Whitburn look to be on the brink of Premier Division safety after a four-wicket triumph away to second-bottom Felling.
The Villagers, in third-bottom spot, are 39 points ahead of South Shields, and 22 clear of Felling, with two matches to play.
Mark Elliott was outstanding with the ball, snaffling 5-49 as Felling were bowled out for 168 in 54.2 overs.
Paul Leonard top-scored with six fours in a 68-ball 41, while Graham Wright had six boundaries in 35 and Stuart Walker added 21.
Elliott was backed by James Thompson (2-8) and Craig Smith (2-37), with Kieran Waterson also striking.
Whitburn slumped to 7-2 early in their reply, but a resilient, 102-ball 84 not out from Durham’s Brydon Carse, featuring 13 boundaries, guided the visitors home on 170-6 in 49 overs.
Gary Burlinson added three fours in 20 and Lee Henderson had three fours in 19 before Andrew Turns (15no) joined Carse to clinch victory.
Leonard (2-24) and Gary Scott (2-31) were the top Felling bowlers, to no avail.
Eppleton saw off visitors Stockton by five wickets on home turf at Church Road.
Matthew Gill fired a memorable 89-ball 101, with 14 fours and three sixes, as Stockton made 221 all out.
Opener Tom Hewison hit nine fours in 55 as Alex Simpson stole the show with 4-45 in 14 overs.
Jandre Erasmus piled in with 3-46, with Joe Coyne, Guy Dunn and Dean Musther also striking.
Opener Luke Henderson was magnificent in leading Eppleton home, with 19 fours and six sixes in a 133-ball 146.
He put on 51 with Marcus Brown (13), 34 with Alex Simpson (24, with four fours and a six) and 79 with Coyne (20, with three fours and a six).
Victory came in the 38th over. Durham’s George Harding took 2-64.
Durham Academy’s youngsters ran out 10-run winners in a thriller at Hetton Lyons.
Ross Greenwell hit eight boundaries in a 93-ball 50 as the Academy, who elected to bat, made 160-9 in 58 overs.
Scott Steel added 23, while Kieran Trevaskis made 18 and Liam Trevaskis 17.
Youngster Miles Birbeck (3-26) and Josh Coughlin (3-36) were the pick of the bowlers, with Dom Thomson, Ben Whitehead and Cameron Grimwood also striking.
Lyons looked good when Matthew Whaley (22, with a four and a six) and Coughlin (83, with 15 fours and two sixes) put on 99 for the first wicket.
But they managed just 51 more runs, 24 from Jarvis Clay, with three boundaries) as they were bowled out for 150 in 35.1 overs.
Bilal Baig bagged 4-17 in seven overs, while Steel took 3-14 in 8.1 and Oliver Gibson 2-19.
Defending champions Chester-le-Street succumbed by five wickets to Tynemouth at Ropery Lane, their fifth defeat of the season.
Kyle Davis blasted 10 fours and a six in a 151-ball 97 as Chester posted 267-8 in 58 overs, supported by Andrew Smith’s 52 off 41 balls, with 11 fours.
Liam Simpson added three fours and two sixes in 36, with Quentin Hughes having two fours and a six in 28 and George Harrison firing five boundaries in 26.
Henry Malton took 5-66 and Tahir Khan 3-63.
The first five Tynemouth batsmen all made good contributions to see them home in the 51st over, led by Matthew Brown (86, with 10 fours and a six), Durham’s Stuart Poynter (56, with four fours and a six) and captain Ben Debnam (39).
John Harrison (2-33) and Smith (2-71) were Chester’s top bowlers.
Bottom club South Shields limped closer to the drop after a nine-wicket drubbing from Newcastle at Jesmond.
The Wood Terrace men struggled to post 128 all out, with Sam Taylor-Gelf top-scoring on 26 at No 7, with four fours.
Eddie Hurst added 21, with Salman Ahmed and Chris Rainbow firing 16 apiece. Alasdair Appleby took 4-47 in 15 overs, supported by Callum Harding’s 3-26 and Jacques Du Toit’s 2-5.
Appleby then hit an unbeaten 65 off 49 balls, featuring nine fours and three sixes, and Durham’s Michael Richardson stroked a 41-ball 56 not out, with eight fours and two sixes, as the target was reached in 14.3 overs, despite falling to 0-1 with Matthew Muchall running out Ben McGee
South North will feel that they have one hand on the title, needing just 20 points from their last two games to be crowned champions after beating Benwell Hill by 86 runs.
Simon Birtwistle hit 16 fours and a six in 116 not out, becoming only the third player in the league’s history, to top 10,000 runs in the process, as South North made 285-1.
Fellow opener Marcus North added 104, with 15 fours, off 157 balls, in a 225-run partnership. Calum MacLeod then biffed 41 off 22 balls.
Hill put on 70 for the first wicket, with Phillip Nicholson scoring 43 and skipper Kyle Coetzer making a quickfire 42 off just 29 balls, alongside a half-century from Haseeb Azam (50).
However, wickets tumbled regularly, with Jonny Wightman taking 3-32 and MacLeod 4-56, to ensure another win for the Bulls.