NE Premier League: Heat’s on Whitburn for crucial Premier relegation showdown after defeat to Stockton

Ben Markham hits out for Whitburn against visitors Stockton on Saturday. Picture by Tim Richardson.
Ben Markham hits out for Whitburn against visitors Stockton on Saturday. Picture by Tim Richardson.
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Whitburn face a huge Premier Division relegation crunch derby at South Shields this coming Saturday – a match which will go a long way to deciding both clubs’ futures.

The Villagers sit in second-bottom spot, 20 points above South Shields, after their four-wicket weekend loss at home to Stockton, who eased their own drop fears with a welcome triumph.

Opener James Thompson top-scored with eight fours in 37, off 29 balls, as the Villagers struggled to 115 all out in 31.4 overs.

Harry Thursby added 19 and Ross Carty 18, with three boundaries apiece. Joel Thwaites took 3-6 in 3.4 overs, backed by Durham’s George Harding (3-18) and Hassan Raza (2-18).

Stockton put on 47 for the first wicket and survived the loss of three wickets for five runs to triumph in difficult conditions, despite the best efforts of James Thompson, who snatched 5-45 in 10 overs, with Mark Elliott also striking.

Tom Hewison (24), Chris Hooker (20), Ryan Wallace (20no) and Brett Roberts (19no) steered Stockton home.

Eppleton claimed 25 points to move within two of sixth-placed neighbours Hetton Lyons, after beating Durham Academy by four wickets at Church Road.

The match was reduced in overs, like all the others, and Academy were all out for 174 in 44.2 overs, led by Sol Bell (43, with seven fours), Bilal Baig (41, with two fours and four sixes, off 28 balls), Jamie Dass (34) and Matthew Oswell (23).

Jandre Erasmus snaffled 3-26 and Craig Scurr 3-46, while Joe Coyne took 2-38 and Alex Simpson 1-30.

Eppleton, with 35 overs to bat, lost both openers cheaply, but Erasmus’s outstanding, undefeated 56 off 48 balls, with seven fours and a six, steered them to victory after 31.5 overs.

Simpson (27), Scurr (23), Dean Musther (19no) and Piers Davison (18) offered the best support.

Oswell, Brodie Glendinning, Faizan Hussain, Dass, Tom Merryweather and Bang all struck.

South Northumberland maintained their title push with a nine-wicket victory at Hetton Lyons in another match reduced in overs.

Lyons did not get going and the loss of three wickets for eight runs saw them scrapping to reach 109-7 in 32 overs.

Captain Jarvis Clay hit 25, with two fours, backed by Adam Shaw (20no) and Ben Whitehead (17no), who added an unbeaten 32 at the end.

Dominic Thomson made 16. Lee Crozier grabbed 3-23, with Calum MacLeod taking 2-13 in seven overs.

Robert Talbot removed Simon Birtwisle for 16, but South North cruised to victory in the 15th over as Marcus North hit seven fours and a six in a 46-ball 58 not out, with MacLeod unbeaten on 31 off 25 balls.

Felling boosted their survival push with a ‘winning draw’ against bottom club South Shields, moving 25 points clear of the Wood Terrace side.

Chris Goudie (39, with six fours), Mark Turner (34, with a four and two sixes), Graham Wright (29) and Stuart Walker (22) led Felling to declare on 169-8.

Salman Ahmed took 3-38, OIiver Appleby 3-31 and Matthew Muchall 2-65.

Shields then collapsed to 30-4 before steadying the ship to see out the draw on 88-6 after 31 overs, led by Michael Dunn (25no off 72 balls) and Chris Rainbow (19).

Paul Leonard plundered 3-25, supported by Craig Stephenson (2-19) and Gary Scott (1-23).

Visitors Benwell Hill made 95-2 against Chester-le-Street at Ropery Lane, although only 20 overs of play were possible.

Phillip Nicholson (34no, with three fours) top-scored for the Tynesiders, backed by Sameet Brar (29, with three fours) and Adam Heather (26, with four fours).

John Coxon took the wicket of Brar, while John Harrison ran out Heather.

Newcastle completed a five-wicket win over Tynemouth at Jesmond, in a match reduced to 67 overs in total.

Tynemouth, put into bat, slumped to 23-4, but Sam Dinning (29 off 66 balls) and Barry Stewart (50 off 65 balls, with four fours) put on 60 for the fifth wicket. David Hymers added four fours in 30 off 21 balls before the end came on 137-8 after 36 overs.

Callum Harding, Alasdair Appleby and Durham’s Cameron Steel took two wickets apiece.

Steel (57, with four fours and two sixes), Appleby (32, with two fours and three sixes) and Ben McGee (31) then saw Newcastle home in the 29th over. Finn Lonberg struck twice.