MURTON are the champions of the Durham Coast League.
They recovered superbly after looking as though they were going to let the title slip from their grasp, and their dramatic victory over Boldon CA meant they were crowned kings of the Coast for the sixth time in ten years.
Batting first, Murton made steady progress to 42-1, but then the roof caved in with their title dreams seemingly buried in the rubble. Six wickets went down for the addition of only three more runs and at 45-7 the game looked as though it was well and truly up.
And even though John Sample rallied the troops with an unbeaten 22, Murton were still bowled out for just 92 as Brian Conlon bagged 5-15 in 9 overs.
But the late rally seemed to give the top dogs renewed hope and Boldon’s innings followed a similar pattern as the visiting attack bit back in style. At 35-3 the game looked finely balanced until one final mercurial spell of the summer from Sample rushed his side to glory.
He took 5-22 in 12 overs, and with Keith Chapman blowing away the middle order in a spell of 3-3 from six overs the last seven home wickets fell in an unseemly heap as Boldon crashed to 51 all out, the innings featuring no less than seven ducks.
So, with a victory of any sort all that was necessary to secure the title, the champagne began to flow in a hugely relieved Murton dressing room
Murton’s win left Dawdon to ponder what might have been.
Halfway through the final afternoon, when news filtered through of Murton’s batting collapse, Dawdon had already posted an impressive 210-5 in just 37 overs against Hylton and it looked as though their dreams were going to be realised.
Skipper Stephen Gale (14 fours in 74) and Ryan Consitt (12 fours and a six in 70) had done the impressive batting business for Dawdon, and then Mark Ewart (4-20) and Anthony Watson (3-21) drilled Hylton out for just 114, but just as victory was being celebrated the news of Boldon’s sensational collapse deflated Dawdon.
In the rest of the final day action, Silksworth took the major honours as they pulled off a remarkable victory over Seaham Harbour who had declared on 190-3 after a Stuart Pattison century. But Silks skipper Paul Smailes was determined to go out on a high and his unbeaten 66 inspired his side to a five wicket victory that will keep them in warm memories through the long winter months.
Seaham Park ended their campaign with an 83-run home victory over Ryhope, Kamran Mansoor their match winner with 2 fours and 4 sixes in an unbeaten 54 before bagging three wickets for just three runs as the visitors were bowled out for 95.
In the battle of the bottom two, Bill Quay drove a final stake through Peterlee hearts, their 39-run victory leaving the wooden spoonists without a single victory in a disastrous summer. And despite only managing a poor second best against the stalemate kings, Easington’s draw with Washington left them with enough points to finish in third place.
H Sacriston turned in a powerful performance to defeat hosts Burnopfield by 66 runs, but with Swalwell also winning their Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League championship dream is all but over.
Mo Ali cracked 14 fours and two sixes in a scintillating 121, and with Ian Hunter falling just one short of his own century after hitting 10 fours and 3 sixes Sacriston amassed a formidable 306-5 in their 50 overs.
Burnopfield gave the run chase a real go with Anwaar Hafeez leading the way with 11 fours and 2 sixes in a cracking 72, and he got great support from Harry Lovell with 11 boundaries in his 66, but with Ryan Moralee bagging seven wickets in his 15 overs the home response eventually ended on 240 with six overs still remaining.