MURTON are back on top of the 3D Durham Coast League despite another horror show from their batsmen who were once again found wanting.
Despite being bowled out for just 92 by rock bottom Peterlee, they had enough in their own armoury to secure 25 points, a haul that moved them nine points clear of Dawdon, whose brief stay at the summit was ended when they were held to a draw by Washington.
Murton’s route back to pole position was a hazardous one, indeed winless Peterlee looked about to record the shock of the season when they skittled their visitors as Shaun Taylor (5-29) and Glen Riddle (4-19) ran through them for 92.
But Murton pro John Sample saved the day, bagging 7-30 as Peterlee crashed to 63 all out and a 29-run defeat.
Dawdon, meanwhile, found Washington a handful, Lee Rushworth inspiring the visitors to 226-4 with an impressive unbeaten 109, an innings that included 15 fours and a six. Along with Stephen Cuthbertson (43), he gave his team the perfect start in an opening partnership of 107 that set the tone.
Dawdon then gave themselves a shout as Jamie Greenwood (69no) and Ryan Consitt (46) shared a second-wicket stand of 83, but Andrew Ebdale’s sudden burst of three quick wickets took the wind out of their sails and they had to be content with a share of the spoils on 192-5.
Easington kept their hopes alive with a nerve-tingling two-wicket win over Ryhope, when bowlers ruled the roost.
Scott Birks (3-15) and Jordan Wilson (3-26) had Ryhope back in the hutch for 115, but then Alex Catcheside (3-30) and Mickey Thorpe (4-33) caused a few flutters before Jason Moses (21no) and Kevin Spanton (13no) saved the hosts’ bacon in a match-winning ninth-wicket stand.
Seaham Harbour took the honours in the derby against Seaham Park.
Andrew Stephenson (38) and Adam Fairley (48) smoothed Harbour’s early passage with an opening stand of 80, but then a slump saw only another 67 added as Akhtar took 5-31.
Alan Anderson lifted Park further with a half-century, only to see Peter Hambleton (3-30) and Stuart Pattison (4-24) undermine all his good work as Harbour sealed a 25-run victory.
Hylton picked up only their third win of the season, but it was a close call as they eased past Bill Quay by two wickets.
Berwick Hall’s half-century, which included 10 fours, and 35 from Dan Pearson led Quay to 140, Stephen Merrington (3-42) and Adam Bewick (4-64) impressing in Hylton’s attack.
Hylton lost wickets at regular intervals in the run chase, Aaron Farrell (4-15) performing well, but Gary Braithwaite’s brilliant 64, featuring 14 boundaries, propelled Hylton to victory inside 34 overs.
Boldon CA’s remarkable transformation continued – 14 matches without a win now followed by four victories on the trot. Karl Bellerby (37 and 4-7) was the all-round inspiration for CA, who easily defended a total of 168 as David Batty (4-17) joined Bellerby in bowling out Silksworth for just 76.
H Sacriston made it four Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League wins in a row, moving up to second spot, just 20 points behind leaders Swalwell.
Making 305-5 at Chopwell, Mo Ali (55) and Reece Carr (58, with 52 coming in boundaries) got them off to a flier before Ian Jones fired eight fours and five sixes in a rapid 82 and Dan Anderson blasted an unbeaten 62. Shell-shocked Chopwell then slumped to 193 all out.