GOOD WIN: Lands opener Gary Close hits out on his way to a half century in his side’s win against Raby Castle on Saturday TM pic
GOOD WIN: Lands opener Gary Close hits out on his way to a half century in his side’s win against Raby Castle on Saturday TM pic


NYSD Premier Division

Hartlepool............... 99

Barnard Castle........ 100-3

PREDICTIONS that the race for the premier division title would be one of the most open for years are beginning to ring true after the first handful of games.

Just 21 points separate Middlesbrough, currently top, and Richmondshire, in eighth spot. Barney sit second after a straightforward victory over at Hartlepool.

After calling correctly, James Quinn asked Hartlepool to bat first and the afternoon simply got better from that point. It took Josh Bousfield just two deliveries to remove Harry Crawshaw for a duck before bowling Yash Vagadia for 14.

When Johnny Bushnell was run out thanks to smart work from Tom Merryweather, the hosts were struggling at 36-3.

Paul Braithwaite and Alan Tebbett attempted to consolidate, but had reckoned without the efforts of Karl Carver.

The wily left armer produced another superb spell of slow bowling to run through the Hartlepool middle and lower order.

Braithwaite and Tebbett both lost their stumps, as did James Piper – first ball – and Jack Wilson. Tom Gavin was adjudged LBW and Jonathan Mitchell was caught by Quinn. It had taken Carver just 7.5 overs to claim 6-12 as Hartlepool were bowled out for just 99.

Unlike seven days previously, when Barney lost both openers without a run on the board in pursuit of a small target, there were no such alarms this time round.

James Clarkson and Finn Usher posted 55 before Usher departed the scene for 23.

Quinn was bowled for a duck and Samarth Seth was caught having reached ten, but with Clarkson again displaying good form, Barney were never in trouble.

The opener remained unbeaten on 59, a knock which featured nine well struck boundaries, as Barney reached the target.

Barney are on the road again this coming Saturday with a trip to Thornaby.

Hartlepool 99 (J Bousfield 2-17, K Carver 6-12, F Usher 1-8). Barnard Castle 100-3 (J Clarkson 59no).

NYSD Division 2

Barnard Castle........ 69

Maltby...................... 71-2

BARNEY’S up and down season with the bat continued with a disappointing display at Vere Road.

After the previous week’s run fest it was a famine of biblical proportions on a blameless surface.

The top order had succumbed with just 23 on the board and although Joe Toulson briefly threatened to lead a recovery, once he was eighth out for 18 with 58 on the board the game was up.

Maltby made short work of the chase, reaching the target in just the 12th over, although Peter Stanwix did pick up the two wickets to fall.

NYSD Sunday

Conference North

Yarm III.................... 236-8

Barnard Castle III.... 115

BARNEY fell to a heavy defeat after Yarm’s Alex Dunne hit 90 in his side’s imposing total.

Skipper Joe Toulson and Max Bailey were the pick of the Barney bowlers, each claiming two wickets while keeping the scoring rate under control.

In reply, Toulson (26) and John Lucas (28) both made starts, but the innings subsided with a whimper.

Durham and North East Cricket league Division 2

Mainsforth.............. 172

Evenwood............... 127

EVENWOOD were never in the hunt after hosts Mainsforth had posted a competitive total.

At 53-4, Mainsforth were thankful for wicket keeper Aidan Cummings’ half century for rescuing what could have been a tricky situation.

He put on 76 for the fifth wicket with Kevin Dixon content to play second fiddle.

Once the pair were removed, Evenwood fought back well to restrict the total to under four an over.

Thomas Teesdale and Regan Goundry both picked up three wickets and there were two for pro Sawan Kankanange.

Evenwood’s reply began badly with both Teesdale and Kankanange back in the hutch with just nine of the board. Luke Bannister and Goundry set about repairing things with a partnership of 56 but once both fell within a run of each other, it was game up.

Evenwood are in action at the Randolph Social Welfare ground on Saturday when Murton CC are the visitors.

Darlington and

District Cricket League

ALDBROUGH St John showed no mercy to depleted East Cowton – posting almost 300 and then bowling their opponents out for just 19.

Matthew Brown hit 126 and there were good contributions from Simon Weaver (36), Max Bailey (43) and Martyn Cox (38) as Aldbrough's innings closed on 290-9. Will Raw was the pick of the Cowton bowlers with 3-29 from six overs. Cowton never recovered from the run out of opener Brian Tucker and the least said about the rest, the better as Brown and Andrew Ralph shared the wickets.

Barningham recorded their first win of the season at Eryholme.

Veteran opener Colin Blackburn laid the foundation for Barningham’s 169-7 with 49.

A four wicket opening burst from skipper Jake Black put Barningham in the driving seat and three wickets for Jack Walker ensured there were no alarms as Eryholme were sent back for 85.

After conceding last week’s game at Haughton, Lands were back in action and thumped Raby Castle.

Having been put into bat, openers Craig Talbot and Gary Close put on 68 for the first wicket. Close went on to complete a half century and Jonathan Milroy added a typically aggressive 38 to take Lands to 173-4.

In reply, Raby opener Joe Dent batted through the innings. Unfortunately the innings lasted just 28.2 overs and Raby were bowled out for just 51, with Dent unbeaten on 22.

Talbot and Close each took three wickets and Michael Crane picked up a couple.

Cliffe’s all out total of 123 was never likely to be enough and so it proved as Middleton St George cruised to a seven wicket win.

Cockerton batted their full 40 overs against Haughton – but scored just 66-8.

Mark Little’s ten overs cost just three runs (he also picked up two wickets), while Danny McGuire’s spell went for just eight runs. McGuire then hit an unbeaten 35 as Haughton cruised to a nine wicket win.

In the B division, Middleton-in-Teesdale suffered a calamitous batting collapse at the hands of Middleton Tyas’ opening bowlers Dan Smith and Andy Hadfield, posting just 38, of which John Lucas hit an unbeaten 23. Smith took 4-15 and Hadfield 6-21.

Allan Curry’s 63 helped Cliffe II to 180-7 against Raby Castle II, with skipper Richard Mallender adding 34. This was more than enough as Raby were bowled out for 115 with almost nine overs remaining.

Other B division scores: Barton 135, Oxbridge 137-4; Haughton II 124, Spennymoor 127-1; Witton-le-Wear 134, Richmondshire V 137-4.

In the C division, Chris Bennett scored 41 for Etherley against Middleton St George II, but couldn’t find any support from the other batsmen as the side could only make it to 90. Of the ten wickets to fall, eight were bowled.

Bob Hadfield picked up five wickets for just three runs in 4.1 overs and veteran Martin Hall chipped in with 2-33.

Middleton encountered few alarms in reaching their target for the loss of two wickets.

King James’ bowlers were on form to send back Northallerton III for just 68, with Tom Whittaker and Richard Brown each taking three wickets and Dennis Gorton going for just eight runs from his nine overs.

Whittaker then hit an unbeaten 45 as King James cruised to the win.

In the division’s other game, there were centuries for Cockerton II’s Graeme Stansfield (129no) and Ashley Pratt (105) in a total of 288-1, which also included 49 extras.

After losing four early wickets, opponents Barton II rallied to reach 177, Matty Glenton top scoring with 38 and Freddy Pratt taking 4-25.