Reigning champions Chester-le-Street, menacingly moved into third place in the Premier Division with a comfortable 118-run win at Hetton Lyons, who were beaten for the first time this season.
The Cestrians posted 230-6 declared, led by Quentin Hughes’s 57, with 10 boundaries, and an unbeaten 56 from Liam Simpson, with nine fours, while George Harrison was out one short of a half-century after eight fours.
Andrew Smith added 31, with three fours and a six). Hughes and Simpson put on an unbeaten 95 for the seventh wicket.
Jonny Malkin was the pick of Lyons’ bowlers, with 3-41 in 15 overs, backed by Josh Coughlin (2-63) and Ben Whitehead (1-57).
In reply, Lyons opener Malkin made 20 off 39 balls, with three fours, but they crashed to 13-3 and never recovered. The best partnership was the last as Ben Whitehead (25, with three fours) and Reece Wood (12 not out) put on 32 as Lyons were all out for 112 in 37 overs.
Stephen Cantwell led the way with 5-31 for Chester, backed by Simpson (2-12).
Eppleton dropped to fifth place, when they travelled to table-toppers South North and lost by eight wickets.
Eppleton never really recovered from a bad start which saw them slip to 23-3.
Jandre Erasmus (29, with five boundaries) and Craig Scurr (60 off 91 balls, with seven fours and a six) put on 33 for the seventh wicket, while Scurr and James McGonnell added 36 for the ninth, but they ended up 153 all out after 46.2 overs.
Jonny Wightman led the South North bowling with 5-57 in 13 overs, backed byLee Crozier (2-22) and Simon Birtwisle (2-6).
Erasmus dismissed South North opener Birtwistle for nought as the hosts responded, but a 114-run second wicket partnership between former Australia Test batsman Marcus North (55, with eight fours and a six) and Calum MacLeod (82 not out, with 11 fours and two sixes) steered the home side to an eight-wicket success in 32 overs. Erasmus ended with 2-33.
Durham Academy’s youngsters secured a ‘winning’ draw against Whitburn.
The Academy put on 51 for the first wicket, Eddie Hurst departing for 25, before Ross Greenwell’s 166-ball 118, with 12 fours and two sixes, teamed up with Jamie Dass (33, with five boundaries) produced a 94-run second-wicket partnership.
Chris McBride (17) and Liam Trevaskis’s blistering 45 off 19 balls, with five fours and three sixes) helped them reach 253-4 declared after 50 overs.
Dan Quinn (3-36) and Craig Smith took the wickets.
Whitburn had 60 overs in reply and ended on 247-6, just seven short of victory.
James Thompson hit 10 boundaries in a 118-ball 65, while Ross Carty had eight boundaries in a 117-ball 52.
Good support came from Lee Henderson (23), Gary Burlinson (26, with three fours and a six) and Andrew Turns (25, with four fours), while Mark Elliott hit two sixes in a quick fire 15 not out.
Haidar Shafiq took 2-40 for the Academy.
South Shields enjoyed their second win of the season, beating Tynemouth by 75 runs, with seven-wicket Matthew Muchall their hero.
Visitors Shields recovered from 13-2 to post 186-8 in 58 overs, led by Sam Taylor-Gell’s fine 48. Chris Dorothy added 37, with Alex Combe making 27, Chris Rainbow 22 and Michael Dunn 20. Tahir Khan grabbed 3-28 in 15 overs for Tynemouth, with David Hymers taking 2-17 from 10 overs.
Ben Debnam (32) and Nick Armstrong (27) put 53 on for the first wicket in the hosts’ reply, but only Khan (14) reached double figures in support as the magnificent Muchall, with a stunning haul of 7-38, from 15 overs, inspired their dismissal for 111 in the 36th over.
Salman Ahmed added 2-25.
Benwell Hill remained second, after an excellent run chase at Newcastle.
Joshua Phillipe scored exactly 100 for the home side, with Sean Tindale adding 41, in a total of 249-7 declared, with Max Williamson and Joe Kilpatrick, each picking up to wickets.
Skipper Kyle Coetzer led the run chase with a brilliant 116 not out, including 10 fours and four sixes, off just 87 balls. Joe Moore scored 44 in a partnership with Coetzer of 122 runs and Sameet Brar hit 35.
Newcastle shipper Jacques Du Toit was the pick of the bowling, returning 3-33.
Felling prevented themselves from losing five matches on the trot, when they drew at Stockton making 197-9, chasing the home side’s 250-7 declared.
Mark Turner, Graham Wright, Nicholas Heron and Michael Malthouse batted well through the middle order, to ensure the draw.
Earlier, Gary Scott had taken 4-45, but Stockton opener Tom Hewison led the way with a brilliant 131 not out, off 156 balls, including 15 fours and a six.