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Friday, 29 May 2015

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STOCKSFIELD are clinging on to top spot despite going down in a nail-biting encounter with Blagdon Park.

Finishing about 20 runs short of what they would have liked, their opponents scraped through with four balls remaining to inflict the one wicket defeat.

In-form Stocksfield looked good value to extend their lead ahead of tomorrow’s top two clash with Tillside, openers Alex Brown (59) and Steven Henderson (51) putting on a triple figure partnership.

But when Brown was caught on the boundary, Stocksfield faced a bit of a collapse as they lost Ben Archer (2), Sam Mannion (4) and Henderson in quick succession.

Captain Dan Whiley (35no) threw his weight around to get them back on track, but the rest struggled as Andy Wood (1), Matt Bewick (6), Emerson Brown (4) and Chris Patterson (0) departed.

Teenager James Doneathy (1no) was at the crease with Whiley when the overs ran out on 174-8.

Stocksfield were always in the chase as their bowling was as tight as ever, the performance in the field backing it up as it went right down to the wire.

With Wood (3-23) and Ant Allen (1-17), promoted from the seconds, making things particularly difficult, Blagdon were made to work hard but numbers 10 and 11 Henry Blake and Alistair Clarksaw them home in the final over.

Tillside closed the gap at the top to just two points as a top batting display saw them defeat Corbridge by 70 runs despite a good all-round display from Andy Dover.

While he conceded 68 runs, Dover managed to claim four wickets as he tried to stem the flow of the second placed side’s hard hitting.

Derek Robinson (3-31) finished with three wickets and captain Chris Fowler (1-17) one, but Tillside were able to post a commanding 288 for their guests to chase.

The reply could have started better as Andy Percival (0) went early and overseas player Mark Ryan (12) struggled with a niggling injury.

Mattie Thompson (22) continued to lead the way but his contribution was stifled when he was bowled by the impressive Liam Hindmarsh who accounted for the top three.

With Fowler (9) bowled, Tris Douglas (45) and Dover (72) put Corbridge back into the chase but their hopes were dashed after they departed with Ross Atkinson (9), David Smurthwaite (7), David Hardy (1), Gary van Doorn (17no) and Robinson (7) not able to up the run rate significantly.

Second team skipper Chris Jowsey took the plaudits as he guided Corbridge II to a 50 run victory over Cramlington II.

Building on work early on by Simon Walker (22) and Michael Stephenson (13), Jowsey (72) steered his side to a total of 146.

He was then ruthless with the ball (6-8) in his 9.2 overs to prevent Cramlington making triple figures, Will Gascoigne (2-17) and Alife Clouston (2-20) taking the other wickets.