Just one week after turning in the display of the season, Horden crashed to defeat at Dawdon to lurch back into the First Division relegation zone.
The victory over runaway leaders Burnopfield the previous Saturday held out hope of a Horden surge, but Dawdon brought them back down to earth with a bang and, in the process, moved into second place in the table themselves.
Lee Jackson (six fours and two sixes in 49) and Jamie Greenwood (52 from 114 balls) looked to be setting up a major Horden total when they were together in a second-wicket partnership.
But Anthony Watson (4-37) removed them both, and though the visitors still managed to post a score of 209, this looked to be some way short of where they might have been.
Dawdon’s approach was positive, Alan Anderson opening out with 52 from 72 balls.
His good work carried on by Bavesh Patel, who hit six fours and four sixes in a 98-ball unbeaten 83 as the Green Drive team won by six wickets inside 44 overs. David Lowther added 37.
Burnopfield bounced back to winning ways and, with Easington slipping up, they now enjoy a 55-point lead at the top of the table.
The Durham factor was once again to the fore as Gareth Breese (31 and 4-18) and Callum Thorp (62 from 61 balls) proved to have too much nous for hosts Castle Eden, who were beaten by 40 runs despite a personal best from South African Tebogo Mokwena who hit 11 fours and a six in his 79.
The victory was Burnopfield’s fifth in six outings, and no one else looks able to match that consistency at the moment, with a tightly bunched chasing pack all capable of producing good cricket, but also capable of surprising lapses.
Just three points now cover the four clubs occupying the places immediately below Burnopfield, with Dawdon and Esh Winning heading that group after victories over the two bottom clubs.
Easington dropped to fourth after a three-wicket defeat at Bunker Hill, where Philadelphia had Armajeet Singh (4-27) and Adam McGuire (4-41) to thank for setting up a relatively comfortable run chase.
Easington were all out for 135, Sujit Nayak leading the way with 74.
Nayak and Gary Ward both took three wickets in Phili’s reply, but they eased to victory, with Shaun Smith making 32.
Seaham Park found life tough at Crook, and they dropped from third to seventh after being beaten by three wickets.
The Aussie connection worked well for Crook, Steve Chapman and Dave Embleton sharing six wickets as Park were bundled out for 110 in 37.3 overs.
Siddharth Chitnis top-scored on 32.
Chapman (32) provided the main contribution when Crook chased, the home side knocking off the runs with three wickets to spare. Chitnis, Michael Walker and Omar Shahid all struck twice.
Hylton’s plight deepened at the foot of the table after they were comfortably seen off by Esh Winning.
Jibran Khan proved too good in a spell of 5-17 which had the Wearsiders out for 90, half the runs provided by resilient opener Kevin Mustard.
The run chase was done and dusted in 17 overs as the reigning champions won by eight wickets, led by Stuart Hall (34no) and Jordon Grosset (25)
Durham City (175-9) finished a distant second in a draw with Bill Quay (224-6), whose skipper, Chris Little, had the satisfaction of scoring an unbeaten 101 century, while Alan Mustard fired eight sixes in a 59-ball 78.
Ian Conn took two wickets for City, for whom Nick Howe contributed seven boundaries in 53 in their reply, backed by Jake McCann (26).
Mustard, David Hill, Josh Eaton and Mark Fish all struck twice for Quay.