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Esh make ground on the leaders
9:16pm Sunday 12th June 2011 in Match Reports
With leaders Brandon sitting the afternoon out, the chance was there for several of the chasing pack to make up some ground, and three contenders took full advantage with Esh Winning, Evenwood and Willington all recording convincing victories.
Esh Winning could not have been more impressive as they moved 20 points closer to the leaders with their sixth win in eight games.
They're still 27 points behind Brandon, who have won eight out of eight, but they're ready to move closer if the opportunity arises having consolidated their second position in the table with a convincing seven wicket victory over Ushaw Moor.
Once again Yasim Murtaza was Esh's all-round star performer, picking up four wickets and then cracking 55 in a splendid run chase.
Ushaw made 203-8 with 68 from Mike Hayton and Barry Messer contributing 45.
Murtaza shared a match-winning stand with Chris Moore who was unbeaten on 81.
Evenwood moved up three places to third with a win against Mainsforth who had to battle against the all-round talents of Sri Lankan Chandra Kamara.
He took three wickets in a 12-over spell in which he conceded 35 runs and then powered his way to an unbeaten 60 as his side knocked off 171 to win by six wickets.
Earlier John Sweeney defied the bowling combination of Kamara and Mike McConnell (4-59) to hit a sprightly half century which included eight fours and two sixes as Mainsforth reached 170-8.
Fourth-placed Willington defeated Shildon Railway thanks to a magnificent unbeaten century from Neil Pratt. His 114 came out of 180-2 after the Railwaymen had been bowled out largely through the pace of Calvin Stephenson (5-36).
Pratt smashed 22 fours and three sixes, his ton coming up in 81 balls in a classy knock.
Tudhoe and Langley Park played out a thriller, the match ending as a tie with Park's last pair at the wicket.
Steve Newton hit a superb 78 and Simon Davies made his mark with a half century as Tudhoe finished on 225-6, but Langley were defiant as Chris Winn hit a magnificent 99 - unlucky to miss out so close to his century but laying the foundation along with Lee Wright (49) for the nail biting finish.
Marsden enjoyed a fourth victory despite being taken close by Crook Town.
Opener John Lee made 46 but only one other, Brett Upton, got to 20 and they managed just 116 before being bowled out.
Colin Mann (4-13) and James Sneller (4-29) kept Crook in their shackles after John Leslie (2-27) set the pattern for the visitors.
Then Leslie (38) and Sneller (33 not out) showed their value as Marsden eased home despite four wickets for Crook's Andrew Burgess giving them something to think about.