The weather decimated the Darlington Building Society NYSD ECB Premier League, but Great Ayton managed to keep their lead at the top, now reduced by two to 14 points, as they drew at home to Marske.

Marske batted first and scored 191-5, with opener Lee Hodgson making 38, Sam Berry contributed 68 and Gary Lynch ended up with 50 not out, to put themselves in a decent position.

Ayton were 7-0 when the rain came, and the match was abandoned as a draw.

Barnard Castle remain in second place, but gained two points on leaders Ayton, as they took 10 points from their abandoned game with Seaton Carew at Vere Road.

Seaton started well and their first four batsman all made runs, as openers David Seymour (36), Martin Skirving (33), alongside skipper Paul Braithwaite’s 57 from 68 balls.

Giles Creedon bowled excellently again, taking 5-38 and the visitors ended up on a decent 184-8. Barney did not get an opportunity to knock off the runs, as the rain came too soon for them and the match was abandoned.

Richmondshire stay third, but gleaned 12 points from their abandoned match.

The Dalesmen decided to bat first and made an excellent 248-5 declared, from 45 overs. Skipper Gary Pratt made 55 and Mike Layfield scored 32, alongside Steven Mather 54 and Matthew Cowling then smashed 56 off 37 balls, to allow the declaration.

Darlington had made 35-3, when the rain came and washed out play.

Middlesbrough moved up to fifth and surely dispelled any more thoughts of relegation, beating struggling Bishop Auckland at Acklam Park. Boro were the only team to win in the league due to the weather disruption and will be pleased with their result.

They asked Bishops to bat first and struck early blows to the side who sit second bottom.

Jamie Burke (2-18) and Ahsan Shrindal (2-29), reduced them to 26-4 at one stage. Craig George then dug in for 35 runs off 70 balls, but skipper Leigh Beaumont finished them off with an excellent 5-14, to bowl them all out for 90.

The home side wobbled early on losing two quick wickets, but James Middleton with (32no) and Steven Reeves who smashed 49 not out, from just 34 balls, eased them over the line on 95-2 to claim the 20 points.

Marton moved up to seventh as they gained 16 points from their winning draw at Thornaby. They lost early wickets and were 6-2, until Luke De Vlieg with 33, Jonny Spillane with 36 and Muhammed Zahid 34, got them up to 139 all out. On the bowling front, professional Tharindu Rathnayake took an excellent 5-28, to put the home side in a strong position.

However, Thornaby struggled against some excellent bowling from skipper Alex Wardell, as he took 4-25. Opener Jeremy Boyle stood firm and made 42 runs, to earn his side the draw finishing on 99-8.

Hartlepool are heading in the wrong direction and are now just 16 points above the relegation trapdoor – the weather only saving them from a big defeat.

They slumped to 44-7 at Stokesley, as skipper Andrew Weighell took (3-22) and professional Shrikant Wagh (4-17) tore them apart and then Matthew Smith cleaned up the tail claiming 3-28, in a final total of 99. However, the rain came and halted the game, as the home side did not get out to bat.