RYHOPE CW were toppled from pole position if the Wearside League when their game was one of six to be called off because of frost-bound pitches.
Redcar Athletic took advantage and were installed as the new leaders following a five-goal romp against Silksworth Rangers.
Ryhope hoped their neighbours would do them a good turn and briefly, Silksworth were in with a chance of upsetting the form book.
They rocked Redcar with a magnificent goal from Leon Symonds after just six minutes, his tremendous 20-yard drive rocketing into the roof of the net.
Rangers’ joy lasted only three minutes, however and once they conceded the equaliser, it was all downhill.
Full-back Greg Bowey equalised and soon afterwards was again up with his attack to fire in a second.
By now, Silksworth were on the back foot and when Lewis Wood was upended, prolific scorer James Kesterton made no mistake from the spot.
It got worse for the Wearsiders as on the stroke of half-time, Kesterton headed in his second, leaving Silksworth with a mountain to climb.
They never seriously threatened after the restart and Redcar made it five on the hour as Kesterton completed his hat-trick.
It could have been six, but goalkeeper John McLean saved a 71st-minute penalty from Richie Playforth.
A single goal proved sufficient for Boldon CA at Peterlee Town.
In the 30th minute, the home defence failed to deal with a corner and when the ball dropped to Aidan McCaffrey, he fired through a crowded goalmouth.
Coxhoe Athletic remain bottom after losing by the odd goal in three to Kirkbymoorside, who stay third from the basement, 10 points ahead of Silksworth Rangers.
Christian Holliday raised the hopes of Coxhoe with his 41st-minute goal, but the Yorkshiremen hit back to take the points with two goals by Rob McDermid and Abdoulie Tunkara (og) in four second-half minutes.
Wolviston played for 70 minutes with only 10 men and not surprisingly, went down at Stockton Town.
Scott Meehan scored direct from the corner flag in the sixth minute and on 20 minutes, Carl Boult was dismissed after receiving a second yellow card.
The visitors battled hard, but when they conceded a second-half penalty, converted by Tony Johnson, their hopes of saving the game ended.