Chester-le-Street are on a brilliant run of form and made it five wins out of five, to reach the summit of the Premier Division.
They beat hosts Tynemouth by three wickets.
The home side won the toss decided to bat first. Ben Debnam’s first century of the season (111) and Nick Armstrong’s (80) helped put on 190 for the first wicket.
However, they failed to push on from that platform, as some fine bowling from John Harrison (3-42) and Christopher Metcalfe (3-38) denied them a bigger score than anticipated. Tynemouth declared on 236-6 after 60 overs.
In reply, Chester knocked off the runs required in the 59th over, with George Harrison (50) and in-form Richard Waite (53) top-scoring.
Liam Simpson (42), John Coxon (24) and James Thompson (20) all made useful contributions for Chester, despite (4-43) from Tynemouth’s Martin Pollard.
Durham Academy did their near neighbours a favour when they held Newcastle, the leaders before play, to a draw.
After deciding to bat first, Newcastle were in real trouble at 91-5, thanks to teenager Matthew Potts claiming 4-43, but a fantastic century from skipper Jacques Du Toit (122 off 133 balls, which included 13 fours and four sixes) helped the Tynesider to put on 143 for the sixth wicket with Christopher Youldon (31no). They declared on 243-7.
The Academy were in real trouble themselves at 29-3 and 91-5, but Liam Trevaskis (92, with 11 fours and two sixes) and Matthew Potts (38, with six boundaries) put on 94 for the sixth wicket to earn the draw at 195-7, even though man of the match Du Toit, claimed 3-37 with the ball.
Eppleton remain second-bottom, and 25 points adrift of safety, after succumbing to a five-wicket defeat to South Shields.
The Church Road men were in all sorts of trouble at 11-4, Matthew Muchall (4-6) and Chris Stewart (4-42) ripping through the home side’s batting.
Gary Burlinson (41, with six fours and a six) helped get them up to 81 all out in just 25.2 overs, with Calum Jefferson (16) the only other batter to reach double figures.
Shields survived a great spell of bowling from Liam Dixon (3-32), who had them in a spot of bother at 68-5, but Chris Rainbow (17no) and Elliott Campbell (10no) got them over the line in 20.1 overs, Tim David top-scoring on 25.
The two teams immediately above Eppleton, Whitburn and Benwell Hill, met at The Village Ground and both teams were probably be glad of their draw.
The visitors were asked to bat first and they made a creditable 263-9, with Adam Hickey hitting 91, Joe Moore 46 and Mark Dale 36 not out. Craig Smith was the pick of the bowling with 4-47, while Kieran Waterson took 3-81.
In reply, Whitburn fell to 2-2 with the loss of both openers, but they rallied to end on 205-7.
That was not the full story, though. At one stage, defeat loomed as they were 81-6, but skipper Ross Carty (49 not out, with nine boundaries) and Mark Elliott’s 48, with 10 fours, steered the ship back on course with a 91-run partnership.
Earlier, Jeremy Benton and Joe Coyne both made 36. Joe Kilpatrick claimed 4-39.
Hetton Lyons were hammered by nine wickets at champions South North and only made 54 all out in 14.2 shattering overs, with Stephen Humble returning figures of 5-20 and Jonny Wightman 4-33
Brian Fenwick top-scored with two boundaries in a run-a-ball 21..
Simon Birtwisle’s unbeaten 30 helped South North home by nine wickets in 12.3 overs.
Bottom club Gateshead Fell secured a notable 43-run win over Stockton.
Graham Onions hit 60 and Stephen Devenport 56 in Fell’s 243-7, with Ryan Buckley grabbing 3-59.
Adam Whatley (5-78) and Onions (3-33) then dismissed the Teessiders for 200.