LEAGUE leaders Haltwhistle made short work of their run chase at the weekend as the defending champions achieved their fourth win in four games this season.

After winning the toss and electing to field, Hexham Leazes took to the crease but struggled to forge a strong start after losing early wickets.

In at number five, Jon Toward top scored for the away side for 27 before being caught and bowled by Jonny Wallace.

Bowling Leazes out for 57 in 24.5 overs the Haltwhistle bowlers stifled the Hexham batting attack throughout.

John Armstrong recorded the game’s best figures of 3-8 off seven overs, which included four maidens.

Chasing 58 to win, Haltwhistle’s openers Bennett and Lloyd eased their way to the total without losing a wicket. Lloyd’s 28 not out and Bennett’s 25 not out off 15.3 overs proved the key to secure the home side their fourth win of the season.

Haltwhistle received 20 points after the win and are currently in first place and 14 points ahead of second.

Newton sit in second place after a four wicket victory over Belsay.

A positive 40 not out from captain Andrew Jones and 40 from Jim Balkwill helped the home side to post 152-6 in 35 overs.

But the performance of the match was reserved to Newton’s Chris Wilkie who took a five wicket haul in Belsay’s run chase.

Wilkie’s 5-13 off seven overs, which included four maidens, tore through Belsay’s middle order. Andrew Jones’s 3-25 off six overs also helped removed key Belsay batsmen, and ensured the away side were bowled out for 119 in 34 overs.

Newton received 20 points while Belsay received five and sit in fifth place.

A 65 not out score from Craig Johnstone helped Stamfordham record their second win of the season against Mitford.

After being put into bat by the home side, Stamfordham started positively through Ledingham’s 20 and Charles’s 23.

But a Mitford bowling partnership of Brown and Patel helped remove the Stamfordham top order after the batters showed promise.

Richard Brown’s 4-21 off seven overs, which included two maidens, were the games best bowling figures.

However a late charge from number eight Johnstone saw the away side finish with a score of 173-8 off 35 overs.

In reply, Mitford started strongly with openers Kirtley (22) and Parker (27) forging a strong partnership to lay the foundations for the run chase.

Stamfordham bowlers Gary Wilkinson and Malcolm Richards scythed through the top order, though, with Mitford running out of batters as they chased the target down.

The home side were bowled out for 141 off 33 overs with the target of 174 proving abridge too far.

Stamfordham received 20 points and rise to fifth in the table while Mitford’s extra seven points sees them sit in ninth place.

Humshaugh defeated Wylam by 49 runs to move into eight place.

Matfen’s match vs Haydon Bridge was cancelled alongside Benwell Hill’s match against South Northumberland.

In Division Two, Haltwhistle II are top of the league after four wins in four matches.

The side’s 30 run victory over Humshaugh II saw them stretch their lead at the top of the table to 28 points.