Dawdon claimed a much-needed victory in Saturday’s bottom-of-the-table Division One clash with Littletown.
The Green Drive outfit secured 22 points after their six-wicket triumph, moving 21 clear of bottom spot.
Hosts Littletown lost the toss and batted, with opener Archit Goenka their mainstay with 10 fours in a 67-ball knock of 60 as they made 151 all out in 34.1 overs.
Justin Stevens made 15, with Gregg Arundel (22) and Berwick Hall (21) adding to 20 handy extras.
Mark Ewart was the pick of Dawdon’s bowlers, snatching 3-22 in 11.1 overs, backed by Liam Cowell (2-16) and Clayton Malgas (2-41).
Captain Steven Gale’s tremendous, unbeaten 88, off 115 balls, with 16 fours and a six, steered Dawdon home on 153-4 in the 35th over, supported by Craig Price (23) and Alan Anderson (17, with four fours).
Goenka took 2-22, with Joe Dodd and Stevens also striking.
Seaham Park are the new leaders after a hard-fought draw at home to third-top Whiteleas and Harton.
Leas were all out 194, after choosing to bat first. Ryan Dowens top-scored with 54, backed by Hafiz Aleem (39) and Owen Peterson (36).
Left-arm Australian spinner Angus McKenzie was the pick of Park’s bowlers, taking 4-56, while Dale Shaw grabbed 3-53. Martin Stephenson, Anthony Watson and Neil Young also took wickets.
Park struggled to 62-7 in their reply, despite 40 from opener Chris Allan, and had to dig deep, showing impressive character to see out the draw thanks to a memorably defiant, unbeaten stand of 84 between Mark Race, who finished on 62 not out, and Watson (13). Park closed on 146-7, with Abdul Ameer (3-49) and Chris Nichol (3-24) the top bowlers.
Easington lost top spot, and slipped to third, after a 76-run defeat at Esh Winning brought only five points.
John Carmedy (73), David Lawlor (60), Stuart Hall (57) and Paul Chivers (32) led Esh to a declaration on 250-5 after 45 overs.
Ryan Higgins (42), Jonathan Davis (31), Jiniv Joshi (27) and John Leslie (26) were the pick of the batsmen as Easington responded with 174 all out.
Chris Simpson bagged 4-25, Chivers 3-29 and Jamie Robinson 2-27.
Tudhoe moved into second place, a point behind Seaham Park, after an 84-run win at home to Philadelphia.
They declared on 234-5, with Roshan Jayatissa smashing an excellent century, 109 not out, supported by Abhiram Joshi (34) and Ian Grainger (36), with Zohaib Shera returning 3-43.
In reply, Phili were all out for 151 all out, despite being given a solid start by openers Shaun Smith (37) and Shaun Hauxwell (47). Jayatissa capped his man-of-the-match display with 4-30, while James Curry took 3-20.
Castle Eden won a thriller at Durham City by just 10 runs.
The visitors posted 205-7, inspired by opener Alan Unsworth (86), with Keith Bailey adding 33 and Phillip Wimpenny 27. Drew Watson grabbed 3-27.
In reply, City were all out for 195 all out, despite solid knocks from Jonny Harding (32), Jacob McCann (27), Nick Howe (25), Watson (38) and Will Dobson (36). Unsworth (4-43) and Bailey (4-42) led Castle Eden home in a dramatic finish, while Ryan Ball struck twice.
Horden had a good ‘winning draw’ against Bill Quay, to move eight points above their third-bottom rivals.
Lee Jackson (48) and Liam Irving (48) led Horden to 241 all out, helped by 30 apiece from Jamie Greenwood and Lal Kumar, with David Hall claiming 5-43.
Kumar starred with the ball when Quay batted, taking 4-22. Jeff Tudor resisted with 48 and Josh Eaton added 37 not out as they held on, with 155-8.
Hylton sit in third place in Division Two, after an impressive 36-run win at Evenwood.
The visitors made 199 all out, thanks largely to Marlon Barclay (77) and Adam Bewick (38), with Tommy Teasdale returning 5-44. The hosts were dismissed for 173 in reply, with Oliver Wilkinson (37) top-scoring. Black took 3-27 and Bewick 3-25, while Kit Allan chipped in with 3-36.
Ryhope are up to sixth place following a comfortable eight-wicket victory at home to Murton.
Murton, put in to bat, were skittled for 57 in 15.3 overs as Ryhope’s bowlers proved unstoppable.
Jonny Errington starred with a magnificent haul of 6-27, while Johnny Hayes grabbed 3-24.
Only Gavin Milne (12) and captain Sam Sanderson (16) reached double figures for the visitors.
Ryhope only needed 11.4 overs to clinch their win, with Dean Brewster taking 2-12 in vain. Scott Lawrence had four fours in an unbeaten 28, with fellow opener Dan Blackman adding 19, with two fours and a six.
Bottom club Silksworth found high-flying Marsden too tough to cope with, falling to a 196-run defeat.
Chris Mann fired 139 as Marsden declared on 260-5 after 32 overs, supported by Nisal Francisco (51) and James Sneller (35).
Aidan Young bagged 3-48 for Silksworth, with Robbie Jones and Kumar Navaratnam also taking wickets.
Silksworth held out for 16 overs in their response before being dismissed for 64, with Andy Barrass top-scoring on 17, backed by Ian Laverick (15) and Michael Waterson (11).
Steven Neilson starred with 7-25 for Marsden, while Paul Snaith grabbed 3-28.
Boldon CA, still without a victory, secured a ‘losing draw’ at Peterlee, who declared on 225-5, inspired by David Craig (52), JP Meade (52no) and Paul Griffith (71).
In reply, the visitors held on at 152-9, with Rajan Kumarasamy scoring a remarkable 52 not out, batting at No 10, with Craig taking 4-40.
Table-toppers Crook secured their sixth win, by eight runs at battling Langley Park.
Stuart Newton (87, with 13 fours and a six), Steven Chapman (60, with nine fours) and David Embleton (54, with nine fours and a six) guided Crook to 256-8 declared as Callum Davies bagged 3-54.
Langley slumped to 23-4 early on, but Jonna Lane (112 off 96 balls, with 16 fours and two sixes) and Robin Hiles (66, with 10 boundaries) put on 168 for the fifth wicket. Jason Winn added 22, but Langley fell nine runs short of victory on 248 all out as Liam Stevens (4-49) and Embleton (4-53) starred with the ball.