EAST Rainton went down 3-1 to visitors Newton Aycliffe WMC in an excellent, entertaining Premier Division game between two good sides.
All four goals came in a dramatic, final 15 minutes.
Jonathan Gaunt struck for Rainton, with Matthew Hall and Lewis Turnbull outstanding. Aycliffe’s marksmen were Kieran Megran, Warren Byrne and Kyle Swankie.
Pelton RAOB, the defending champions, eased to a 4-0 derby success at Hilda Park, courtesy of two-goal Luke Kerry, star man Kevin Dixon and Jake Chisholm.
Marc Smith starred for Hilda.
Sherburn Village upset hosts Brandon Sports Club in a niggly clash of few chances.
Steven Parnaby had Brandon on top at the break, but Sherburn won it by taking two chances in a second half marred by two red cards and countless fouls.
Sedgefield St Edmund’s beat Houghton Comrades 2-0, with Jonathan Pearson firing both goals. Aidan West shone in vain for Houghton.
Newton Hall Jovial Monk were pipped 3-2 by Chester Garden Farm in a close-fought Fourth Division thriller.
Steven Gibson had Monk deservedly in front at the break, but two quickfire goals from Tom Wray and Chris Trewick (penalty) turned the game around. Russell Harris’s long-range strike levelled it up, but Dan Johnson’s superb 25-yard free-kick gave Farm the edge.
Fencehouses edged a scrappy clash 3-2 against Chester-le-Street AFC, thanks to efforts from Dan Cummings, Daniel Lay and Kriss Jobling.
A lack-lustre Houghton crashed to a 3-1 defeat at lowly Bowburn. Houghton were two down by the interval, and the hosts added a third before Declan Dresser grabbed an 85th-minute consolation. Dan Crisp (2) and Billy Hyde struck for the hosts.
Washington Jays thumped a poor Witton Gilbert Travellers Rest side 5-0, with Aidan Layton the visitors’ star man.
High Shincliffe Avenue beat bottom club Durham Federation 2-0, thanks to Craig Browne and an own goal.
Nicky Pickford’s hat-trick led the way as promotion-chasing Chilton WMC demolished lowly High Handenhold Bird Inn 7-1 in Division One.
Vinny Gash and Kieran Harnett both added doubles, while Dan Cormack hit the hosts’ consolation. Jonathan Swift was man of the match ford Bird, with David Harrison the visitors’ stand-out.
Sub Lewis Cook fired the only goal as Ushaw Moor Cricket Club enjoyed a 1-0 victory at Pelaw Grange Dogs. James Richardson starred for Ushaw, with Connor Grieveson best for Pelaw.
Chester Red Lion regained winning ways, beating Sacriston WMC 2-1 to move into second place.
Waldridge Park capitalised on a poor display by promotion rivals Whitehills to cruise to a 4-0 derby victory in Division Two.
Richard Ellis, Steven Dobbing, Steven MacDonald and Wesley Delap grabbed the goals, with Stephen Fisher the stand-out for Whitehills.
Langley Park Rams Head pipped Houghton Wild Boar All-Stars 3-2, thanks to strikes from Michael Barker, Kelvyn Scorer and Craig Bowman. Nick Thompson and Stephen Parker struck for Boar, whose star man was Andrew Hopper.
Dubmire WMC drew 2-2 with Durham County Seniors.
In Division Three, Washington Cricket Club outgunned Esh Winning Cricket Club 5-2, with Dean Taylor and Lee Moore firing the consolations.
Liam Melvin and David Melvin hit the replies as bottom club Lumley succumbed 6-2 at Kelloe Davy Lamp, while Ferryhill Community Hub convincingly defeated Framwellgate Moor WMC 6-1.