SOUTH NORTH look set to be crowned ECB North-East Regional Premier League champions after winning comfortably at Chester-le-Street – to open up a 55-point lead at the top.

In a must-win game, the home side were skittled out for just 50, with Jonathan Wightman taking 3-11 and Michael Craigs 3-7 ripping through the batting order. The Bulls soon made the runs, scoring 52-2 from 12 overs.

Hetton Lyons, in third, travelled to Tynemouth and asked the home side to bat first.

They made 152-9 thanks to Matthew Brown who top scored with 64. Andrew Smith added 43 and on the bowling front, Cameron Grimwood took 4-18 and Chris Ralston claimed 3-29.

The Lyons made 153-7, mainly thanks to 41 from Stuart Walker and 33 not out from skipper Jarvis Clay, to claim victory by seven wickets.

Stockton lost at Whitburn, who totalled 202. Opener Paul Shields carried his bat for an excellent 107 not out from 172 balls, which included 15 fours. Jamie Harrison, 3-18, cut through the top order for the Teessiders.

The visitors were struggling on 22-3, before Matthew Gill with 44 and Joe Hewison with 49 steadied the ship. However, Kieran Waterson was in terrific form and took 6-18 to bowl out the Teessiders for 153.

Durham Cricket Academy faced Benwell Hill and made 171 all out.

Ben Seabrook and Luke Doneathy both made 31, but it took a late surge from Faizan Hussain who struck 39, forming a last wicket partnership of 65 with John Windows (23no), while Rory Hanley took 3-46 and Max Williamson returned 3-43, with the ball.

The Hill were 88-5 and looking like losing until Mark Dale hit 38 and Rory Hanley smashed 45 not out, putting on 32 for the tenth wicket with Peter Jones (6no), from 17 balls in 172-9, to win by the narrowest of margins.

Felling welcomed bottom club Sacriston in the crucial relegation encounter and the visitors made 174 all out. Nathan Hall with 63 was the pick of the batting, hitting 11 fours, while Paul Leonard and Dale Shaw both took 3-33.

The home side clung on for the draw following a dreadful start. They collapsed to 33-5, as Melvyn Betts took 3-25 and then Jonny Bushnell claimed 3-20. However, Graham Wright dug in for 60 not out, to save the game.

Eppleton travelled to Newcastle and restricted the home side to 167. Connor Whitelock with 3-40 was the pick of the bowling, while Jacques do Toit top scored with 37 runs. However, the visitors crumbled to 84 all out, as Callum Harding with 3-13 and Oliver McGee 4-21 ripped up their batting order and never recovered from 17-4.

In the Northumberland and Tyneside Cricket League the top four all battled it out.

Long-time leaders Shotley Bridge, in third, visited front-runners Consett and their title hopes took a big knock. The home side batted and made steady progress with Gary Hunter scoring 36 and Hassan Raza 57, while Joe Gibson bowled well taking 3-48 in a total of 188-7.

Shotley were not at the races and were all out for 82, with Mark Dixon taking an excellent 5-30 and Kamran Mansoor claimed 3-15. Only skipper Mick Allen with 39 resisted.

Lanchester won at third-bottom Percy Main by four wickets.

Percy Main scored 151-6, mainly thanks to opener David Anderson who made 78 not out, with Callum Barnes taking 3-37. Sam Crooks then made 51 for the visitors and Daniel Storey added 34, to ease their side to victory.

In Division Two, Leadgate lost the big game at home to new leaders Bedlington and slip to third, following a 15-run defeat.

The visitors scored 102 all out, as Lee Innes took 3-11 and James Radcliffe an impressive 5-11, with Majid Ansari scoring 74. The home side were all out for just 87, despite 44 from Lee Innes, as Craig Robinson claimed 4-18 and Chris Younger 3-34.

Easington maintained their grip at the top of the Readers Durham Cricket League with a 61-run win at home at Horden. They scored a healthy 202-5, thanks to Ryan Higgins 75, Jonathan Davis 56 and Jason Moses 41 not out, while Scott Binks took 3-40. Horden made 141 all out, with Omar Shahid taking 4-24. Adam Dixon scored 43 and JP Meade 34, but their team are still in deep relegation trouble.

Crook are second after beating Tudhoe at home. They made 201-5 declared, with Andrew Pratt scoring 55, Stuart Newton 41 and Daniel Doram 59 not out. Tudhoe only managed 100 all out, as Doram returned 4-17, to keep their promotion hopes on track.

Evenwood slipped to third in Division Two, following defeat at home to Littletown, who go second. The home side made just 129 all out, with Luke Bannister making 62. Patrick Stephenson with 4-17, Calvin Stephenson 3-34 and Bryan Conlon with 3-20, doing the damage with the ball. Skipper Dan Pearson led the way with 72 not out.