South Northumberland go top
South Northumberland moved to the top of the Dukes North East Premier League on Monday with a thrilling one-wicket win over long-time leaders Chester-le-Street.
Both sides now have 366 points from 20 games, but the Gosforth-based club are ahead having won 12 games to the Cestrians' 11.
There are only two games remaining, with South North playing Durham CA and Sunderland, while Chester-le-Street face South Shields and Durham CA.
It's a remarkable turnaround for the Bulls, who lost three successive League games early in the season and were mid table.
Chester-le-Street batted first in Monday's game and were five wickets down at lunchtime for only 84 runs. After the interval the Bulls reduced them further to 132 from eight before Liam Simpson (28) Ian Hunter (21) and Andrew Tye (27) lifted the score to 174 all out in the 59th over.
South North's reply got off to a bad start as captain John Graham went to the second ball of the innings. However they moved to 136 for three with Chris Hewison (75) and Adam Cragg (35) at the crease.
Chester le Street mounted a fight back with the ball, Andrew Tye and Richard Waite taking wickets at regular intervals.
Jon Wightman was bowled by Tye with the scores level, but last pair Lee Crozier and Richard Brook scored the decisive run to take the points for South Northumberland.
Elsewhere on Monday there was a full programme of games, making up for Saturday's washout - the sixth time this season a full programme was lost.
Blaydon's title challenge took a hit when they lost at home to Benwell Hill. The Hill were bowled out for just 114 with Craig Simpson taking 5-19 and Graeme Bridge 4-16.
In reply though Blaydon were back in the pavillion for just 73 - Zohaib Khan and Joe Kilpatrick claiming identical figures of 4-20.
Hetton Lyons scored 251 for eight at home to Tynemouth, with Gary Scott scoring another century (109) for the Lyons. David Hymers claimed 5-37 for the seasiders. Hetton's inform opening bowler Ryan Pringle claimed his second six-wicket haul in the month with 6-30 as Tynemouth were all out for 69.
Stockton had the better of Sunderland by ten runs, with the Teessiders scoring 195. Dean Williams' 73 the mainstay of the innings.
Joe Coyne picked up 5-30 for Sunderland. Captain Ashley Thorpe top scored with 45 in Sunderland's reply but the loss of regular wickets meant they finished on 185.
South Shields picked up their third win of the season to pull away from the bottom of the table, defeated Newcastle by six wickets at Wood Terrace.
Newcastle batted first and were rolled over for 87 with Matthew Muchall picking up 5-33. Michael Dunn blasted 40 not out from 28 balls (8x4) in Shields' reply as they won inside 19 overs.
Final game of the day saw Durham Academy bat first at Gateshead Fell, and the students scored 226 for nine with accomplished half centuries from Paul Coughlin (59) and Graham Clark (52).
Bottom of the table Fell then collapsed for the lowest total ever in the First Division - 30 all out. Jamie Harrison collected six wickets for just 18, with Josh Bousfield 4-4.
Eight Fell batters made ducks, Richard Steele at the top of the order made 10, while Extras (11) was the biggest contributor to the total.