DAWDON demolished Marsden to take over as the new Readers Durham Cricket League First Division leaders following Burnmoor’s shock defeat at the hands of bogey team Horden.
The new table-toppers needed just 63 overs in total to defeat Marsden, bowling their visitors out for 123 and then sweeping to an eight-wicket win in impressive style.
Chris Mann was the only batsman to show any real resistance, hitting eight fours and two sixes before losing his wicket one short of a deserved half-century. With Anthony Watson (4-19 from 6.4 overs) and Liam Cowell (4-29 in eight overs) in form, the Green Drive team were in the ascendancy.
And there was never any doubting where the points were going once the Dawdon run chase began, opener Alan Anderson setting the mood with 13 boundaries in a free-flowing 63 which helped rush his team to an impressive victory inside 29 overs.
Meanwhile, Burnmoor were confident enough to declare at Horden after amassing 173-6 in 46.4 overs, with Stephen Meek making 72 of those runs in an innings lasting 102 balls and including 10 fours.
But Moor’s attacking move backfired following a bruising innings from Wayne Birks, who crashed 13 boundaries on his way to a 61-ball 83 that quickly took the game away from the visitors, and despite veteran Ian Conn’s late four-wicket salvo that’s all Horden lost as they raced to a superb victory inside 31 overs.
The defeat was Burnmoor’s first of the summer, and it cost them dear as, along with their record, they also lost their hold on the leadership, with Dawdon’s win taking them seven points clear.
With the season reaching its halfway point on Saturday, the race for promotion was also thrown wide open as both Tudhoe and Esh Winning recorded handsome victories to move back within striking distance of the leading pair.
Tudhoe had little trouble in brushing aside bottom club Evenwood by seven wickets after bowling them out for 65, while Esh Winning were in impressive form at Bunker Hill, where they overpowered Philadelphia by 93 runs.
It was not all one-way traffic at Phili as they had Esh 89-5 at one point before releasing their grip as Jalat Khan and John Hodgson shared an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 138 which allowed their team to declare after 45 overs on 227-5.
Khan included three fours and four sixes in his 76-ball innings of 69 not out, while Hodgson was even more destructive as he cracked nine fours and two sixes on his way to 67 not out scored from just 50 balls.
David Baxter then did his best to stem the Esh tide after Phili lost four wickets cheaply, but, when he was run out for 34, the writing was on the wall for the home team and they were eventually bowled out for 134 with just a few balls of the match remaining.
Hylton turned in one of their best performances of the season to defeat Easington by five wickets, the victory lifting the Sunderland side out of the bottom two and well clear of the drop zone.
Andrew Kibble did a great job in cleaning out the Easington bottom order, his 10-over spell of 5-43 ensuring the visitors were pegged back to a 43.5-over score of 184.
They had threatened much more at one stage as Kamran Mansoor hit a quickfire 50, however Hylton had their own batting stars in the shape of skipper Alan Mustard (10 fours in 61) and Darren Walton (60), and their magnificent fourth-wicket stand of 120 proved to be the deciding factor.
Boldon CA dented Castle Eden’s promotion ambitions as they successfully defended a total of 151, with Shashank Singh (4-32) headlining in an effective attack which brought down Castle Eden for 117.