RICHMONDSHIRE were dealt a body blow in their pursuit of the Darlington Building Society NYSD ECB Premier League title as they lost at home to leaders Marton by 45 runs.

The visitors were asked to bat and made a bad start on 3-2, but Lee Hodgson scored 29 and then Aamer Sajjad batted well, adding 66 runs off 90 balls, which included six fours and a six.

Sam Wood then bowled well and claimed 3-34, alongside Steven Reeves who took 3-54. Fez Hussain made a useful and crucial 32 runs near the end, with the leaders finishing on 196-9.

The Dalesmen then made a positive start, as Gary Pratt made 35 and Robert Carr 50, but Alex Wardell ripped out the middle order taking a brilliant 6-37, to claim an excellent victory by 45 runs.

Barnard Castle lost again, as they went down by six wickets at Thornaby. Barney decided to bat first, but they lost early wickets and were 35-3 at one stage. James Quinn then made 47 not out and Richard Borrowdale 59, to then build a useful partnership of 88 runs, but then Sagar Udeshi claimed an excellent 5-44, alongside Lewis Harper, who returned 3-35.

The home side then had Jeremy Boyle to thank, as his half century (50) and Lewis Harper adding 61 not out, eased them to victory by six wickets, finishing on 151-4.

Darlington had a creditable draw at Middlesbrough. Boro batted first and totalled a healthy 245-5, as Nick Kwant made 53 and John Watson 65, as they put on 100 runs for the second wicket. Jake Whittle and Hassan Raza both hit half centuries, in quick time, to add to the score.

The Quakers also batted well, with Liam Coates scoring 74 not out from 107 balls, which included eight fours and Peter Greenwell made 31 not out, in an unbroken stand of 66 runs, to finish on 195-5.

AT the halfway stage of the Dukes ECB North East Premier League season, Burnmoor trail South North by 21 points, as they won at home to Chester-le-Street. They were on top immediately from the start. Sami Khan (2-34) and Marc Symington (3-41) tore open the batting order, as the Cestrians slumped to 72-6. Quentin Hughes then dug in for 58 runs from 107 balls, but Craig Stephenson returned 4-22, to bowl them all out for 128 runs.

The home side made the required runs, scoring 129-6, with Craig Symington top scoring with 26 not out, after opener Martin Hubber had scored 25 and Marc Symington 20, to complete an excellent four wicket win, despite Stephen Cantwell claiming 3-38.

Hetton Lyons had Jarvis Clay to thank after a shaky start at home to Whitburn. He made 86 from 128 balls, which included 10 fours, as Matthew Muchall claimed 3-66, to take out the middle order. Ryan Clark then made 38 unbeaten runs, to get them up to a total of 215-7.

The visitors opening batsman James Thompson, hit a superb century (100no) from 150 balls, which included 15 fours and a six. Skipper Paul Shields made 35 in a stand of 70, with Thompson and they then lost regular wickets and ended up on 177-8, as Cameron Grimwood claimed 4-43.

Sacriston took first knock at Burnopfield and lost wickets regularly, as they came across an in-form Callum Thorp who claimed 4-29. At 54-6, things looked gloomy, but Phillip Peel then made 48 from 100 balls and Andrew Dixon 37, as they put on 78 runs for the seventh wicket and eventually, they finished on 184 all out.

The home side started well as Matthew Oswald (44) and Daniel Hutton (45), put on 57 for the second wicket and then skipper John Oswell made 49 not out, from just 29 balls which included eight fours, to ensure victory on 188-4.

Eppleton travelled to Tynemouth and asked the home side to bat first. They made 199-8, with Michael Jones scoring 80 from 128 balls, which included seven fours. On the bowling front, Andrew Ebdale and Connor Whitelock each claimed three wickets apiece.

The visitors had a reasonable start, with Sam Dinning scoring 39, but they then lost regular wickets and claimed the draw at 146-8, as Martin Pollard claimed 3-38.

LANCHESTER piled on the runs in Division One of Northumberland and Tyneside Cricket League at Annfield Plain, as they decided to bat first. Kieran Gohery made 39, Marc Ramshaw 33, Callum Barnes added 58, while Greg Halliday smashed 50 off 44 balls, which included eight fours, in a final total of 259-8.

The home side started positively, as Sam Stephenson made 34, but Callum Barnes was in excellent form claiming 6-37, in a final total of 136.

In Division Two, Leadgate still lead the way at the top, following a 58-run win at home to Blue Flames. Lee Innes with 34 and David Richardson 35, got them up to 162 all out. In reply, the visitors were all out for 102, as Jack Murray claimed 4-32 and Innes with the ball returned 3-32, to claim the victory.

EASINGTON hold a healthy 34-point lead at the top of the Division One table in the Readers Durham Cricket League, at the halfway stage of the season. They travelled to Marsden and scored 236-7, thanks to Jonathan Davis making 33, Rob Atherton 44 and Jason Moses a superb 70 not out.

Marsden in second place, lost early wickets and had to settle for the draw on 140-6, with Chris Mann scoring 36 and Shahid Khan 40 not out, making the runs.

Tudhoe are now bottom, as they struggled at home to Ushaw Moor. They slumped to 43-5 as Stephen Hancock claimed an incredible 7-7 off 12 overs, including eight maidens, as Scott Nattress returned 3-47. Skipper Daniel Thexton top scored with 20, as they finished on 86 all out.

In reply, Ushaw lost two early wickets, but John Southeran with 33 not out and Jonna Lane 54 not out from 34 balls, which included eight fours and three sixes, in a winning total of 87-2 to record their first win of the season.