Roseberry Group North-East Durham League - Wearmouth have opened up a narrow lead at the top of Division One following their two runs victory over nearest rivals East Rainton.

Wearmouth totalled 159 for nine mainly due to the efforts of Nicholas Bowman with 33 and Morgan (33no). Richardson, Kitching and Defty were the principal wicket takers for East Rainton who when they replied were given a good send off by Gordon Steel, with 33 and John Roberts (35). A slump occurred, however, before Ian Kitching almost snatched victory for East Rainton. Going in at number nine, he carried his bat for 27 but ran out of partners and the innings closed on 157 all out. Dhillon was the match-winner with the ball for Wearmouth, capturing five wickets for just 41 runs but McDonough, with three for 37 and Hale (2-43) also played a part.

Belford House are third behind Wearmouth and East Rainton after they overtook the Plawsworth total of 164 with three wickets in hand. Kerr top scored with 37 for Plawsworth but the man of the match was Duncan Forrest who, after taking four wickets for 46 runs, guided Belford House to victory scoring 90. Gary Pickering weighed in with 33 and for Plawsworth Gott took three for 45.

Simonside posted 213 for three at home to North Bitchburn. The innings was declared after 42 overs and featured a maiden century by Mark Thompson who struck 12 boundaries in an unbeaten 115. Neil Wastell contributed 44 as the pair put on 101 runs for the first wicket.

Responding, North Bitchburn were all out in 23 overs for 100 runs which included a top scoring 48 by Dalton. Paul Thompson was in good form with the ball for Simonside and in 12 overs captured six wickets for 44 runs.

Washington saw off the challenge of Medomsley by 87 runs after totalling 201 for six which included 49 by Thompson and 45 from Donald. Ernie Vickers bowled well for Medomsley, claiming four of the six wickets to fall for 40 runs but in reply the visitors managed only 114 as Wilkie captured five for 38 and Lyall took four for 32.

Hospitals defeated Benwell Hill by four wickets when John Surtees, who opened the innings, ended unbeaten on 47 out of a total of 120 for four. When Benwell Hill batted first, they were in real trouble before Brown who went in at number nine, carried his bat for 41 and eventually a total of 119 for nine was achieved with five of the wickets going to Shaw for 20 runs.

Coxhoe just had the edge on Littletown by six runs. Batting first, Coxhoe posted 162 all out mainly due to the efforts of Newman who contributed 69 while for Littletown John Ricketts claimed seven wickets for only 32 runs.

Responding, Littletown were restricted to 156 for nine of which Nelson scored 45. Maddison had a good day with the ball for Coxhoe, taking six wickets for 63 runs.

Coundon lead Division Two and they defeated East Rainton by 88 runs. Liddle top performed with 37 when Coundon totalled 165 all out. Long with three for 50 and Burton (3-22) both bowled well for East Rainton and the other four wickets were shared by Bendelow and Reay.

In reply East Rainton were all out for 67 as Pearson returned seven for 43 and Ramrattan three for 21.

Newton Aycliffe are on course for promotion in their first season in Division Two and they overtook the Hunwick total of 167 for six with four wickets to spare.

Paul Alderson was in good form with the bat for Hunwick and he hit one six and eight boundaries in an unbeaten 75 while for Newton Aycliffe Alan Mitchie claimed three for 20 in six overs.

Replying, Aycliffe realised 168 for six and Stuart Mitchie had six boundaries in 46 compiled from only 88 deliveries. Dave Bennett was also in form, scoring four boundaries in 35 not out and for Hunwick Brian Morris claimed four for 66 in 19 overs.

Noble with six for 36 and Peacock (4-26) bowled out Tantobie for only 63 and Belmont went on to win by seven wickets.

Burnhope had 64 runs in hand of Washington. When they made first use of the wicket Burnhope totalled 189 for eight which included 31 by Morrison and 42 extras. Brown, with four for 51 and Birrell who claimed three for 61, were the pick of the Washington bowlers.

Responding, Washington were all out for 125 as Spark took three for 31 and Thirlway three for 23.

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Three games went ahead in Division B and Eryholme easily had the better of Trimdon CCA. The visitors were dismissed for only 49 as Charles Walker claimed four for wickets for 15 runs in eight overs Gargett returned three for 15. Replying, Eryholme lost just one wicket and needed just 10.4 overs as Mark White scored 35, including six fours.

Haughton had 18 runs in hand of Brompton on Swale who totalled 125 for seven of which Wilkinson contributed 53. Selstead claimed three for 38 for Brompton who when they batted were dismissed for 107. Marshall top performed with the ball for Haughton taking four wickets for 20 runs while Wilkinson claimed three for 29 and Gill three for 37. Raw was the leading scorer for Brompton with 41.

Lands reached 1u88 for six at home to Ingleton with Smith scoring 52 and Fielding 54. Gammack claimed five of the six wickets to fall for 70 runs and replying Ingleton were all out for 155 including 43 by Kitching. A blow to the chances of Ingleton was the run-out of Stuart Dawson without scoring.

Saunders bowled well in the Lands attack, taking four for 46, Fielding claimed two for six and Laverick two for 34.

In the early weeks to the season the league was badly affected by the foot and mouth epidemic and although some grounds are now available, several matches have been called off because sides can't raise sufficient players.

It is thought that the league will be reorganised for next season and there could be fewer than four divisions.

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Three Premier Division records were produced on a day when batsmen took full advantage of hot sunshine, hard tracks and fast outfields. The 2824 runs scored in the division was easily the highest ever and with 84 wicke5ts falling, represented a figure of 33.62 runs per wicket. No fewer than seven sides toppled the 250 run mark.

Dunnington's Hamid Khan who made 104 not out and Harwood Williams who was beaten with 102 created a new record for the third wicket when their unbroken 249 against Woodhouse Grange beat the old record of 184 which also involved Williams in 1999.

There were also two centurions as Clifton Alliance rattled up 294 for three against Osbaldwick with Darren Reeves making 121 and Dave Taylor 106 as Clifton made the third highest total in the premier division. Osbaldwick's superb reply saw them reach 189 for nine in a draw which produced a total of 583 runs just 11 short of the record match aggregate of 594. Sheriff Hutton Bridge wicket keeper Peter Crowder was denied his first league century when he was dismissed for 99 in his side's advantage draw over Whitkirk.

The two leading sides Clifton Alliance and Dunnington each gained 23 points which enabled Clifton to retain their narrow one-point lead. Apart from their two century makers, John Hunter shone with 39 no off 16 balls and then took five for 87 in a 20-over stint. However, Mark Thompson, (77), Stuart Boyle (55) and Steve Jackson (48) all scored freely as Osbaldwick made 289 for nine to create a new record for a side battling second.

Dunnington's 264 for two was boosted by 54 extras then Woodhouse Grange's reply also benefited from the same source as 45 extras helped them to 155 for eight.

The threat of relegation was increased for Whitkirk when they had the worst of a draw with Sheriff Hutton Bridge reaching 191 for nine in reply to the visitor's score of 169 al out. Neil Edgecock was Whitkirk's saviour with 60 while Paul Oldfield who made 58 and Steve Crowder with 77, supported Peter Crowder's near ton as Tom Glover claimed four for 54 and Stuart Pickles four for 35.

In Division Two Beverley's lead has been cut to 20 points after their defeat by Crayke but Wilberfoss's plight is now bordering on the impossible after their nine wicket defeat at the hands of Sessay leave them 66 points adrift. Stillington's Mohammed Hafeez made his second score in excess of 150 but his unbeaten 158 could not prevent a five wicket defeat at Dringhouses which leaves his side a solitary point above 11th placed Duncombe Park who had the better of a draw at Carlton Towers in a rehearsal of next Sunday's Readman Cup Final.

Hull Zingari increased their lead in division two with a 100 run win at Civil Service while Goole lost ground when having the worst of a draw at Castleford. Scarborough's 14-year-old batting star Chris Batchelor made an unbeaten 115 at Tadcaster Magnet where the home side were then bowled out for one of the lowest totals of the season when they could only muster 35 as Robert Harrison took six for 14 and Mark Wells four for 11.

Hornsea now lead division three by 40 points after easily beating Selby. Second placed Malton and Old Malton had to settle for a losing draw at Woodhouse Grange and are now being pressed by Hovingham for whom Johnny Rounthwaite had remarkable figures of five wickets for two runs as Londesbrough were beaten by nine wickets.

Two New Earswick batsmen hit tons. First seamer Andrew James made 101 at his side had a big draw over Heworth but his efforts were overshadowed by second teamer Martin Forster who rescued his side from a hideous 22 for six by crashing 100 not out before taking three for 20 as Wilberfoss were bowled to a five run defeat