Ivy Legends won the Fourth Division match of the day 3-1 against Roseberry Grange to move level on 24 points with the leaders.
It was a first defeat for Roseberry, with the top two now having eight wins apiece in the first nine matches.
In a ding-dong battle at The Limes, Roseberry starting confidently, but Ivy are a good counter-attacking team, boasting pace and power.
Keeper Jason Mulligan quickly released a ball which was misjudged by the centre-back allowing Michael Cleugh to run on and crash his shot home for Ivy’s opener.
Roseberry created a one on one with the home keeper, but his fine effort struck the post. They levelled on the half hour, with a fantastic leap and header from the centre-back finishing off a corner.
Ivy were undaunted and another quick break saw Cleugh poised to shoot, only to be clattered. The penalty was driven high into the net, giving the keeper no chance.
The second half was just as entertaining, with star man Paul Vaudrey’s Bobby Moore-like tackle denying Roseberry, before Steve Finn rose strongly to head home a pinpoint Duffy corner to seal victory. Roseberry had a goal disallowed for offside before Ivy could celebrate a fine win.
Oddfellows Arms are up to ninth place after a fine 3-1 derby triumph at Colonel Prior.
Boldon Colliery Tavern are fourth and still unbeaten, following a 1-1 draw at Durham County, while Wearmouth Old Boys secured only their second point, drawing 1-1 at Billingham Vets.
Ryhope Foresters climbed into second place in the Premier Division after an impressive 4-0 success at Heaton Stannington.
After an even but goalless first half, the depth and quality of the Ryhope squad proved too strong for the home side.
Second-half goals from Halliday, Dickenson, Dove and Andrews secured victory.
Cramlington Burton House rose to third after beating Red House WMC 4-0, while Wearmouth CW maintained their tremendous form surge, sinking Billingham Swan 1-0 to sit on 15 points in fifth place, level with Cramlington.
Penshaw Catholic Club drew 1-1 with Darlington Shuttle & Loom to reach 15 points too, in sixth. Washington Victoria Inn lost 2-0 at Wallsend Community.
Marden made it eight wins from nine to go stay eight points clear, thanks to a 2-0 win at Hartlepool Touchdown.
Hylton CW clambered into top spot in Division One following a 7-1 demolition of Coxhoe Red Lion.
Hylton produced a slick performance which proved too much for their lowly visitors, with victory taking them to 20 points from nine games.
They were helped by cross-river rivals Grindon Broadway, who deposed morning leaders Hartlepool Gillen Arms with a well-deserved 1-0 victory.
A rocket of a 15-yard header from Richie Bland, from Dan Cliff’s cross, won the day for Grindon, who moved up to fifth place.
Glen Ryan made a brilliant penalty save, following a disputed award, to ensure the win, with debutant Chris Toop starring.
Ferryhill Greyhound are second after thumping Whitley Bay Seahorse 7-1, while Dubmire suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat at previously pointless St Mary’s College to drop to fourth place.
Thornley Celtic sit sixth after a 2-2 draw at South Shields, while Easington CIU lost 2-0 at Dormans and Seaham Marlborough outgunned Consett 4-2 to go 10th.
Mill View failed to complete a quickfire Division Two double as Hartlepool Catholic Club achieved a 4-2 away success in their rematch.
Catholic stormed four goals ahead before Mill View’s strong finale brought a couple of consolations.
Horden Sportsmans lost 3-1 to Cobblers Hall, their second successive defeat, to slip to fifth place. The Philadelphia’s problems continued as they went down 2-0 at North Shields Pineapple.
Peterlee Helford battled hard for a 4-4 draw with The Milbourne Arms, while John Hogg Funerals were beaten 2-0 by CSSC Darsley Park to drop to fourth-bottom spot.
South Shields Catholic Club lost 1-0 to Wallsend Boys Club, who hit a fortuitious goal early in the second half.
Mauchline miscued his cross which sailed into the outstretched hands of the Shields keeper. Despite being under no pressure, he fumbled the ball to the feet of the ever alert Arnott, who instinctively found the net.
Willow Pond bagged a third win to move up to ninth place in Division Three, as they outgunned lowly Wingate Cons 3-0 in an end-to-end thriller.
Captain Andy Norman had a goal disallowed for a foul on Cons’ keeper, but Willow were soon ahead as David Kelly set up Kit Tipling to make it 1-0.
Poor finishing and good defending denied Wingate a leveller, and they needed a superb tackle from star man David Simpson to deny Kelly.
Wingate hit the bar but they were rocked as Keith Thompson volleyed home from the edge of the box, after a corner was not cleared.
It was soon 3-0 when star man Kelly’s right-foot screamer was to much for stand-in keeper Clifford Taylor to keep out. Willow had Mark Wood sent off for a late tackle, but the hosts held firm to keep a clean sheet.
Oddies remain bottom, with one point from nine games, after succumbing 5-1 to Hartlepool Stag & Monkey, whose highlights were a 25-yard Graham Rowbotham free-kick and a surge from the centre-back, who beat three challenges and chipped the keeper in the final seconds.
Houghton Cricket are fourth-bottom after losing 3-1 at leaders Newcastle East End, while Washington JFC Biddick Inn went down by the same score at Shildon Grey Horse.
Rolls-Royce had a day to forget as they were walloped 6-1 at second-top Stanley and duly slipped to fifth place.
Only fielding the bare 11, and with players carrying injuries, Rolls held firm for 20 minutes but could not stem the flow. Thompson grabbed their consolation goal.