Rain takes its toll on the local cricket fixtures

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THE region’s cricket programme was ravaged by the rain on Saturday, with no league avoiding significant disruption.

In the Dukes North East Premier League only three games started and even then it was only for a short time, the match at Tynemouth easily the longest with 34 overs of play.

Visitors Hetton Lyons made 104-2 in that time, recovering from 23-2 through an unbroken third wicket stand of 81 between Shaun Birbeck (40no) and Paul Riddle (37no).

Stockton were in a bit of trouble at Sunderland, being 43-3 after 14 overs, with Chris Rushworth (2-25) and Kieran Waterson (1-17) causing problems, while at Jesmond Newcastle had reached 49-0 after just nine overs against South Shields.

Michael Richardson was looking set to tee off yet again, but at least his unbeaten 23 made him easily the first man to reach the 500 league runs milestone for the season.

But for opener Nick Corby it was a less pleasant experience when he had to retire hurt after taking a painful crack in the ribs.

The Warmseal Durham Senior League was virtually wiped out, the match at Norton, where Horden were the visitors, the only one to start.

The home side reached 53-1 in 16 overs, with John Watson 36 not out.

And it was a similar story in the 3D Durham Coast League, with Bill Quay and Easington (30-0) making the one forlorn effort to defy the weather.

In the Wellstream NTSL, Sacriston managed half a game at Ashington, but it gave them enough time to bowl out their hosts for just 85 and secure five crucial bowling points that took them ahead of Swalwell at the summit.

The Colliers were in desperate trouble from the start as Melvyn Betts and Kendal Ballard caused havoc.

In the initial burst, the pair whipped out six home batters for just 22 runs between them and it took a battling 42 from Stephen Boyd to save the hosts from complete humiliation.

Ballard (2-36) was then replaced by Ryan Moralee (3-17) who trapped Boyd and then disposed of the tail efficiently.

Betts finished with an impressive 4-13. Unfortunately, Sacriston didn’t get the chance to chase down the modest target as rain closed in, having to be satisfied instead with the consolation of going back to the top of the table.