In the NTSL, three clubs have 100 per cent records after two games, but much-fancied Shotley Bridge suffered an unexpected defeat by newcomers Ponteland.

The former second division side, who were elevated at the last minute and lost by one wicket in a nail-biting finish on the season’s opening day, came out on top this time by seven runs in another thrilling finale. Skipper Wayne Ritzema hit a superb 76 to anchor his team’s total of 163-8, then Mark Turnbull (6-43) gave the underdogs the upper hand, ending the game in a blitz of lbws after Bridge had looked in control.

John Callaghan (3-36) struck down Shotley’s middle order.

Whatever anyone does they will have to overcome six-times champions Swalwell if they want to take the title.

They won again, Chris Hewison with an unbeaten 79 leading the victory drive over Ryton after Guy Saxton (5-38) had helped dismiss the home team for a modest 151.

The others with win records still intact are Annfield Plain, who beat newly-promoted Consett, and Burnopfield, who won their derby with Lintz to claim the early season bragging rights.

The Plain had Greg Patterson (42 not out) and Neil Killeen (38) to thank for a mid-order partnership which took them to a five-wicket success after Consett, who were restricted to 140.

Micky Allen took four wickets and Killeen grabbed three as the Plain made the most of their decision to field first.

In the neighbourly battle, Burnopfield finished winners over Lintz by seven wickets.

Anwaar Hafeez led the visitors to victory by taking seven wickets and then hitting 84 in a brilliant allround display. Lintz were restricted to 143.

In the only other match played, Barry Stewart hit a century for Percy Main, who went on to bowl out Leadgate for just 105 and win by a massive 155-run margin.