsman playing brilliantly to reach exactly 100, his innings including 12 fours and four sixes and lifting Easington to unexpected heights as they knocked off the runs in exactly the same number of overs that their opponents faced, victory bringing a 28-point haul that maintained their challenge at the top of the table.
That took Easington up to 81 points, but Esh Winning crept one ahead as they defeated Seaham Park by 75 runs after a great all-round display from overseas ‘pro’ Jalat Khan.
He top scored with three fours and three sixes in his 45 which accelerated Esh to a declaration on 183-9 after 45 overs. Khan then decimated the Park batting line-up with a ten over spell in which be took six wickets for just eight runs. Park crashed to 105 all out, and their third consecutive defeat.
Burnmoor grabbed their first maximum points haul to move into third, demolishing hosts Crook Town by 157 runs after rattling up a formidable 259-5 before declaring after just 38.4 overs. Jimmy Daley started the run glut by cracking eight fours in a 39-ball 46, and then David Lowther upped the ante as he lofted six sixes before falling 11 runs short of his century after facing 75 balls.
Crook were never in the hunt when they batted and with Paul Davidson picking up 3-27, and the evergreen Ian Conn demonstrating the worth of WD40 by claiming 4-34 from his nine overs. Town tumbled for 102 inside 29 overs and they are now locked in the bottom four after picking up just nine points in their first three games.
Boldon CA are now firmly entrenched in the top half of the table after securing their second win by defeating Shildon Railway by eight wickets.
Greg Upton was Shildon’s one bright light again, his half century finding little support amongst his colleagues as Tommy Nixon (3-21) and Ian Male (4-31) took control, the Railwaymen sidetracked for just 124 inside 34 overs.
Anthony Brown (42) and West Indian Alvenis Simon (32no) then picked off the target with relative ease as CA had the game won for the loss of only two wickets.
Ryhope slipped out of the top 14 after suffering a heavy nine wicket defeat at the hands of Mainsforth, who bowled them out for just 74, Ross Clark bagging 5-33 in 12 overs, and veteran Tommy Orton getting in on the act with 3-9.
Josh Peel then hit seven boundaries in an undefeated 42 as Ryhope’s modest total was overtaken inside 15 overs.
Castle Eden notched up win number two to move into fourth spot, skipper John Spellman leading by example with 83 not out as the Castle declared on 218-4 after only 42 overs. Silksworth were then rolled over for just 56 runs as the Castle strike force shared the wickets around, and the Silks look as though they’ll face a long hard summer after ending the day joint bottom.