GRAEME Rowell’s golden spell with the bat reached fever pitch on Saturday.

The Haltwhistle opener followed up the previous week’s 85 against Mitford with an emphatic performance at Belsay.

His 234 not out saw the batsman, better known by his nickname Archie, score the vast majority of his side’s runs as Haltwhistle finished on 318-6.

Bowlers Dan Tait (2-44) and John Fraser (2-76) did their best for Belsay, but they couldn’t stop Rowell in his tracks.

In reply, Matty Fenwick knocked-up 20 for Belsay, but the hosts struggled and were all out for 80. Archie Richardson took 3-16 and Dan Kirkup 3-15.

Haltwhistle are second in the Division One table after winning six of their opening seven games.

Two points ahead of them are Hexham Leazes, who got the better of early challengers Haydon Bridge away from home.

Bowler Ross Davies was in irresistable form, taking six wickets for just 11 runs, as the hosts were bowled out for 75. Dan Toward (2-21) and Stephen Donnison (2-1) took two wickets apiece. Bridge’s top scorer was Joe Barber with 20.

Experienced opener Andy Webster was 31 not out as Leazes cruised to 79-3.

Newton were comfortable away winners at Wylam to move into third place. A solid 86 from Matt Scattergood, and Dan Taylor’s 67, proved crucial as the visitors racked up a total of 225-6, despite the efforts of Wylam bowler Eddy Jackson (4-54).

Wylam’s top order struggled in reply, and the hosts were all out for 98. Andy Goulding took 4-29, Jonathan Bennett 3-32, and Dave Archbold 2-7.

Defending champions Humshaugh moved up to fourth with a six-wicket victory away to South Northumberland.

Opener Michael Harbottle scored 40 for Wylam, but the hosts were all out for 95. Luke Parkinson took 3-14.

Humshaugh skipper Andy Crawford hit 39, while Robert Forster was 17 not out as the visitors reached 96-4.

In Division Two, Stocksfield III maintained their 100 per cent record, as they defeated Allendale II by 68 runs.

A 64 from Steven Page helped the hosts reach a total of 190-8. Geoff Sparke took 3-25. Allendale II were all out for 122, John Welch top scoring with 122. Stocksfield III’s Shaun Sagar took 3-10.

Despite a tidy 88 from opener Matt Joyce, Hexham Leazes II lost by three wickets at home to Mitford II. They finished on 141-8, with Michael Briggs taking 2-32. Jordan Mallaburn struck 48 as Mitford reached 144-7 from 32 overs. Tim Willis, Andrew McCormick, and Kat Lamb all took two wickets each.

Max Hamilton scored 89 as Medomsley defeated Stocksfield IV by 36 runs.

Haltwhistle II were 10-wicket winners at home to Clara Vale II, who were all out for just 37. Andy Wrightson took 4-1, before Haltwhistle reached 38-0.