In the relegation dogfight, Marton moved further away from the relegation trapdoor, as they remain undefeated in their last five games. Opponents Hartlepool, however, are looking over their shoulders.

Marton are now 40 points clear of Bishop Auckland and 45 points clear of bottom club Marske, having drawn an entertaining game at Park Drive.

But with Richmondshire’s second team winning again in Division One, only one promotion and relegation spot could be up for grabs.

Marton decided to bat first on winning the toss and made 213-8, thanks to professional Aamer Sajjad, who made a brilliant 102 not out from 139 balls. Mark Davis took the bowling honours, claiming 4-51 from 15 overs.

James Lowe helped himself to 127 not out from 147 balls, which included 15 fours and two sixes, after Chris Allinson had struck twice, with two wickets in two balls.

Pools earned the draw, despite a late surge of wickets from Muhammed Zahid (3-23) and their innings ended on 200-8, earning 12 points in their quest to avoid the drop, which leaves them 22-points from the bottom two.

Darlington have the same number of points as Pools, following their defeat at home to Stokesley.

The visitors slumped to 54-5, due to Liam Coates’ 3-22. However, Shrikant Wagh with 54 and Harry Harding 41 not out, repaired the innings as they put on 75 for the sixth wicket, taken them to 152 all out.

The home side also struggled with the bat, with Wagh and Daniel Chillingworth each taking four wicket. Nathan Wright scored 38, but they were all out for 132.

Seaton Carew were the big movers, as they saw off Middlesbrough at Hornby Park, which leaves Boro six points above Marton.

The home side batted first after winning the toss and totalled 185-8, mainly thanks to opener David Seymour who made 50, David Braithwaite 53 and Jack Stonehouse 46, with the latter two putting on 94 for the sixth wicket. Harry Williams was the pick of the bowling, claiming 3-27, in a six over spell.

Boro slumped to 24-4, as David Storey claimed 5-34 in an excellent spell and then Neil Whitworth bagged 3-6 off four overs, with the visitors ending up on just 62 all out from 27.3 overs.

Marske were heavily beaten at home to Barnard Castle, as the visitors made 188-6 against some excellent bowling from the Seasiders attack. Opener Mike Dixon hit 50 and Richard Borrowdale scored a controlled 48 not out, while Sam Berry claimed 4-43 from 15 overs.

Marske were in a mess at 31-6, as Josh Bousfield (2-18) and Giles Creedon impressed with the new ball. The Seasiders were all out for a paltry 55, with Creedon claiming 7-29.

Leaders Great Ayton maintained their 14-point advantage. Against Thornaby they scored 207-7, thanks to opener Chris Batchelor who scored 54, David Grainge 32, Philip Holdsworth 37 and professional Pitigala Jeewantha was 46 not out. On the bowling front, Tharindu Rathnayake stood out with 5-71.

The visitors never got going and an opening burst from Jeewantha saw him take 5-33 from 15 overs to rip up the top order and although Steven Purcifer smashed 83 and Rathnayake made 35, they fell 10 runs short on 197 all out.

Richmondshire lost ground in the title race, as they could only draw at Bishop Auckland. The Dalesmen had two century makers, as skipper Gary Pratt scored 103 not out from 131 balls, which included nine fours and four sixes, while opening partner Robert Carr made 110 not from 140 balls, which included 12 fours and three sixes, in an unbroken partnership of 237.

Bishops hung on for the draw, making 183-8, thanks to Danny Hardaker’s 50 and Nimesh Vimukthi who made 67. Matthew McKiernan took 4-68 and Pratt 3-13 with the ball.