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SWALW ELL continue to march along at the top of the Wellstream NTSL and maintained their 100% record on Saturday by easily brushing aside the challenge of Newcastle City.

The Pattison boys, Ian and Stuart, mirrored each other's scores with 41 apiece and the rest of the runs in a total of 213-7 were shared around, with only Jaspreet Singh (3-57) able to keep a lid on proce edings.

Chris Mee starred again by taking 5-37 in an impressive burst that had City back in the pavilion with just 82 to their name.

Leadgate have struggled so far this year but they overturned the form book when they surprisingly lowered Ryton's colours. It looked for all intents and purposes that the home team were going to clock up their sixth league win of the season when they had Leadgate back in the pavilion for just 136, Anil Ridee (4-41) and Richard Brooks (3-20) doing the business.

When skipper Neil Robinson (41) was at the crease everything looked rosy. But the introduction of Dave Anderson to the attack had a dramatic effect on the game - he took out the entire top order in a brilliant spell of 5-26 and then Lee Murray blew the tail away with 3-3 to hand Leadgate a 30-run win.

Ryton's defeat handed Sacriston a chance to move into second spot - and they grabbed it while consigning Benwell and Walbottle to bottom spot.

Benwell's nemesis was Melvyn Betts (4-32) who, along with Martin Hubber (3-49) and Travis King (2-12), dumped the strugglers out for 134. Paul Shield (72) then powered the home team to an eight-wicket win.

The match of the day was at Shotley Bridge where the home side won by one run against unlucky visitors Tynedale .

Liam Pringle's return of 5-36 was principally responsible for restricting Bridge to a score of 181.

The hosts were indebted to their first three batsmen Phil Brown (53), Peter Collingwood (35) and Phil Carlin (35).

A three-way result was possible until the very last ball but the Bridge bowlers had the steadier nerve in the final analysis and held Tynedale at bay despite the fact they had three wickets remaining.

Stephen Boyd (91) and Paul Rutherford (6-35) were the architects of Ashington's 83-run demolition of Annfield Plain, and Lintz duly completed their expected victory over Backworth who are still wondering where their first win will come from.

The race for the championship of the Three Counties Northumberland League's Premier Division was blown wide open when Corbridge became the first team this season to topple leaders Kirkley, and in so doing moved to within four points of their rivals.

Corbridge had three batting stars as they posted an impressive 226-4 - Dave Newton fell one short of a half century, but then Chris Darling (81) and Andy Dover (63 not out) took the Kirkley attack to task.

And when the leaders set off in pursuit of their target they came across a determined set of bowlers, five of whom got their name in the wicket-taking column, and this relentless pressure told with the visitors finishing well short on 159.

Bedlington had a similar sort of victory over Warkwo rth, piling on 248-6, with Paul Straker making a sublime 135 not out. Malcolm Humble (4-27) and Straker (3-43) then kept the home team's reply under control with the Terriers securing a 59-run win to stand just six points off the top of the table.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Stocksfield over Bates Cottages - Alex Brown's six wickets proving pivotal - and Alnmouth over Blyth .

And there was relief at last for Clara Vale as they picked up their first win of the season. Alex Herbert produced a glorious knock for the Vale, his 60 including seven fours, and the home side were able to progress to a score of 171-9 despite Ben Heatley's 12 tight overs from which he took 3-33.

Adam French (30) was the only one who could stand up to Mark Little as Bomarsund bombed for 125. Little proved virtually unplayable as he sent down 14 impressive overs and returned 6-19 to give the Vale a massive boost.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 2, 2008
Previous Article:Cricket: DURHAM LEAGUES ROUND-UP.

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