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Showers save Sunderland's blushes

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Stokesley’s James Weighell and Barnard Castle’s Josh Bousfield, the former England under 15 captain, took centre stage in the one Dukes North East Premier League game to witness a substantial amount of play.

Unsurprisingly it was at the Emirates ICG where 82 overs were squeezed out, the new drainage system proving its worth, although in the final analysis Sunderland were thankful it wasn’t any more than that as they were in complete disarray against the Academy when rain brought a merciful end to their travails.

Three debutants set the Durham youngsters on the way to a more than respectable total of 223.

Jack Clark (Benwell Hill) played a crucial anchor role at the top of the innings, his 43 made from 109 balls.

James Thompson (Washington) carried on the good work with a 74-ball 45 which included seven boundaries, joining with Clark in putting on a solid 86 for the third wicket.

And when they eventually left the crease the third new boy, Weighell, upped the ante as he plundered three sixes and three fours in a rapid 47.

Kieran Waterson (4-57 from 18 overs) and Durham’s Chris Rushworth (2-33 from 16 overs) did the majority of the bowling legwork as the Academy used up 64.1 overs in reaching their score, but any thoughts the Wearsiders had of chasing down the target were swept away almost immediately.

From 15 without loss they crashed to 39 for seven as Bousfield blew the cream of their batting apart with a nine over salvo in which he took 4-20, and with Weighell completing a dream debut as he took out both openers in a burst of 2-12 Sunderland were delighted when the heavens opened to save their blushes.

The only other match to start saw champions South North on 60 for one against Gateshead Fell before the weather won that one also.