DURHAM City are the Durham Cricket League Division Two champions after bulldozing their way past the challenge of Ryhope, the home team slumping to 80 all out in just 23 overs.
Things didn’t look too bad when Ryhope stood on 34-1, but the last nine wickets fell for the addition of just 46 more runs as Paul Moralee (4-40 from nine overs), Nick Maiolo (2-4) and Nick Howe (2-6) took complete control.
Maiolo then cracked 34 from 23 balls to blast City to the title inside 14 overs, although, for Ryhope’s Josh Dick, there was also some cause for celebration as he claimed all three Durham wickets to fall on his first-team debut.
With Bill Quay idle, Whiteleas took the race for the second promotion spot into the final week by defeating Silksworth by eight wickets, a workmanlike performance earning them 29 points to move them to within 13 of second-placed Quay.
Elsewhere, John Sample turned in a virtuoso performance to overpower his former club Murton. Sample took 6-28 as the home team succumbed for 82 in 29 overs, and then he hit an undefeated 55 as Seaham Park coasted to an eight-wicket win inside 26 overs.
The season is probably ending too soon for Park as they have shown much-improved form in the second half of the summer and will almost certainly finish fourth.
In the other games, two centurions took the honours, John Southeran blasting 17 fours and four sixes in his 133 for Ushaw Moor (268-7), although it wasn’t enough to win the game as Langley Park (221-9) clung on to share the spoils, but Greg Upton’s 136 not out for Shildon Railway was enough to secure a win for his side as they shunted aside Peterlee by six wickets.