Seaham Parkside are close to clinching promotion from Division Two, and Horden Cricket Club look sure to join them in taking the step-up.
Parkside stayed two points clear at the top when star man Mick Kennedy’s double clinched a 2-0 home victory over visitors Peterlee Hearts, despite the dismissal of Glen Matthewson.
Keeper Kevin Wood was Hearts’ top performer.
Parkside have just one match left, a potential championship decider against Horden Cricket Club, who are four points behind in second spot, with two matches in hand.
Fifth-top Acre Rigg SC, with five games to play, are the only other team who can overtake Parkside.
The cricketers enjoyed a convincing 8-1 triumph away to Sherburn United, inspired by a four-goal salvo from Kyle Johns.
Reece Brymer, star man Ali Shah, Aaron Watson and Michael Ridley also weighed in, while sub Luis Alvez hit Sherburn’s reply, with keeper Damian Preece their man of the match.
Ruthless Hetton Fox and Hounds romped to an impressive 7-0 victory away to Haswell Oddfellows Arms.
Antony Thirkell capped his man-of-the-match performance with a well-taken double, while Chrissy Patterson, Matthew Price, Bradley Wear, Neil Branney and Liam Branney all got in on the act.
Michael Bayles, Sean Pratt and Mark Dunn paved the way for second-bottom Peterlee Central Club to outgun Grangetown WMC 3-1, despite having Thomas Bell sent off.
Jack Barnes struck for Grangetown, whose star man was Danny Dixon. Rob Hutchinson stood out for Central, who celebrated only their third league win.
In the First Division, any two from the top six can be promoted to the top flight.
Easington Southside are the new leaders, on goal difference from Peterlee Oaklands, after they edge home 1-0 in a tight battle with Wingate Plough Inn.
Star man Josh Broom came up trumps with the vital winner, with Trevor Davies outstanding for Plough.
Peterlee Oaklands lost top spot after they went down 5-3 to third-placed visitors Easington Welfare in a feisty battle which produced two red cards.
Welfare are now only seven points behind the top two, with three games in hand and a much superior goal difference.
Ian Rickaby notched a brace to lead Welfare home, backed by strikes from Jordan Williams, Darren Major and Jake Micallef.
Karl Arkwright, Adam Tatters and Martin Mason notched for Oaklands.
The game was marred by two sendings off, with Liam Achison dismissed for Oaklands and Nathan Burton for Welfare.
Easington Lane WMC, in fifth game but having only played nine matches, are in with a real shout of promotion.
They cruised to a 5-0 derby win over Hetton Social, with substitute Elliott Woods on target twice.
Jordan Garside, man of the match Callum Haswell and Kevin Wear completed the scoring. Ben Roberts shone for Hetton.
Easington HMS Victory enjoyed a day to savour in the Premier Division, running out comfortable 5-0 derby winners at Easington CIU in their crucial battle at the bottom.
Thomas Bott fired home a brilliant hat-trick, while Carl Price notched a brace to give their side an unexpected easy three points in what was a five goal romp.
Thomas Gorham starred, with Ryan Barrow best for CIU.
Victory’s win took them above CIU into third-bottom spot, three points better off. Both sides have four games left to play in the fight for survival, with Murton Colliery not out of the woods either, one point ahead of Victory.
Bottom club Seaham The George, with just two points from 13 games, were relegated by Victory’s triumph.
Peterlee Helford United squeezed home 4-3 in a thriller against Peterlee Catholic Club, though the game was marred by two red cards.
Gary Shaw was the Helford hero, firing a clinical treble, with Chris Freeman also netting. Peter Crawford, Luke Wallace and Joshua Ridley struck for Catholic, whose star man was keeper Lee Staples.
Helford had Daryl Evans sent off, with Dave Taylor following suit for Catholic.