Littletown picked up their third win of the summer, defeating bottom club Houghton by 155 runs.
The home side rattled up 273-5 in 41.5 overs. Shashi Kadam was in riotous batting from for Littletown, smashing 100 not out from just 48 balls and including nine sixes in that little lot, backed by Dan Pearson (67) and opener Philip Bennett (50).
Kadam did not let up with ball in hand, his 10 tortuous overs seeing him pick up seven wickets for 24 runs to complete the almost perfect all-round display as Houghton were all out for 118 despite 47 from Gavin Keen and Adam Thompson’s 25.
Seaham Park failed to win for the first time in nine matches, their draw at Whiteleas allowing a Gareth Breese-inspired Burnopfield to close the gap between the two sides to 39 points as they defeated Evenwood by 114 runs.
Breese (65 and 4-17), aided by former Durham colleague Callum Thorp (101 not out), proved strong for their struggling opponents.
Park, however, still have a game in hand, and with Ryhope’s challenge continuing to fade after a rain-truncated derby draw at home to Silksworth, their advantage over the third-placed sides is a massive 72 points, with the promotion bubbly already in the fridge ready for some early celebrations.
Silksworth were all out for 203, with Andy Barrass (36), Paul Bradford (33), Michael Waterson (25) and Jonny Hayes (23no) leading the way. Mike Thorpe grabbed 4-47, backed by two wickets apiece from Dylan Buckthorp and Dave Gilbert. In reply, Ryhope reached 142-4, Connor Pearson making a half-century, supported by Paul Jenkin (37) and John Minnis (25).
Marsden skipper Chris Mann hit 72 as Marsden posted 187-9 against Langley Park, and then he picked up 3-9 as the lowly visitors threatened to spoil the party by holding out for a draw.
Peterlee enjoyed a keen tussle with Ushaw Moor, eventually finishing on 175-8 after chasing a target of 189-5. Daniel Devine fired 52 for Peterlee, backed by Aaron Shellie (37).