After a match-winning display for Stamfordham in last week’s Division One encounter at Mitford with 85 not out and taking 7 wickets for only 6 runs, Ian Donkin’s great form continued as he scored 69 not out against Haltwhistle on Sunday.

The league leaders batted first and posted a competitive total of 145/5 in a game reduced to 35 overs. In reply, an excellent fielding performance from the hosts restricted Haltwhistle to 103/9, resulting in victory by 42 runs to Stamfordham (19pts) with Haltwhistle picking up 4pts.

Having lost only twice all season, it leaves them 47pts ahead of nearest rivals Humshaugh with 4 games remaining. They only require another 39pts to become Division One Champions for the first time since 1988.

A day earlier at Stamfordham in the solitary match played across Northumberland due to the weather, a brilliant 101 from Benwell Hill opener, Rohaan Aatif was the highlight in a 30 over contest. He was eventually run out off the penultimate ball of the innings, one of 4 run outs in his team’s score of 151/7.

In reply, Ian Donkin (25) and Malcolm Richards (37) put on 60 for Stamfordham’s first wicket. They remained ahead of the asking rate and at 135/4 were in a strong position needing only 17 runs from 31 balls for victory when heavy rain at 6.45pm forced the game to be abandoned as a draw with both teams picking up 11pts.

The only Division Two action at the weekend saw Humshaugh edge home by 2 wickets against Allendale in a low scoring encounter on Sunday.

Geoff Sparke and Terry Sparke top-scored for Allendale with 16 and 15 respectively in a score of 85 all out. Humshaugh’s bowlers always held the upper hand with 13 year old Ted Fletcher taking 3 wickets for 8 runs and 15 year old Josh Wallace finishing off the lower order with 3 wickets for 6 runs.

The home side also lost wickets at regular intervals as they chased Allendale’s modest total, slumping to 66/6 at one stage before the experienced Duncan Sewell saw them home with almost 10 overs to spare. Paul Armstrong top-scored with 21, while there were also important contributions from the aforementioned Josh Wallace (15) and Ted Fletcher (12).

The pick of the Allendale bowlers was youngster Seb De Santis who took 3 wickets for 3 runs from his 4 overs, including a first ball dismissal of Humshaugh captain, Adam Murphy.

Fixtures: Saturday 28th August

Division One: Belsay v Wylam, Benwell Hill v Haltwhistle, Haydon Bridge v Stamfordham, Matfen v Humshaugh, Newton v Hexham Leazes, South Northumberland v Mitford.

Division Two: Humshaugh v Riding Mill, Medomsley v Allendale, Mitford 2nds v Clara Vale.

Sunday 29th August

Division One: Stamfordham v Hexham Leazes. Division Two: Riding Mill v Humshaugh.