Readers Durham Cricket League by Chris West
Burnmoor remained top of the First Division, but only just after a long drawn out home game against Philadelphia ended in a draw.
However, Dawdon have bounced back into the reckoning with a thrilling win over Evenwood.
Owen Lancaster was the all-round star for the Moor, coming to the rescue with 49 invaluable runs after the leaders had been rocking a little.
Lancaster was helped out by youngster McKenzie Wright, who added an unbeaten 22 late in the innings.
Stephen Robinson had bowled brilliantly for Phili, his 12 overs including nine maidens and earning him the outstanding figures of 3-9.
New signing Steve Wright also picked up three wickets as the home team were grateful to reach 158-8 before declaring after 47.5 overs.
Phili then threatened to topple the top dogs as their opening pair of Andrew Hornby (35) and Shaun Hauxwell rattled up a stand of 87 for the first wicket in excellent time.
However, when Hauxwell fell for a half century, which included five fours and two sixes, the train came to a juddering halt and with Lancaster bombing out another three, the visitors crawled their way through the last 25 overs, scoring just 39 runs and ending on 126-6.
Meanwhile, Dawdon were recovering from their own shock to defeat Evenwood and become the only team in the top six to win.
West Indian Tade Carmichael at last struck form for Evenwood, cracking 13 fours and two sixes on his way to 80, and despite three wickets apiece for Mark Ewart and Liam Cowell, the visitors were able to set a challenging 170-9.
All looked to be going well in the run chase as Dawdon raced up to 141-3, John Leslie once again in ebullient form.
But suddenly the roof caved in as four wickets went down for the addition of just two runs to leave the home side gasping for air on 143-7.
It took the steady nerve of Alan Anderson (17no) and Mark Ewart (8no) to see their side through to a crucial three wicket win.
Leslie’s contribution had been a rip-roaring 84, which included 12 fours and five sixes.
Castle Eden won their third game of the season, and they did so comfortably by defeating visitors Marsden by nine wickets.
Marsden were going along reasonably well at 58-3, but then collapsed in an unseemly heap as their last seven wickets crashed for the addition of just 27 more runs, with no fewer than six batsmen registering ducks.
Ryan Ball (4-20 in 6.5 overs) and Richard Ede (3-25 in 9 overs) were the men doing the damage.
Castle then romped to their emphatic success by knocking off the runs in just 13.2 overs, an opening partnership of 55 effectively sealing the game.
Dean Langridge (27) then became the only wicket to fall as Liam Irwin rushed his side to victory with an undefeated 43 off 42 balls, his knock including five fours and three sixes.
Hylton stayed pinned in the bottom two, but they put up a real fight at Crook where the home team just managed to claim an 11-run win.
Alan Mustard cut the mustard big time, taking 3-22 to help pin Town down to a total of 136-9 in 41.1 overs, and then hit eight boundaries in his 91-ball innings of 60.
But he couldn’t find any of his team-mates to provide major support, and once he was out the game was swept from Hylton’s grasp as Andrew Robinson (4-15 from 10 overs) and Steve Chapman (3-26 from 9 overs) bowled them out for 125 in 39 overs.
In the day’s other games, Boldon CA (103-3) won for the second time this season as Sami Singh (5-7 and 57) proved too good for Easington (99).
Horden (169-8) had to settle for a modest share of the spoils at Tudhoe (234-4) where the home team’s Danny Thexton hit a ton.
Esh Winning were held to a draw by Mainsforth, but picked up enough points to join Horden in third place.