HIGH-FLYING Kimblesworth clinched the Durham Senior League championship with a final flourish on the last day of the season.
They celebrated their first season in the competition in style as they pipped reigning champions Boldon, who ended up in second, 20 points behind, after being unable to match the final run-in by their confident rivals.
Kimblesworth, promoted last season as champions of the County League, had bottom club Durham City to tackle, which might well have been a potential banana skin.
But they showed the professionalism that has been a feature of their performances all season to celebrate an eighth win, never allowing their visitors to get a foothold in the game.
City were bowled out in 55 overs for 187, with Jake McCann top scoring with 56 and Andrew Howson getting 38 further down the order.
Opener McCann hit 10 boundaries and Howson five, including three sixes. But the new champions had young Kevin Dixon to thank for bringing an end to any hopes of City getting a more challenging score as he took five wickets in 10 overs at a cost of just 32 runs.
Kimblesworth then got the runs they needed in a hurry, taking just 26 overs and losing only two wickets.
The outstanding Stephen Meek hit a brilliant century and shared in a second wicket stand of 163 with Chris Burke, who made 60. Meek hit no less than nine sixes to go with his seven fours, while Burke smashed 48 of his runs in boundaries.
Boldon’s last hope of retaining the championship disappeared when rain ended their game prematurely against Horden.
The former title-holders cut short their innings after 44 overs when they reached 210-6 and declared in the hope the extra time would benefit their bowlers.
Matthew Sampson-Barnes led their run chase with 72, including 10 boundaries and received admirable support from James Coyne, who hit 34. Adelvin Phillip took four of the six Boldon wickets to fall.
Horden’s reply was solid and when the rain sent the players rushing for the pavilion they had made 155 for the loss of six wickets, 55 runs behind but with Phillip unbeaten on 61 and looking good for more.
He hit eight fours and a six as he partnered Jon Minnis, who made 41. Karl Bellerby (3-49 from 11 overs) struck vital blows for Boldon.
Burnmoor came face-to-face with Whitburn, with both sides showing powerful batting ability before the rain brought the game to an early end.
Burnmoor declared on 242-9 after Barry Dews completed an unbeaten century, which included 12 boundaries.
He received excellent support from David Lowther (44). However, Whitburn hit back strongly with 190-3, which included an unbeaten 118 from Neil Ayre and they had 10 overs left to score 53 to win when the game had to be abandoned.
Elsewhere, Eppleton finished the season with a big win at South Hetton, who they bowled out for just 64, Sura Malinga and David Wilkinson sharing all 10 wickets.
Castle Eden defeated Norton with Habib Qureshi (3-14 and 31no) leading from the front and Philadelphia’s hopes of a last day win over Felling were thwarted by the weather.