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Leaders find it tough; Murton suffer shock loss - but then bounce back in style.

IT IS tough at the top as leaders Murton and secondplaced Dawdon were beaten in the first matches of their weekend double-header.

Murton travelled to previously winless Hylton hopeful of keeping up the pace at the summit.

Hylton were indebted to Andrew Kibble (36) and Stephen Lee-Merrington (35) as they posted 145 in the face of good bowling from Keith Chapman (3-42) and Graeme Robson (3-30).

This proved more than enough as the leaders capitulated for just 63 thanks to an inspirational spell of five wickets for five runs from veteran Owen Williamson.

Dawdon missed the chance to take top spot as they were rolled over by a buoyant Easington side, who themselves moved in to second spot on Saturday night just eight points adrift of Murton.

Dawdon's innings never got off the ground in the face of excellent bowling from the home side's Andrew Price (4-18) and Alistair Watson (4-9). They were rolled over for a paltry 48 and Easington dashed to victory by eight wickets, Jason Moses cracking an unbeaten 30.

Seaham Park's five points from their abandoned game at Bill Quay kept them in third spot.

Silksworth visited Peterlee and their victory, thanks in no small part to the all-round efforts of Michael Kelly, moved them into the top half.

Silks batted first, making 126-8 in their 50 overs with Kelly (30 not out) and skipper Paul Smailes (34) the mainstays of their innings.

Peterlee looked on course with opener Min Mahill scoring 37, but the introduction of Kelly into the attack provided a dramatic change as he ripped through the home side, taking six wickets for only eight runs as Peterlee slumped to 76 all out.

Murton bounced back on Sunday as their game with Boldon was the only one to totally beat the weather.

They triumphed by nine wickets and club spokesman Ian Graham said: "We were very fortunate with the weather again but once the lads got on the field they knuckled down.

"It was good to put the very disappointing performance against Hylton right behind us with a convincing win over CA.

"To be fair the pitch was not as wet as we thought it might be and, despite a shower of rain that kept us off for half an hour, the weather held long enough to allow us to get the job done."

Worrell's on the Ball NORTHUMBRIA student Richie Worrell led the UK team in their World Junior Hockey Ball Championship debut.

The team began the competition with defeat to Slovakia, but Worrell believes the team will improve.

He said: "I thought it was a top effort by the whole squad. We gave it 100%."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2012
Words:444
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