Seaham Harbour are off the bottom of Division One at last – after a first win of the season in their crucial relegation encounter at home to fellow strugglers Mainsforth.
The Harbour lads won the toss and put the visitors in, with Mainsforth making 147 all out, inspired by opener Anton Muller (69) and Brady Smith (45).
Michael Stuart returned excellent bowling figures of 5-47 to lead Seaham, while Marc Symington took 3-50. Andrew Boal also struck.
Seaham – despite slumping to 0-2 and 77-5 – knocked off the required runs for the loss of six wickets, with Symington hitting five fours in 42 not out, from 104 balls, and Neil McKinney adding 38, with four boundaries. The pair added 70 for the sixth wicket.
Andrew Stephenson made 23 and Adrian Hedley 22 as victory came in the 50th over, despite the efforts of Ryan Dawson (3-46) and William Reynard (2-24).
Burnopfield are still second after they won at home to Washington, but only just – by a single wicket.
The visitors were all out for 154 all out, mainly thanks to 36 apiece from opener Abhijai Mansingh and Thomas Colledge, who hit six boundaries. Ashley Thorpe added 27, Josh Wilson 16 and Matthew Corner 14. Ex-Durham bowler Callum Thorp was the hosts’ star turn, claiming 5-43, with good support from Gareth Breese (3-23).
Washington put up a great fight in the reply, with only two Burnopfield batsmen reaching double figures. Unfortunately for the Harraton side, opener Cole Pearce made 50, with seven fours, and Lee Whitfield a patient 53, with seven fours, putting on 92 for the second wicket. They edged over the line in the 53rd over, despite collapsing from 100-2 to 151-9 with Laurence Wood and Stuart Atkinson at the crease.
Mansingh made the ball dance, taking 5-39, with Wilson taking 2-23, while Malinga Surappulige and Graeme Race also struck.
Leaders Sacriston got back to winning ways, although they had to bat well at Willington, who amassed 254-9.
Steven Alderson (42) and Reagan Klemt, with a brilliant 136 not out, sparked Willington, with Melvyn Betts (3-30) the top bowler.
In Sacriston’s reply, youngster Jonny Bushnell (117no) cracked a brilliant century, with Graham Hubber (30), Jack Hardy (37) and Reece Carr (34) making good contributions as they edged home by six wickets.
Third-placed Burnmoor maintained their promotion ambitions with a five-wicket home win against Sunderland.
The Ashbrooke outfit batted first and were dismissed for just 102, with Tom Skilbeck (37) top-scoring. Steven Meek returned 3-25 to inspire Burnmoor.
Paul Craig then hit 47 not out to see his side home to victory, though Zaheer Shahbaz did his best to try to turn the game around for Sunderland, grabbing 4-45.
Fourth-placed Boldon lost ground on the top three when they were left frustrated by the rain.
Umar Waheed fired an unbeaten 106, backed by 80 from Matthew Sampson-Barnes, as Boldon put on 246-4 against third-bottom Blaydon, who stood firm for the draw, closing on 185-3, led by David Bailey’s unbeaten 45.
Brandon, in fifth, made 172-9 against Gateshead Fell, led by Ryan Nicholson (65, with eight fours), Chris Perth (53, with seven boundaries) and Moin Ashraf (26). Andrew Porter plundered 5-38 and Jamie Arkle took 2-43.
Fell responded by holding on at 101-5 in a rain-hit afternoon, led by Robert Stacey (25) and Richard Smith (22), with Nicholson and Ryan Green each striking twice.