Horden on fire as Gilbert and Watson star

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HORDEN kept Hylton in the mire in the Readers Durham Cricket League First Division with a convincing 116-run success.

Hylton are just one point better off than bottom club Evenwood after suffering their third defeat of the summer.

Lee Gilbert cracked 12 fours and a six in his opening 77 for in-form Horden, and with Sahil Madgaonkar (70) joining him in a second-wicket partnership worth 130 runs the visitors rushed to a declaration on 202-8 after 41.3 overs.

James Waller (4-36) and John Stokoe (3-39) did well for Hylton, but their batsmen could not support their efforts as Horden skipper Carl Watson blasted through them in nine top-class overs in which he claimed 6-20.

Hylton, with Alan Mustard (21) and Steve Merrington (29) their top scorers, slumped to 86 all out, with Scott Birks bagging 2-4.

The Castletown side now look destined for a season-long relegation battle.

It was a long time coming, but it was well worth the wait.

Boldon CA at last got to play a game of cricket on home soil, and they made the most of it by romping to a six-wicket win over struggling Evenwood.

The glorious weather proved a massive bonus to the CA groundstaff, who had worked tirelessly to get the game on, and Evenwood did not seem to want to intrude on the party as they surrendered meekly for 68 in just 31 overs.

It’s only a couple of weeks ago that the visitors were put out for 45 when set a target of 57, and they didn’t do that much better this time around as the Boldon attack made hay while the sun was shining.

The visitors’ fragile batting crumbled once more as they staggered from 6-3, to 39-6, to 68 all out as Brian Conlon (4-13 in eight overs) and his skipper Tommy Nixon (3-22 in eight overs) combined to devastating effect.

It was then over to Indian pro Shashank Singh, who shepherded his team-mates to a six-wicket win with an unbeaten 34, victory secured inside 21 overs and moving CA into the calmer waters of mid-table.

Up at the summit, the early-season game of musical chairs with the leadership continued as Burnmoor bounced back to the top of the table at the expense of Dawdon, with Horden’s victory easing them up into second spot.

Burnmoor’s game at Castle Eden had been expected to stretch them, but, in the event, the champions dominated from start to finish to pick up maximum points and establish a nine-point lead.

Stephen Meek’s 71 was a useful way to sign off for a while – he misses the next four matches – and with David Lowther (39) and Brydon Carse (37) weighing in, Burnmoor were able to declare on 204-6.

The home team were never in the hunt, despite 36 from opener Phil Winpenny, as Carse (3-19), Ian Conn (3-17) and debut boy Will Philips (2-35) dominated, Castle Eden crumbling to 106 all out to lose by 98 runs.

Dawdon started the day as leaders, but Crook Town pushed them all the way before a keenly contested match ended with a share of the spoils.

Dawdon declared after 45 overs with 177-7, John Leslie among the runs once more with 44 and Umar Akhtar added 36.

But Steve Chapman had claimed 4-37 in 11 overs, and he went on to be an even bigger thorn in the home team’s side after watching four of his batting colleagues disappear for just four runs when the Crook run chase began.

With Dawdon’s tail right up, Chapman (51) and Lewis Formosa (44 not out) restored order, and then Andy Burgess (51) almost took Crook to an unlikely win as they ended just a few runs short on 163-6 from 46 overs. Hewitt and Coates took two wickets apiece for the Green Drive men.

For the second week in a row, Esh Winning’s batting failed them, but this time they were able to claw back victory from the jaws of defeat.

Easington’s Sameer Haque proved virtually unplayable in a 6.1-over spell in which he claimed five wickets for just eight runs, which left the home team on 77-9 from 30 overs, at which stage they declared to provide the chance of claiming more points should they be able to defend that paltry target.

And defend it they could as Jalat Khan ripped through the visitors’ line-up with a 9.5-over spell in which he took 7-14. With Paul Chivers (3-29) mopping up the rest, Easington collapsed to 44 all out.

Mainsforth (190-8) dominated but could not defeat Philadelphia, who held on grimly at 76-9. with Shaun Hauxwell top-scoring on 25, their only score in double figures. Stephen Robinson and Lee Innes both grabbed two Mainsforth wickets, with Martin Lower (4-13) starring for the Ferryhill side.

Tudhoe hammered Marsden by nine wickets after bowling them out for 81, Tim Smalley bagging 4-18. Danny Thexton hit an unbeaten 45 in Tudhoe’s easy chase.