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Thornaby topple leaders Darlington
On a sensational Sunday, the league table was turned upside down as Thornaby won in dramatic fashion at Feethams to topple leaders Darlington, and Stokesley hammered second-placed Great Ayton by nine wickets.
The Quakers looked on course for a routine victory over the bottom club after bowling them out for a paltry 71, Jon Barnes once again scattering the opposition with a 16 over spell of 5-25. But Omar Shahid's 41 was to prove pivotal on a day when all other batsmen struggled, no more so than Darlington's as they were skittled for 59, Faizal Hussain (6-23) and Danny Wade (3-13) routing the home team.
South African speed merchant Brandon Viret (3-39) shook the early Ayton batters in a ferocious 17 over spell at Leven Park, and with James Beaumont (4-34) and Andrew Weighell (3-12) providing great support Ayton were humbled for 91.
Stokesley skipper Weighell (50) and his brother Jonny (42no) then quickly took the game away from the home team with an opening stand of 89.
With luckless Richmond going back into second place with the six points from their abandoned match, Guisborough also leapfrogged pointless Ayton to end the double programme in third after they savaged Marton by 147 runs.
Chris Allinson (70 and 3-31) and Chris Nicholls (6-25) did the emphatic business for the Priorymen.
Darlington Building Society North Yorkshire and South Durham ECB Premier League
A 15-year-old batsman playing in only his second game in the top division stood firm against the League's three most outstanding bowlers on Saturday and, as a result, leaders Darlington were thwarted in their bid to register their eighth win in 11.
Junior wicke-keeper Elliott Holmes defied the efforts of Jon Barnes, Doug Mulholland and Peter Armstrong to keep alive Billingham's hopes of saving a game which was slipping away disastrously from their grasp when he came to the wicket.
Their top three batsmen had gone for just four runs when Holmes faced the first of 58 balls from which he scored 29 runs and made sure Synthonia progressed to 53 for the loss of just four more wickets.
A few overs later - and with their last two batsmen at the crease - the game was abandoned because of rain, but the hosts had fought off defeat.
The wily Barnes, the season's top wicket taker, shared six with Mulholland while Armstrong grabbed a couple. Between them they bowled all but three of the 34 overs as Billingham finished on 59 for 9.
Darlington's amazing luck with the weather came as their title challengers, Richmondshire, were again unable to get into the middle just a few miles away with their game at Normanby Hall called off.
As a result Great Ayton moved into second place after giving a real thrashing to Marske who were bowled out for just 80. The in-form Chris Batchelor hit his first century of the season - a majestic 102 from 111 balls - to take the total number of hundreds scored throughout the League in the truncated summer to six.
Batchelor, who shared in partnerships of 97 with Brad Moses and 80 with Josh Thompson, cracked eight fours and three sixes.
Moses hit a sedate 34 and Thompson a spirited 36 from 34 balls as Ayton posted 259-7 in 43 overs with 128 in boundaries.
Marske professional, Dominic Hendricks (4-39), excelled in his seven overs but failed with the bat as his side slumped to 32 for six.
Steve Pennock (4-19) had them on 61-9 before the final pair cracked a few late runs. The entire innings lasted just 29.2 overs.
Saturday was also a good day for Stokesley who won for the third time in five days after going two months without a victory.
Marton's batting collapsed alarmingly as South African Brandon Viret (5-40) produced his best figures of the season. They were all out for 73 in 32.2 overs with Clive Dowson (2-21) and Andrew Weighell (3-9) making important strikes. Only Neil Russell (25) shone in an otherwise disappointing batting display. Stokesley won by eight wickets as skipper Weighell (43 not out) stuck to his task like glue.
Thornaby slipped to bottom on Saturday night. The Mandale club gave a spirited display at Guisborough (180-9) where they finished 23 runs behind with their last pair at the wicket. Danny Wade (5-22) produced his best in the Premier Division.
Rain put a premature end to the game between Hartlepool (127-7) and Middlesbrough (49-1). The game was reduced to 35 overs per side but Boro faced just 16 of their allocation.
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