Seaham Park maul Harbour to bolster title bid

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TITLE-CHASING Seaham Park secured the derby bragging rights, as well as 20 points, when they thumped Seaham Harbour in convin-cing fashion on Saturday in the 3D Durham Coast League.

But, when the dust settled on yet another weather-affected programme, leaders Murton had extended their lead at the top.

Harbour just never got going in the damp conditions, losing wickets regularly throughout the 49.3 overs they batted, with off-spinner Uzi Afaq bowling 12 overs for a return of 3-28.

With Farukh Iqbal, Alex Ludlow and Kamran Mansoor sharing six wickets between them as well, there were no calm waters for Harbour to take refuge in and they fell for just 98.

Mansoor then demonstrated his value once more, the big hitter anchoring Park’s successful run chase, with five fours in an unbeaten 49, the hosts easing to a crushing six-wicket success inside 23 overs.

Murton managed to extend their lead when they claimed 25 points from their victory over bottom club Peterlee.

Andrew Docherty (31) gave the Murton innings a solid start before Aidan Vout injected momentum with four fours and three sixes in an unbeaten 77 which rushed his team to a declaration on 152-5 after only 29 overs, something that provided vital time to try to winkle out their opponents.

And chief winkler John Sample then weaved another mesmeric spell, sending down 12 overs and not conceding a run in eight of them. He finished with three wickets for just seven runs and, with Richard Bentley, Keith Chapman and James Ferguson sharing another six between them, Peterlee’s stubborn resistance was eventually ended in the 37th over for 66.

With the games at Ryhope and Silksworth failing to beat the weather, there was stalemate in the other two matches as well, with the fourth versus third clash at Washington ending slightly in favour of Dawdon in points terms, and Hylton forcing Bill Quay into playing out time despite being only four wickets down.

Dawdon had Shoaib Akhtar (45) and Robbie Stephenson (46) to thank for getting them up to a decent looking 184 against Washington.

Jack Gaff junior and Adam Hickey shared six wickets in the home attack, and it was Hickey who kept Washington heads above water in their reply as he made an unbeaten 39 as his team closed on a subdued 112-6.

A reduced game at Hylton did not inhibit the home side as they powered up to 204-4 before declaring after 38 overs.

They had runs through the order, Gary Braithwaite hitting 47 for starters, and then Chris Allan junior making 35 to set the scene for the best partnership of the day as Ben Taylor (51no) and Steve Merrington (36no) put together an unbroken stand of 97.

Bill Quay had 42 overs available to them in the run chase, but decided on a cautious approach which took them to 168-4 when stumps were drawn.

Hylton used eight bowlers in an attempt to incite adventure, but to no avail with Bill Gardner’s half-century the highlight for Quay, and Chris Little unbeaten at the end with 38 to his name.