Chopwell lead the chasing pack

CHOPWELL forced themselves ahead of the chasing pack with a gritty win over Stocksfield.

Three Counties Northumberland League

CHOPWELL forced themselves ahead of the chasing pack with a gritty win over Stocksfield.

While Cowgate extended their lead at the Three Counties Northumberland League summit, resilient Chopwell battled past Stocksfield thanks to a two-wicket win.

After slumping to 45-5, Chopwell rallied through Stephen Smith (80) to see-off spirited Stocksfield, who had captain Alex Brown to thank for taking them so close, with six wickets and 31 not out.

Chopwell captain Paul Veitch hailed his side for sticking to their guns and edging the contest.

He said: “It was a great win, especially after the disastrous start we had.

“To come back and post a decent total after losing five wickets so quickly was fantastic, and now we are in a decent position to challenge Cowgate.

“Hats off to Cowgate, because they have only lost one match all season and so deserve to be where they are.

“But we’ll chase them all the way and it will be interesting to see what happens with just three matches left.

“I couldn’t have been more pleased for the lads at the weekend when they turned it round and managed to nab the win.”

Veitch said for a developing side to be so resolute bodes well for the future.

He added: “We had a few players leave in the summer and we always knew we would be relying on some youngsters and a few second-team players.

“But they have come in and really taken the bit between their teeth, and it is wins like this that have kept us in with a shout all along.”

Elsewhere, Cowgate fended off the challenge of Blue Flames to extend their lead at the top of the league to 21 points.

Posting a modest total of 140, Cowgate’s Hadir ripped through Flames’ batting order, taking 6-29 in 10 overs.

Mansoor took the other four wickets to finish off the job and put Cowgate in almost total command in the league.

Clara Vale suffered another defeat, this time by 107 runs at the hands of Heaton Park, leaving them 26 points from safety and in serious danger of relegation.

Alnmouth stole away from Kirkley with a 160-run victory, with Andrew Hodgson smashing an unbeaten century, while Ian Clough plundered 87 before taking 7-23.

Corbridge, meanwhile, kept themselves at arm’s length from the threat of relegation with a 13-run win over Blyth, and Warkworth saw off relegated Belsay thanks to an eight-wicket win.

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