Swal to play for in battle for title

SWALWELL’S crucial victory against Lintz has made it a four-way fight at the top of Division A1.

SWALWELL’S crucial victory against Lintz has made it a four-way fight at the top of Division A1.

That game, coupled with wins for Tynedale and Leadgate, means just three points separate the top four clubs.

David Rutherford’s 101 and Ian Pattison’s 70 helped fourth-placed Swalwell put on 239 against Lintz, who went into the weekend top of the table.

However, Rutherford also took 4-35 with the ball to help his side to a 94-run win, which cut the gap between the two clubs to a single point and saw Lintz drop to third place.

Swalwell fixture secretary Brian Taylor said: “We are still in the title chase having come back from the dead.

“We lost against Shotley Bridge the week before and had we lost against Lintz we would have effectively been out of it.

“The title race is very close – as close as it has been at this stage of the season for a long while.

“There are only six matches left and that means every game is a must-win game from now until the end of the season.

“None of the top four clubs dare lose to any of the others now because they know they will be playing catch-up and time is running out.”

Tynedale went into the weekend in third place but now lead the table after taking maximum points against struggling Benwell and Walbottle, while capitalising on Lintz’s defeat and the failure of Leadgate – who were second – to take maximum points from their game against Sacriston.

Stuart Graham made 64 as Tynedale put on 200-6 before Graham 4-22 and Mark Armstrong’s 5-31 helped skittle Benwell out for 123 to give the Hexham club a 77-run win.

Sacriston included the three Hubber brothers – Graham, Martin and Harry – together in the senior team for the first time, but they could not save their team from defeat against Leadgate.

Martin Hubber took 5-76 but Neil Broom’s century helped Leadgate to 239-6 on their way to a 51-run win, but they missed out on two bowling points.

Tynedale are now top with 210 points with Leadgate and Lintz level on 208, and Swalwell have 207.

Fifth-placed Ashington dismissed Shotley Bridge for 122 and easily surpassed that total with five wickets to spare.

Uniyal hit 125 as Newcastle City made 284-9, which was enough to give them a 75-run win over Annfield Plain.

Meanwhile, in Division A2, leaders Ryton beat Ponteland to leave themselves just one win short of clinching promotion.

Ponteland made 182, with Ryton reaching that total with six wickets to spare.

If Ryton beat Consett on Saturday, they will be back in Division A1 next season.

After the weekend’s results, just eight points now separate second-placed Backworth and third-placed Greenside, who both have designs on the second promotion slot.

Burnopfield beat Backworth by 155 runs while Greenside beat Seaton Burn by a margin of 79 runs.

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