DEFENDING champions Humshaugh moved to the top of Division One with a comfortable win over Mitford on Saturday.

Bolwers Stephen Thompson (4-20) and Luke Parkinson (4-30) were both on form, taking crucial four-wicket hauls as their hosts were all out for 105.

Opener Chris Kirtley scored 65 for Mitford. In reply, Humshaugh, fuelled by Robert Forster’s 45 not out, and 32 from Parkinson, reached 106-5.

Haltwhistle came away from Benwell Hill with a crucial win in their title challenge, by 59 runs.

Graeme Rowell continued his good form this season with a solid 65, as the visitors reached 174-9. They restricted Benwell Hill III to 115 with Bart Ryan (4-18) taking an impressive four-wicket haul. There were two wickets apiece for Dan Kirkup and John Armstrong.

Hexham Leazes slipped to fourth in the table after losing at Matfen by four wickets.

Andrew Green hit 52 as the visitors finished on 164-7. Matfen bowler Connor O’Leary took 3-29.

In reply, hosts Matfen were buoyed by opener Henry Sail, who was 85 not out, while Aaron Tiffin scored 33, as Matfen reached 168-6. Green was Hexham’s leading bowler, taking 2-35.

Haydon Bridge retained fourth position after a home win against Wylam, by two wickets. Joe Barber scored 46, and Graham Pigg 34, as the hosts totalled 209-8. Wylam’s Kevin Marshall took 3-47.

Wylam’s batsmen failed to cope with Bridge bowler Gavin Boyd, who took a superb 6-12. Barber helped himself to 3-12, as the visitors stumbled to 31-9.

There were some impressive batting performances in the match between Belsay and South Northumberland, which the latter won by eight wickets.

Izzath Omar Sheriff was 69 not out for home side Belsay, who finished on 157-8. Eashan Ragbir was 66 not out for South North, while David Harbottle added 56, as the visitors reached 158-2.

Newton were eight-wicket winners at home to Stamfordham. Ian Donkin scored 32 for the visitors, who were all out for 103. Amila Prabandhika took 4-25.

Matt Scattergood was 46 not out for Newton, while Graeme Tolchard added 34, as Newton finished on 105-2.

The top two sides clashed in Division Two, with leaders Stocksfield III getting the better of rivals Wark, by five wickets. Chris Catnach scored 57 as the hosts reached 240-5.

Despite a solid knock of 40 from J Lamb, Wark were all out for 95. Perry Hall took 3-22, and Steven Page 2-5.

Fine batting performances from D Heppell and S Marsh helped Haltwhistle II on their way to a nine-wicket victory at home to Mitford II. The pair were 68 and 62 not out respectively as Haltwhistle, chasing a target of 172, finished on 173-1.

Hexham Leazes II moved into fourth place with an eight-wicket home win over Stocksfield IV, with bowler Kat Lamb taking 4-23. Rob Willis was 43 not out for Leazes.

Humshaugh II were six-wicket winners at home to Clara Vale II. Archie Fletcher and Michael Arnup both took three wickets as the visitors were bowled out for just 82. Andy Mullen top scored for Humshaugh with 43. Despite a five-wicket haul for bowler Mark Fleming (5-28), Allendale II lost at home to Medomsley by 18 runs.