Monkseaton CC 1st XI kept their promotion hopes alive with an emphatic victory over Berwick at the weekend.
The eight-wicket win ensured a maximum 30 points from the fixture at Churchill Playing Fields and means the battle to go up in NTCL Division Six (North) could go right to the wire.
Having won the toss, stand-in skipper Ben Windass put Berwick into bat and the visitors struggled from the outset.
An inspired opening bowling spell from Adam Doyle saw him pick up four wickets for just three runs from his nine overs – while at the other end, John Hewett (4-25) proved equally troublesome for the Berwick batsmen as the visitors were dismissed for just 51 from 28.2 overs.
That target was never going to prove too difficult for Monkseaton to overhaul, despite losing Windass and fellow opener Richard Ord cheaply, with experienced middle-order duo Kevin Elliott and Garry Benns knocking off the required runs in the 15th over.
Victory leaves Monkseaton third in the table on 402 points, seven behind Ashington Rugby who occupy the second promotion slot but who have only one fixture remaining.
Monkseaton finish the season with two home games to play, the first of which sees them host Wooler at Churchill on Saturday (12.30pm start).
l It was a winning double weekend for the club as the 2nd XI recorded a 27-run victory away to Civil Service in Division Six (South).
Batting first, a solid opening partnership from Dave Turnbull (47) and Andrew Simms (30) helped Monkseaton post 150 from their 40 overs.
Simms then capped a fine all-round performance by taking 3-30 with his spin bowling as the hosts were dismissed for 123 in reply at Heaton Medicals Ground.
The 2nd XI are on their travels again this Saturday as they head west along the Tyne to take on Corbridge (12.30pm start).