Durham's hot streak sealed by Mustard

Durham 648-5 dec Notts 384 & 52-2

The clock on the old Riverside scoreboard had just turned to 2.15pm yesterday when Phil Mustard dived to grasp a nicked shot from Alistair Brown and effectively put the County Championship title – a second successive County Championship title – in the bag for Durham. The Nottinghamshire batsman stood his ground for several seconds before reluctantly departing. At the other end, Chris Read looked towards the pavilion and gave the universal drinking gesture.

It was a champagne moment for the one-time makeweights turned heavyweights of the English county game. The two bonus points for claiming a sixth Nottinghamshire wicket, together with the five gained from their epic 648 for 5 first innings tally, plus the four points to be earned from a draw (at least) when the game finishes today, add up to the 11 required by Durham to wrap up the championship. And yet there was no more than a bit of mild high-fiving from Mustard, Mark Davies, who had bowled the decisive delivery, and their colleagues.

With one day still to play and the match points yet to be formally deposited, they were keeping the bubbly and the brown ale on ice at the Riverside yesterday. "It would be disrespectful to Nottinghamshire to stage any kind of celebration before the match is over," David Harker, Durham's chief executive, said. Still, with the visitors following on and still 212 adrift, with two second innings wickets down, it would take nothing short of a selective nuclear strike on Chester-le-Street to stop Durham from completing the formalities today, and to deny the north-east sporting public the kind of home coronation last enjoyed in these parts 100 years ago.

Durham's championship success last year was virtually clinched with a Saturday morning win at Canterbury but not sealed until defeat was confirmed for Nottinghamshire against Hampshire some four hours later. Geoff Cook, the Durham coach, and his players were not so much over the moon as under the Thames when the actual winning moment arrived. They were on the team bus going through the Dartford Tunnel – with the Sky television pictures from Trent Bridge temporarily scrambled – when the last Nottinghamshire wicket fell.

Newcastle Falcons were playing at the Stoop in Twickenham when they secured their one and only rugby union Premiership crown in 1998, while the last English league title achieved by one of the clubs from the so-called hotbed of football – by a Sunderland side inspired by the masterful Raich Carter back in 1936, was sealed with a 7-2 win at Birmingham. You have to go back to 12 April 1909 to find the last first-class championship secured on home ground by a North-east football club. Newcastle United beat Everton 3-0 at St James' Park that day. Their right-winger was Jock Rutherford, great-grandfather of Greg Rutherford, the athlete who broke the British long jump record three weeks ago.

There were 30,000 souls celebrating at St James' that afternoon and, with free entry granted for a second successive day, there are likely to be in excess of 5,000 in the Riverside today to see Will Smith, the Durham captain, lift the championship trophy.

There were 4,000 in the ground yesterday and they saw Smith's bowlers claim 10 wickets.

Liam Plunkett plundered six of them, in return for 85 first-innings runs. There were four first-innings wickets – plus one in the second – for another Teessider, Mark Davies. There was also one for the native Sydneysider Mitch Claydon. Sadly, though, there was no success for Steve Harmison. His 28 first innings overs came at a cost of 103 runs.

On the day he found himself derailed on the central contract front, it was the best of times and the worst of times for the Ashington Express.

Suggested Topics
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears