NEWTON'S lead at the top of Division One was cut to one point as their closest rivals Hexham Leazes edged past them in a low scoring game.

Newton opened through James Brown and David Lee and moved the score on to 17, but four maidens on the trot from Alex Brown and Tom Mawson put the brakes on.

Mawson broke through and claimed the three openers to finish his seven overs with 3-18, with Hexham spin bowlers Lucas Holmes and Mark Armstrong coming in and removing Dan Taylor, Jon Bennett and Andy Jeffrey for single figure scores.

Captain Andrew Jones came in with Emmerson Brown and hit three sixes together before Brown was dismissed. Andrew Whitaker claimed two wickets to leave Newton all out on 93 with Jones finishing on 26.

Leazes found the going tough in their reply and were on 16-3 as Emmerson Brown and Dave Archbold put them on the back foot.

A 30-yard run out of Whitaker by Emmerson Brown put Hexham in further trouble, but the 23 run partnership between Holmes and Richard Root put them back in contention.

Billy Kingman quickly got into his rhythm when he was introduced to the crease before he was bowled for 17, leaving Hexham requiring 12 runs from the final seven overs, with three wickets remaining.

The dismissals of Ben Teasdale and Alex Brown left it all in the balance with one run required with one wicket in hand, and a dropped catch proved costly as a bye saw Leazes scamper to maximum points.

Benwell Hill's total of 91 was enough to secure them victory over previous leaders Haltwhistle, who have dropped down the table following an early season points deduction.

Rohan Aatif inflicted the most damage for Benwell as he hit three fours on his way to 30, with Matthew Lockey and Liaqat Khan the only other batsmen to make double figures.

Jack Johnstone and Jonny Wallace finished with three wickets each for Halty, who only had Ryan Bell and Wallace making double figures with the bat as they were dismissed for 82 runs.

Bowling Stamfordham out for 92, Humshaugh were comfortable seven wicket victors.

Stamfordham struggled for runs throughout with Glen Tweddle's three wickets making things particularly tough, while George Ridley claimed two.

Humshaugh captain Andy Crawford, who finished on 37, and fellow opener Crispin Straker, who made 24, set the side on the path to victory.

Malcolm Richards took two wickets and Ian Donkin removed Crawford, but Humshaugh breezed to victory.