Stockton so close to title glory

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SUNDERLAND’S attempt to put a dent in the Dukes North East Premier League Premier Division championship bid by Stockton ended almost before it began when the weather was the only winner throughout the entire Premier League programme on Saturday.

The Wearsiders were asked to take first knock by the runaway leaders, but only 11 overs were possible, and with 38 runs scored and two wickets lost the match was abandoned.

Dan Shurben scored all but seven of the runs in a 34-minute cameo in which he faced 45 balls and hit five fours and a six.

Opening the bowling with spin, in the absence of Jamie Harrison and Keaton Jennings, Richard Waite took both wickets to fall. Sunderland got the basic five points but Stockton grabbed an extra point for the wickets they took.

It left Stockton, who have a massive lead over second-placed South North, needing just 36 more points to clinch the championship which they have never won before.

They could just about finish the job at Blaydon tonight when the second half of the bank holiday programme of matches is completed.

Gateshead Fell were able to get in half a game against Durham Academy before the rain arrived and managed to add a couple of extra bonus points towards their escape plans.

The Academy enjoyed the better of the game at Gateshead, making an impressive 211-5 in 57 overs before a declaration.

Jack Clark continued to show his outstanding form with an unbeaten 82 which included six boundaries as he faced 168 balls. Cole Pearce made a 63-ball half century and James Thompson maintained his recent fine form with 30.

Andrew Porter (3-87 from 19 overs) produced the best return for the Fell before their reply ended abruptly in the seventh over on 14 without loss.

South North’s game against Newcastle featured a brilliant century by their opener, Sam Jobson. He made 110 from 120 balls with 13 fours and two sixes and shared a 200-run partnership for the first wicket with Adam Heather, who made 74.

South North declared after just 41 overs on 211-3. But their hopes of grabbing a result against their derby rivals quickly ended with the change in the weather as they never got back out on the pitch again.

Hetton Lyons got in half a game against Blaydon who took up 62 overs to score 192-8 with a half century from Graeme Bridge.

Lal Kumar (3-48) was Hetton’s best, but he only just got back out into the middle to show his batting power when the game was abandoned.

Tynemouth’s visit to Benwell Hill lasted only 23 overs before it was washed out with the hosts on 71 for the loss of six wickets.