Hetton Lyons got back to winning ways in magnificent style after three games without a victory, sinking hosts Chester-le-Street on Saturday.
Lyons’ fifth Premier Division win secured 26 points and lifted them to fourth place, leapfrogging Chester, who succumbed to their second defeat and earned just six points.
Yet the Cestrians looked to be in a good position when they reached 227-9 in 58 overs at Ropery Lane, inspired by opener Kyle Davis, who carried his bat in making 106 off 169 ball, with 11 boundaries.
Andrew Smith had six fours and a six in 38 and Liam Burgess added 26, with two fours and a six.
Jonny Malkin bagged 3-63 for Lyons, while Ben Whitehead took 3-49, with Chris Ralston and Robert Talbot also striking.
Lyons had runs throughout their reply as they claimed a memorable two-wicket success in 50.1 overs.
Opener Malkin hit nine fours and a six in a 117-ball 64, putting on 39 with Stuart Walker (16, with three boundaries) and 40 with Jack Burnham (22, with two fours and a six)).
Chris Winn (20) and Chris Martin (44, with four fours and two sixes) got Lyons in sight of victory with a 66-run partnership for the fourth wicket, before Whitehead’s run-a-ball 20 not out got them home, helped by Ralston (18).
Burgess plundered 5-84 in vain, with Stephen Cantwell taking 2-48.
Whitburn stayed in second place despite visitors Benwell Hill having the better of their draw at the Village Ground.
The match ended in a tight finish, with Whitburn just nine runs short of victory, but down to their last wicket.
Benwell Hill looked in trouble at 0-2, but they rallied to make 229 all out in 52 overs, after choosing to bat.
James Schofield fired nine fours in a 121-ball 64, supported by Peter Halliday (39no, with six fours), Mark Dale (34), Kyle Coetzer (29, with seven fours) and Mohsin Mukhtar (29).
Kieran Waterson followed up the previous week’s eight-wicket haul by taking 4-53, while Craig Smith bagged 3-54 and Matthew Muchall took 1-41.
Whitburn’s response started strongly, with 57 put on for the first wicket, thanks to Jackson Edmonstone (35 off 40 balls, with six fours) and Lee Henderson (68 off 140 balls, with seven boundaries).
Henderson and Luke Smith (27, with six fours) added 43 for the third wicket, before the opener and Ben Markham (40 off 56, with four fours and a six) put on 56 for the fifth wicket.
They slipped from 194-4 to 207-8 and had to settle for the draw, closing on 221-9 after 58 overs. Jacques Snyman weighed in with 4-45, backed by Coetzer (2-43) and Rory Hanley (2-58).
Eppleton’s troubles near the foot of the table continued as they went down by 131 runs at Tynemouth.
The Church Road side’s bowlers could not get to grips with home openers Ben Debnam and Nick Armstrong, who both carried their bats as Tynemouth coasted to 265-0 declared in 50 overs.
Debnam top-scored with 132no, helped by 18 fours and a six, while Armstrong was only just behind, with 12 fours and two sixes in 119no.
It was a daunting task for Eppleton, and it proved beyond them as they were dismissed for 134 in 40 overs.
Marcus Brown could at least take heart from a solid batting display, the opener firing five fours in a patient, 106-ball 54. The best support came from Jack McBeth (14) and Nottinghamshire’s ex-Durham man Paul Coughlin (13), though Luke Henderson, Joe Coyne and Dan Stephenson also got into double figures.
Wesley Bedja was the star turn with the ball, taking 6-37, while David Hymers grabbed 3-29.
Durham Academy had one of their best days of the campaign so far as they secured only their second win, by four wickets at Sacriston.
The home side were led by a resilient 78 off 161 balls by James Thompson, who maintained his fine run of form by hitting 10 fours and a six).
He added 58 for the third wicket with Jonny Bushnell (27, with three fours and a six) and 103 for the fourth with Melvyn Betts (60 off 72 balls, with 11 boundaries). Sacriston ended on 217-8 after their 58 overs, with Lewis Straughair 12 not out. Oliver Gibson bagged 3-58 and Adam Ahmed 3-46, with Faizan Hussain and Max Williamson also striking.
Durham Academy made a great start to their replying, putting on 90 for the first wicket, courtesy of Ben Seabrook (46, with nine fours) and Ross Greenwell (44, with seven fours and a six).
Sol Bell had nine fours in a 75-ball 66 not out to steer the youngsters over the line in the 51st over, adding 62 for the fourth wicket with Luke Doneathy (43, with five fours and a six).
Graeme Bridge took 3-57 in vain for Sacriston.
Leaders South North eased to a 50-run success at Felling, despite some sticky moments.
Simon Birtwisle hit eight fours in 35 as the visitors made 48 for the first wicket, but they soon slipped to 53-4 before rallying to declare on 205-9 after 47 overs.
Adam Cragg made a pivotal 70 off 106 balls, with 11 fours and a six, backed by Rib Peyton (24) and Michael Craigs (20).
Chris Nicholls impressed with a haul of 4-25 in 15 fine overs, with seven maidens, while Paul Leonard took 2-66.
Opener Phil Mustard hit 28 for Felling, adding 55 for the second wicket with Eddie Hurst (61 off 87 balls, with eight boundaries).
But only Graham Wright (36, with three fours and two sixes) offered real resistance and Felling fell for 155 in 54.3 overs, close to holding out for a draw, but not close enough.
Lee Crozier led the bowlers with 4-38, supported by Jonny Wightman (2-36) and Sean Tindale (2-49).
Newcastle cruised home by nine wickets at Stockton.
The Teessiders’ decision to bat backfired as they were dismissed for 100 in 40 overs, led by opener Tom Hewison (40 off 97 balls), Matthew Gill (21) and James Ward (18).
Oliver McGee shone in Newcastle’s attack, finishing with 5-15 in 10 overs, while Ben Quirk grabbed 3-28 and Jacques Du Toit took 2-35.
Openers Ben McGee (41) and Oliver McGee (42no), with 13 boundaries between them, then hurried Newcastle to victory in 20.4 overs, only their second win of the season.