It was a rather flat derby day, with little movement of positions within the league – although the title race was blown wide open.

Leaders Great Ayton went down at home to second-placed Stokesley by just three wickets, as Ayton’s lead was cut to just five points at the top.

Stokesley put the home side into bat and they only managed 94 all out. Phillip Holdsworth made 24 and Chris Allinson top scored with 26, but Aubrey Swanepoel returned 4-21 and Richard Chandler took 3-9, to give the visitors a great chance of winning.

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Stokesley took that chance, albeit nervously as they lost early wickets. Pitigala Jeewantha and Stephen Pennock each took two wickets and Sam Wilson came to the rescue when scoring 35 not out for a crucial win,

Richmondshire lost by 35 runs at home to Barnard Castle, who move menacingly into third place, just 21 points behind the leaders.

Barney batted first and made 139 all out, with James Quinn scoring 43 and skipper James Finch contributing 33, but Craig Marshall bowled magnificently again, returning 5-33 after Sam Wood had broken through with the wickets of Karl Turner and Josh Bousfield.

Josh Bousfield went to work with the ball for the visitors and returned a brilliant 5-41, and with James Finch 2-26 and Karl Turner 3-17, bowling well at the other end, reduced the hosts to 104 all out as the champions claimed a crucial 25 points.

Marton had their first win in five, an excellent seven wicket victory at Middlesbrough, who drop to fourth.

Marton won the toss and decided to field first and Boro’s skipper James Lowe led the way with an excellent 100, in a total 225-8.

Lowe claimed his third century of the season, off 120 balls, including 12 fours and two sixes. James Beaumont added 41, with visiting skipper Alex Wardell claiming 3-37 late on, all LBW.

Marton’s opener Jonathan Spillane scored his second century of the season – 109 off 147 balls including 14 fours - and professional Aamer Sajjad helped himself to 88 not out, off 71 balls, including 10 fours and a six, putting on 115 together to claim the 20 points.

Darlington had a much needed 25-point win over bottom-placed Norton, by a healthy margin of 123 runs.

They scored 255-6, with Liam Coates making 65, Alex Metcalfe 77, and Dale Marshall contributing 42. In reply, Norton’s opener Glyn Faulkner made 42, but wickets fell regularly, until Callum Shields came in and scored 49, but with Jonathan Barnes taking 4-26 and Liam Coates and Muhammed Saad each claiming three wickets, they bowled the visitors out for 132.

Marske had a comfortable 91 run win at Windy Hill Lane against Guisborough.

The Seasiders are starting to click into gear after a slow start and are now just 33 points off the top.

They made a healthy 218-5, with professional Saeed Bin Nasir scoring his first century of the season with 112 not out off 127 balls, which included 11 fours and 3 sixes.

In reply, opener Martin Hood batted well for his 74, with nine fours and a six off 130 balls, but Sam Berry (4-26) and Jonathon Pickard (4-42), with superb bowling spells, gave the Seasiders a maximum 25 points, to move into sixth position.

Seaton Carew battled hard in their derby at home to Hartlepool and are now just five points from safety, thanks to Guisborough’s result at Marske.

They won the toss and decided to field, with Hartlepool scoring a very good 202-6. Opener Neil Coverdale nabbed his fourth half century of the season, making 94 from 132 balls, including 10 fours. Skipper Doug Mulholland made a useful 39 off 42 balls, towards the end of the innings.

Seaton struggled early doors and when skipper Paul Braithwaite came in to bat, they were 47-4, but he dug in for 32 runs off 50 balls, alongside professional Usman Arshad who made 26 off 47 balls to secure a draw, finishing on 131-7.