After all the rain of the previous weeks, Dawdon were grateful for a Gale behind them at Bill Quay as their skipper ran riot to send them clear at the top of the First Division.
Stephen Gale breezed into Hall Terrace and blew away the bowlers in hurricane fashion.
There was a blizzard of 24 boundaries, with two sixes.
Gale was eventually out for a breathtaking 143, scored from just 126 balls, and his team were able to declare on 249-5.
The hosts’ run chase began in disastrous fashion as the first seven batsmen were blown away for just 25, and even though Chris Little carried his bat for an unbeaten 34, Quay were eventually unlocked for 96 to lose by 153 runs.
Durham City started the day as joint leaders with Dawdon, but they were unable to prise out Crook’s batters and had to settle for the lion’s share of the spoils in a drawn finish.
Kevin Sukumar (104 not out) shone for City, blasting 11 fours and three sixes on his way to a 79-ball century, as the declaration came after 43 overs on 243-6. But Town skipper Andrew Pratt batted through, reaching an unbeaten century in the last of 46 overs as Crook closed on 182-7.
Easington are up into second place after a hard-fought win over Hylton.
Adrian Hedley was typically aggressive in his innings of 68, but Ryan Dowens slowed things down with his nine-over spell in which he bagged 4-24 to limit the home team to 185-9.
Hylton had no problems staying up with the run rate, but they struggled to keep wickets in hand as Vinit Dhulap (4-23) and skipper Dane Wilson (3-26) kept picking their batsmen off, the end hastened when the last four men managed just two runs between as Hylton slid to 157 all out in just 33.5 overs.
Horden found themselves on the wrong side of a low-scoring home game against Mainsforth.
Sahil Madgaonkar had a brilliant 11.5 over spell in which he took seven for 19, the visitors stumbling to 124 all out, although it could have been much worse but for Jonny Barnes’ solo batting effort of 66 not out.
And those extra runs were to vital as Barnes (4-14 from 12 overs) and Gary Cummings (4-33) combined to tip the home team out for 110 in 43 overs.
Philadelphia tucked their first win under their belt as they became the latest side to heap misery on Boldon CA, Anthony Hornby (76) and Shaun Hauxwell (78) sharing a 150-run opening partnership which set up an early declaration on 206-3, and then David Baxter (3-11) spearheading an attack which had CA back in the shed for 110.
They are now 16 points adrift at the foot of the table.