Houghton extended their lead at the top of Division Three to six points, after rallying for a 4-1 triumph at Quarrington Hill WMC.
In a hard-fought game in very difficult conditions, Quarrington Hill took the lead in the 18th minute only for James Carman to equalise on the half hour, racing clear and firing a powerful shot inside the keeper’s near post.
Houghton stormed in front with a Nathan Brewster penalty on the stroke of half-time, and they went on to dominate the second half, sealing the three points with Danny Grant’s header and a second from Carman.
Andrew Brooke shone for Houghton.
Chester-le-Street AFC were good 4-1 winners at bottom club High Shincliffe Avenue.
Shincliffe made a good start, going ahead with a neat finish from 10 yards, after a long ball got through the visiting defence.
But Chester took command after that and Elliot Rimington levelled, volleying home Andy Graham’s cross.
Though Miller Fletcher missed a penalty, and Chester hit the woodwork twice, they finally went in front, when centre-back Scott picked up the ball from a short corner and fired home from the edge of the area.
Rimington added a third before his good work set up sub Shaun Mayell, who curled home a brilliant 25-yarder to make it 4-1.
Sean Monaghan stood out for Chester.
Durham County cruised to a 5-0 victory at second-top Sedgefield SC, keeping up their 100 per cent league record, with Joe Kerry’s brace backed by Alex Hird, star man Andrew Bartle and Jack Carr.
Houghton Wild Boar All-Stars succumbed 3-1 at home to bright and breezy Coxhoe Red Lion in Division One.
Coxhoe started strongly in dreadful conditions but wasted their first chance, then Boar got through one on one, only to be denied by keeper Tom Orton.
Leon Greenwell made the breakthrough for Lion, bullet heading in a 15th-minute corner.
Wild Boar came back into the game in the second half, with Rob Thompson heading an equaliser, but the visitors regained the lead with a 35-yard volley by Jordan Stannard, who then got the killer third goal.
Craig Fletcher was Boar’s top man, with Jamie Appleby best for Lion.
Ouston Cherry Tree made it six wins out of six to move up to third place, beating New Brancepeth WMC 7-3.
Ouston’s bright start was rocked as Brancepeth opened the scoring, but the hosts were 2-1 up eight minutes later, thanks to strikes from Micky Ross and veteran Ryan Drummond.
Brancepeth battled back to level from the penalty spot, tough Tree were in front at the break, thanks to Ross’s penalty.
The visitors, whose scorers were Anthony Bussey, Robbie Barrass and Anthony Holliday, kept fighting and they levelled again early in the second half.
But they failed to maintain the impetus and Ouston took control, hitting four more goals to run out easy winners, thanks to man of the match Chad Brennan (2), Ross, completing his hat-trick, and new signing Matthew Huntley, who produced an emphatic finish 10 minutes from time.
Old rivals Whitehills and Waldridge Park, who have followed each other up the league for the last few years, drew 1-1 in a close-fought derby.
Both teams had good spells, but all the drama came in the last few minutes.
Waldridge that took the lead in the 88th minute, capitalising on a defensive error, but Whitehills refused to give up and piled forward, with Ryan Grayson smashing in a last-gasp equaliser, reacting quickest to a loose ball in the box,to deservedly take a point from the game.
James Mansell starred for Whitehills.
Bede Lodge SC rocked morning leaders Framwellgate Moor WMC with a 5-2 away win in their Second Division derby.
Chris Dodds, David Duke, Sean Richardson, Mark Heslop and Jonathan Hodgson all notched for Bede, whose star man was Andrew Bell.
Ferryhill Celtic eased up after going 3-0 ahead at the break away to Pittington, as they ran out 4-1 winners.
Jonathan Agar led the way with a hat-trick, backed by Jason White’s goal, with Luke Thompson star man.
High Handenhold Bird Inn pipped Ferryhill Community Hub 3-2, leapfrogging their opponents into fifth place.
Star man Ben Thompson, Dan Watkins and Tom Illingworth grabbed the crucial goals to cap a spirited performance in trying conditions.
Ushaw Moor Cricket Club rallied from an early two-goal deficit to beat Pelton Crown 5-4 in a thriller.
Connor Shaw had Pelton ahead in 54 seconds, and Mark Foster soon doubled the lead, with their pace up front and on the right wing causing Ushaw Moor problems.
But the home side hit back strongly to go 4-2 up, with 10 minutes to go. Crown, who missed a penalty, responded brilliantly to level matters, thanks to a well-taken Stephen Burns brace, but the hosts hit an 85th-minute winner to clinch all three points.
Lewis Cook grabbed a hat-trick for the cricketers, supported by efforts from Paul Taylor and Gary Clark, with Michael Abson star man.
Witton Gilbert Travellers Rest climbed to fifth place in Division Four, just two points behind second-top Bowburn after an epic 5-4 victory over Birtley Coach and Horses.
The 10-man Birtley side made Witton fight extremely hard for their win. David Callcutt converted a fine cross from six yards for the home opener, but Birtley broke away brilliantly to level.
The visitors led early in the second half, but Callcutt’s penalty restored parity. Bartlett immediately regained their advantage with a 25-yard free-kick, though a close-range Dan Cooke effort made it 3-3.
Inspired Birtley bagged a fourth goal on the counter-attack, but Callcutt squared it again with a free-kick leveller, then hit his fourth, for the winner, with only a few minutes left.
Sacriston WMC drew 2-2 with Brandon Sports Club in the only Premier Division game.
Considering the difficult conditions, the match was played at a good tempo, with the scoreline a fair reflection of the game.
Brandon came from behind twice courtesy of goals from man of the match Michael Fort and Gavin Mudd, with a powerful header.
Chester Park Inn defeated Premier side Sacriston Cricket Club 2-0 in the Stonebridge Inn League Cup.
Park Inn produced a great display in a close, hard-fought tie, with Paul Corlett making the breakthrough on the half hour. His second goal, on 65 minutes, settled the issue and Park Inn dug deep to keep out a Sacriston side who dominated much of the play but could not find the net in horrible conditions.
Michael Jones shone for Park Inn, John Harrison for the visitors.
Burnside WMC enjoyed a very solid, comfortable performance to reach the Stepy’s Coaches President’s Trophy semi-finals, winning 5-2 at Lumley Snooker Club.
The visitors’ Craig Ellison fired the opener, a free-kick into the top corner after he was brought down outside the box, but Lumley levelled with a very tidy finish on the counter-attack.
An own goal defending a Max Stoker effort and three more Ellison goals, making his tally four on the day, finished the tie off.
Lewis Turnbull starred for Burnside, who were denied further goals by some great work from the home keeper.
Two teams progressed to the third round of the Durham County Sunday Cup.
Newton Aycliffe WMC earned a good 3-1 win at Hartlepool Rovers Quoit.
Corey Nicholson had them in front at the break, but Quoit levelled on 75 minutes. In extra time, two deflected goals secured Aycliffe the victory.
Sedgefield St Edmund’s won 2-1 at Billingham Whitehouse, with Kevin Hodgson and Calum Johnston notching.