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North-East cricket round-up
On a day when the three leading teams all won South North gained the most as they moved to within 27 points of NEPL leaders Chester-le-Street.
The Bulls charged to a 156-run victory over Gateshead Fell, but while the Cestrians defeated Newcastle by nine wickets on the back of a Richard Waite (6-25) inspired bowling performance, and Blaydon eased past Stockton by three wickets, they only picked up 21 points each to allow the Gosforth outfit to barge their way into the reckoning.
The slumbering Durham Senior League title race burst into life as Boldon and Burnmoor turned in top class displays.
Leaders Kimblesworth crashed at home to Boldon. Phil Shakespeare's late 32, which included a last wicket stand of 31, meant Boldon had plenty to play with after totalling 188. Shakespeare then picked up 5-34 to send Kimbles to a second loss of the season.
Burnmoor won for only the third time, but the victory was a 30-point affair which sent them into third.
Jimmy Daley (86) and Michael Robson (59) put hosts Norton to the sword as the visitors notched up 252-5, and then Mohammad Zahid made Moor all the merrier with 4-39 as the Teessiders crumbled to 99 all out.
Spare a thought for Brandon as their Durham County League season disintegrates. A month ago they looked nailed on for a first title, but circumstances have conspired against them, and after a close defeat at Willington it now looks as though their dream could be over.
While Brandon were losing, Esh Winning's 18-run victory at Crook took them to the top, and they also have a game in hand.
Draw specialists Washington were at it again in the Durham Coast League, their 12th stalemate in 18 outings denting Boldon CA's hopes of retaining the title.
Seaham Park won their derby at Dawdon in convincing fashion to stay out in front, Dave Hanson's 77 providing the platform for Park to set a target of 159-8, which proved 64 too many for their neighbours who fell victim to a superb spell of bowling from Stuart Pattison. He bagged 5-22 to dump Dawdon for 95.
Sacriston's victory at Shotley Bridge, coupled with a blank day for Swalwell, has turned the NTSL title race into a tight affair - 12 points separate the top three as they head into the last five matches of the campaign.