Seaham Park turned in a top performance, thrashing Castle Eden by 10 wickets on Saturday, to re-ignite their title hopes as they leapt up to third place in the table.
Siddharth Chitnis proved virtually unplayable, taking six wickets for just 18 runs as the Castle crumbled for a modest 108. Omar Shahid took 3-39, with Alan Unsworth top-scoring on 37.
Chris Allan then made a nonsense of the target as he cracked 14 fours and two sixes in a 53-ball unbeaten knock of 83 as victory was achieved inside 17 overs.
While Park are on the rise, Castle Eden were on the slide, the defeat leaving them in the bottom two with only Hylton below them.
Hylton’s ‘annus horribilis’ continued with the 48-run defeat at Bill Quay being their sixth of the summer.
With the threat of rain constant Quay’s 35-over stay at the crease ended on 130-9, as Tanz Choudray and Michael Davies grabbed three wickets apiece.
But a much-depleted Hylton side, featuring several second-team regulars, were unable to threaten that modest total as they folded in just 18.2 overs for 82, Josh Eaton and Micky Orridge sharing eight wickets.
Easington’s plans to upset the Burnopfield applecart were scuppered by Neil Killeen, the former Durham star proving the main difference between the sides as the leaders extended their advantage at the top to a massive 56 points.
The home team decided to bat when winning the toss, but soon had their backs to the wall despite an opening 34 from Tariq Aziz.
Jason Moses then hit five fours and two sixes in a mid-innings fightback, but, when he fell for 46, Killeen returned to the attack to mop up resistance and end with figures of 5-35 as Easington were bowled out for 149.
Burnopfield lost four early wickets, and on 39-4 the alarm bells were starting to ring until David Baxter (30) set the recovery wheels in motion before Killeen took the leaders to their sixth win in seven outings with an unbeaten half century that included eight fours and a six.
Dawdon have now emerged as the biggest threat to the leaders, a hard-won home victory over Crook being their third in successive games.
David Coates (3-34) had Town 79-6 in the opening exchanges, but a battling innings from Andrew Burgess ensured his team were to be competitive, an unbeaten 57 scored from 69 balls, with six fours and two sixes, lifting the visitors up to a total of 168 before their final wicket fell.
Liam Cowell and Bhavesh Patel both struck twice.
The response was initially rock solid as skipper Steven Gale (42 from 69 balls, with six fours and a six) provided the foundation which Dave Lowther then built on with 10 boundaries in a 79-ball innings of 65, a knock which only ended when Dawdon were in sight of the finishing line which they duly crossed with three wickets to spare.
Lal Kumar almost single-handedly dismantled Durham City, with Horden’s Pakistani pro bagging four wickets for 16 runs as City were bowled out for 117.
Andrew Howson (23), Callum Steel (22) and Jake McCann (22) top-scored for City, whuile Adam Dixon snaffled 3-11 in 11 overs and Lewis Broom bagged 2-50.
Kumar then hit nine fours and a six on his way to an unbeaten 64 as Horden had the runs knocked off inside 30 overs to move out of the danger zone.
Wayne Birks contributed 22 and Jamie Greenwood 20.
At Bunker Hill, the weather intervened to the extent that a full 50 overs were lost.
But at least Shaun Smith (78, with nine fours and two sixes) and Paul Hollinshead (48 not out, with six fours and a six) got some decent time at the crease as Philadelphia posted 201-4 in 40 overs, Gary Braithwaite adding an unbeaten 20, against reigning champions Esh Winning.
Esh had been reduced to 81-5 in 15 overs, Steve Wright bagging 3-45, as the weather closed in.