Boldon maintained their First Division promotion push, but only just, holding on for a five-run victory at home to winless bottom club Seaham Harbour.
Harbour bowled impressively to dismiss Boldon for 148 in 47 overs, with three bowlers taking three wickets apiece. Michael Stuart bagged 3-40, Andrew Boal 3-19 and Nathan Corkhill 3-27.
Umar Waheed top-scored with five fours in 39 for Boldon, backed by 21 apiece from Nick Sampson-Barnes and Matthew Sampson-Barnes, while Shakespeare added 19 and Anthony Brown 18.
Harbour lost both openers cheaply, but Stewart Pattison’s 74-ball 46, with eight fours, and Adrian Hedley’s 47 off 51 balls, with nine boundaries, helped take them to the brink of an upset victory, Pattison departing with just 19 runs needed and three wickets remaining. But they were all out for 143 in the 49th over as Matthew Sampson-Barnes completed a haul of 5-20. Brown took 3-33 and Shakespeare 2-29.
Boal (20) and Jack Forrester (12) offered the best support for Seaham.
Third-top Burnmoor won the match of the day, defeating leaders Sacriston by four wickets to close the gap to the table-toppers to 30 points.
Burnmoor put Sacriston in to bat and the decision proved correct as their bowlers impressed in dismissing the home side for 128 in 45 overs, Melvyn Betts top-scoring on 29 at No 8.
Samiullah Khan starred with 5-38 for Moor, supported by Steven Meek (2-11) and Liam Burgess (2-36), with Liam Dixon also striking.
Opener Allan Worthy stood firm with eight fours in 38 to lead Burnmoor to victory. Owen Lancaster added two fours and two sixes in 28 not out, with Paul Craig (20) and Ross Hodgson (17) in supporting roles.
Graeme Bridge grabbed 2-21 in vain for Sacriston.
Brandon, in fifth, lost ground in the promotion race, after they were surprisingly beaten at home to Sunderland.
They set the Ashbrooke team a decent total of 209-6, inspired by an impressive century from Gordon Muchall, with Jaspreet Singh returning an excellent 5-55.
The visitors also had a centurion, when Ramanpreet Singh struck 102 not out and Usman Arshad made 79 as they clinched a tremendous seven-wicket victory.
Washington went down by six wickets at home to Willington, who have not given up hope of promotion.
The hosts made 178-9 declared in 50.3 overs, recovering strongly from 20-4 and 43-6 as Josh Wilson (six fours in a 93-ball 67) and Ashley Thorpe (seven fours and two sixes in 63, off 90 balls) turned the innings around in a 110-run seventh-wicket stand.
Connor Hodgson grabbed 4-30 and Reagan Klemt took 3-17.
Willington won in the 45th over, inspired by Klemt’s unbeaten 54, with six fours and a six, with Jake Louth adding 34. Colin Myers, Mark Watson, Wilson and Thorpe all struck for Washington.
At the bottom, Mainsforth are still five points clear of Seaham Harbour and the relegation trapdoor, but they will need to improve on the 35 all out they scored against Burnopfield, who remain second, if they are to avoid the drop.
Neil Killeen was almost unplayable as he bagged 6-7, well supported by Callum Thorp’s 4-27 as Burnopfield triumphed by eight wickets.
Gateshead Fell drew at home to neighbours Blaydon.
The visitors posted 187-7 thanks largely to Paul Underwood (44) and Gary Stewart (62), with Jamie Arkle returning 4-42.
Fell were well short but saw out the draw on 131-8, with Richard Smith (35) top-scoring. Stewart picked up 5-36 with the ball.