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Lucky Darlington escape rain again

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Yet another cricketing weekend suffered drastically at the hands of the weather in what is becoming a depressingly familiar routine in this worst of all seasons.

Out of 164 matches scheduled to be played on Saturday in North-east club cricket only 10 survived on this occasion, taking the overall regional total of abandonments in 2012 to a staggering 2250, some 750 more than the previously recorded worst.

The front page headline in one national newspaper declared ‘Sorry, but there’s no might about it….it will rain ‘til September.’ Well if that’s the case Darlington can start cleaning out the cabinet to receive the NYSD Premier Division trophy as their extraordinary knack of defeating the elements continued with yet another day when they were the only side to play and win.

Visitors Marske were bowled out for just 115 as the Quakers potent strike force once again made maximum use of the helpful conditions. Skipper Peter Armstrong bagged a five wicket haul, and with Jon Barnes adding another three wickets to his burgeoning aggregate the Seasiders’ depleted line-up had no answer.

The Quakers then made no mistake in the run chase, Dougie Mulholland cracking an unbeaten 73 from 112 balls as he joined with Jack Vickerman (37 not out) in an unbroken match winning second wicket partnership worth 103 runs. Victory took Darlington 20 points clear at the top – one point for every additional hour of cricket they have played more than second-placed Richmond!

Much hard work enabled Sunday’s one NYSD Premier Division game to go ahead, and it was a case of Sunday best with fortunes fluctuating throughout an enthralling afternoon’s cricket.

Stokesley looked as though they were heading for a big total when brothers Andrew and Jonny Weighell were at the crease. The openers put on 94 for the first wicket at better than five an over, but when Andrew went for 55 made from 62 balls, and Jonny followed for 41 the innings slowed as the Barney spinners got a grip.

Simon Tennant proved the star ‘turn’ for the visitors, bowling unchanged for 17 overs to claim 6-56, the home side pegged back to a score of 187 for nine in their 50 overs.

And that looked ‘gettable’ after a third wicket stand of 84 between Ben Usher (51) and Richard Borrowdale (44) put Barney in the ascendancy only for James Beaumont (3-27) to change the course of the game again with three wickets in an over. An honourable draw resulted with Stokesley two wickets from victory, and Barney just eight runs away from success.