Worthy causes Blaydon win
If Sky Sports were covering the Dukes North East Premier League this week, it would have been billed "Super Saturday".
The top four teams in the League, all with one hundred per cent records to date, went head to head as South Northumberland hosted Blaydon and Chester le Street welcomed Sunderland to Ropery Lane.
At Gosforth, Blaydon won the toss and batted first against South North. All-time leading NEPL run scorer Allan Worthy,who represented Chester Le Street and Gateshead Fell before moving to Blaydon in 2006, notched up another century - his 15th Premier League century in 13 seasons - which allowed Blaydon the luxury of declaring on 58 overs with the score 250 for eight.
The normally strong South North top order was then blown away by Gary Stewart and Martin Pollard, and the Bulls were reeling at 42 for five.
Late order batting from Sam Jobson and Jonny Wightman gave South North hope of salvaging a draw but the final wicket fell with five overs remaining.
South North closed on 196 all out, meaning Blaydon picked up a full 30 points and the top spot in the table.
The other top of the table clash at Ropery Lane saw the Cestrians declare on 248 for eight with useful runs throughout the scorecard.
Sunderland were then no match for the home side's attack, Liam Simpson picking up 5-36 while Richard Waite chimed in with 4-12.
The Wearsiders bowled out for 129 and Chester le Street winners by a thumping 119 runs.
Blaydon therefore sit on top of the standings with 89 points, Chester le Street have 88 in second place, then South North and Sunderland in third and fourth with 64 and 63 points respectively.
Saturday's highest scoring game was at Lillywhite Terrace, Hetton, where the visiting Gateshead Fell side racked up a very handy 282 for seven with Matt Milton (101) and Richard Steele (59) getting among the runs.
When the Lyons came to bat, Shaun Birbeck played a chanceless innings to bat right through with a stunning 141 not out.
Birbeck found a willing ally in Ryan Pringle who was 90 not out in a double hundred second wicket partnership which saw Hetton Lyons win by nine wickets. The Fell used nine bowlers in their search for wickets.
There was another successful run chase at Stockton where Newcastle chased down the home side's 196 with seven wickets in hand.
Stockton's Jon Rickard scored 57 at the top of the order, but Ben Langrope (5-61) helped Newcastle to take wickets at regular intervals. When the visitors batted, an unbeaten fourth wicket partnership of 108 by Michael Richardson (68not out) and Niall Penfold (52 not out) saw Newcastle to their win.
Tynemouth had David Hymers (5-14) and Rameez Shahzad (57) starred with ball and bat respectively in their five wicket success at South Shields.
The Shieldsmen were dismissed for 153 and Tynemouth, despite losing their first two wickets with only a handful of runs on the board, successfully chased down the score for their first win of the season.
The only drawn game of the day was at Benwell Hill where Durham Academy were 60 short of their target with the last pair at the crease when time was called.
The Hill batted first and were bowled out for 222, Dan Young's 51 the only score of note while the wickets were shared around by the Academy bowlers.
When the Durham side went into bat, Ben Raine opened up with 63 but wickets fell regularly with Zohaib Khan picking up 4-51. However Durham's last pair held out for the draw.