Tudhoe opener makes 328* as teams jostle for position in the North Eastern leagues

Cricket in the North East reaches the season's halfway point

Bob Crosby’s update from the North East

In will probably be the best amateur performances anywhere in the country this season, Simon Davis hit 328* for Tudhoe against Mainsforth in the Durham County League on Saturday 9 July.

Davis struck 20 fours and 32 sixes, making his last 100 runs from 28 balls, as Tudhoe amassed 509 from their 45 overs. In reply, Mainsforth slumped to 112 all-out, losing by 397.

Davis’s score - which eclipses his own league record of 269 scored in 2008 - is the highest in league cricket in the North East since 1905, when Edgar William Elliot crashed 13 sixes and 44 fours on his way to 332 for the Borderers against Newcastle Garrison at Jesmond.

Davis was in form going into Saturday’s encounter having hit 132 and 162 in midweek cup ties in the days leading up to the game. But despite his heroics with the bat, Tudhoe remain seventh in their league. At the top of the table, Brandon are running away with the competition, inspired by Karl Turner, formerly on Durham’s books and now looking for a contract at Nottingham.

Elsewhere in the North East, Chester-le-Street go into the second half of the season as odds-on favourites to retain their North East Premier League title with Andrew Smith and John Coxon in impressive form. The squad has so far proved too strong for fading South Northumberland, last year’s National Cup champions, whom the Cestrians – themselves champions in 2009 – defeated in the regional final of the national competition.

Meanwhile three teams are vying for position in the Northumberland and Tyneside Senior league. Swalwell, spearheaded by ex-Durham man Ian Pattison and Scotland’s Kyle Coetzer, are just ahead of Shotley Bridge and Sacriston.

In the North Yorkshire and South Durham Premier League, Hartlepool battle with Richmondshire while Gary Pratt’s Barnard Castle look for a place in the medals in their first season in the Premier Division. Pratt’s former club, Bishop Auckland, are battling relegation with former champs Misslesbrough.

And in the Durham Senior League, Eppleton are the team to watch, with ex-Durham man Jimmy Daley establishing a reputation as the soundest opener in the North East.

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