The big match at the top between Barnard Castle and leaders Great Ayton ended in a predictable draw. Ayton now hold a nine-point lead at the top, with five games to go until the end of the season.

While Richmondshire, in third, went down to in-form Seaton Carew.

The visitors were asked to bat first and made steady progress, with Richard Borrowdale (81) in particular betting well and Giles Creedon (46 not out), helping them to 231-7.

Ayton were professional in their batting approach, and with opener Chris Batchelor making 50 from 94 balls, which included eight fours, and Mitchell Davis, 62 from 82 balls, which included eight fours and two sixes, ensured the draw on 181-7.

Alasdair Appleby (3-38) and Creedon (3-49) impressed with the ball.

Richmondshire lost at home to Seaton Carew by 79 runs. The visitors made 166 all out, mainly thanks to 48 from opener David Seymour and 66 from professional Usman Arshad. Sam Wood with 4-33 and Dion Wood with 4-49, were the stand out bowlers.

The home side collapsed under David Storey’s opening spell of bowling and only made 83 all out, with skipper Gary Pratt top scoring with 29 runs. Storey took 4-28 and was backed up by skipper Paul Braithwaite who claimed 3-9, to record a fine win. Seaton have now done the double over the Dalesmen.

It is still tight at the bottom, as Bishop Auckland dropped back into bottom place, following a narrow defeat at Stokesley.

The home side had professional Shrikant Wagh to thank, as he made a match-winning 46 to boost his side’s score to 116 all out. Craig George was the star with the ball taking 4-32, with two wickets each for Chris Sawyer and Ryan Nicholson.

In a tight finish Andrew Weighell (3-33) and Ritchie Chandler (3-12), kept their nerve following Wagh’s efforts with the new ball, ripping out the top order with (3-26), with only Nimesh Vimukthi resisting with 30.

Another two teams also looking to avoid relegation met up, as Marton entertained Darlington.

The home side won the toss, fielded and were in the wickets early on, as skipper Alex Wardell took 4-30 to reduce the visitors to 57-5. Matthew Connelly then took 3-32 and Muhammed Zahid 3-20, to get the visitors all out for 118.

Marton lost early wickets, as Liam Coates struck twice early and he then went onto take 5-26 to rip through Marton’s batting, with only Jonny Spillane resisting with 30, in 86 all out.

Another two teams struggling faced each other, as Middlesbrough took on Marske at Acklam Park and, for the second week running, Boro failed to reach 100. They made 88 all out, thanks to Benjamin Van Rensburg who took 3-12 and Sam Berry a brilliant 5-20. Lee Hodgson then made 34 and Sam Berry 27, to see their side home and lift them off bottom place.

Hartlepool had a great result at Thornaby and picked up a crucial win in their fight against the drop. The home side totalled 169-8, thanks to Jeremy Boyle making 82, as Mark Davis with 3-36 and James Lowe with 3-32 bowled well for Pools. Lowe then led the way with the bat, as he struck 62 and George Relton made 44 not out, to secure the 20 points in 170-7.