DAWDON enjoyed a day of delight as they reinforced their claims to be challenging at the top of the Readers Durham Cricket League First Division table with a hard-fought 26-run victory over title-chasing rivals Horden.
When the Green Drive men lost their first three wickets for 20 runs, it looked as though they might struggle, but Jamie Greenwood (56 not out in 95 balls) stood firm, and, with Anthony Watson hitting three fours and two sixes on his way to a late 44, the visitors were able to recover to the relative respectability of 174 all out in 46.3 overs.
Horden’s innings followed a similar path, early wickets being followed by a fine captain’s innings of 56 in 64 balls from Carl Watson which raised home hopes until man-of-the-season John Leslie (4-41) combined with Anthony Watson (4-28) to leave the hosts beaten for the first time this summer after being bowled out for 148.
Victory brought Dawdon a haul of 23 points, but that meant they slipped a further seven behind leaders Burnmoor who claimed the maximum from their expected victory over bottom club Hylton.
The Moor were a bit more like their old selves as they rattled up 200-3 in 45 overs and then shot the home team out for just 91 in 24.2 overs to claim a maximum points haul.
Student Will Philips headed an all-star batting cast, his unbeaten 66 including nine boundaries and rounding off a relatively trouble-free innings in style, and then all the bowlers chipped in, with all six picking up at least one wicket as the home team subsided to their fifth defeat of the summer.
A father and son partnership rescued Philadelphia after they had slipped to 56-4 in their home game against Evenwood.
Ian and Shaun Hauxwell took the score to 183 before Shaun was out, caught on the boundary for a stunning 114 which included seven fours and five sixes.
Ian went soon after for 39, but the recovery was complete as the Bunker Hill boys ended on 200-7 from 50 overs.
A half-century from opener Luke Bannister held Evenwood’s reply together, but, with Stephen Robinson (3-29) and Mirza Baig (4-36) continuing their fine form, the visitors were bowled out for 145 inside 36 overs.
Castle Eden are another side beginning to wake from their early-season slumbers, and a home victory over Easington lifted them up to fourth place.
Castle Eden declared after 42.3 overs when their ninth wicket fell on 170, skipper Keith Bailey the inspiration with six fours and two sixes in a 63-ball 59. There were three wickets apiece for Dane Wilson and Jordan Wilson.
The loss of two early wickets set Easington back in the run chase, and though Ryan Higgins (38 from 58 balls) tried to fight back, Prateek Dabholkah (4-36 in 10 overs) and Ryan Ball (3-34 in 12 overs) worked their way through the batting order to leave the visitors all out for 143.
Elsewhere in the top flight, Marsden (131-7) picked up a welcome home win over depleted Crook Town (128), and Tudhoe (109-4) easily overcame Mainsforth (108 all out).