HETTON Lyons CC overwhelmed long-time challengers Brandon Sports Club 9-1 to inch closer to the Premier Division title.
Lee Blades gave Brandon the lead after an even start, but Hetton levelled and notched twice for a 3-1 interval lead before cutting loose in the second half.
Conor Winter, Robbie Bird and Gavin Barton all plundered doubles, while Craig Price, Denver Morris and substitute goalkeeper Rhys Jobling also scored, Jobling coming on as outfield player to net for the second week in a row.
Lee Chapman starred for Lyons, with David Fort best for the hosts.
Six points from their final four games will guarantee another title for Lyons.
Only Newton Aycliffe WMC can deny Lyons, and they face a mammoth task despite winning 2-0 at second-top Houghton Comrades, with goals from Kieran Megran and Jordan Lavery. Matt Stephenson shone in vain for Comrades.
Sherburn Village WMC and Sedgefield St Edmund’s served up a close-fought 0-0 draw, with keeper Michael Brown starring for the visitors.
Jordan Stannard and Jonathan Colling netted as bottom club Coxhoe WMC earned only their second point of the season, in a 2-2 draw at Pelton RAOB in which keeper Tom Orton starred.
In midweek, Pelton RAOB won 2-0 at Newton Aycliffe WMC, who then won 3-1 at Sherburn Village.
Ushaw Moor Cricket Club produced a sensational last-game win over champions Chilton WMC to give themselves hope of survival in Division One.
Chilton, try as they might, could not find a breakthrough and a late goalkeeping error let in sub Chris Coates to secure a 1-0 win,
That moved the cricketers up to third-bottom, three points clear of Houghton Chilton Lodge, who had two games to play and a better goal difference.
Scott Davison starred for Ushaw Moor, David Harrison for Chilton.
Houghton Chilton Lodge succumbed 5-3 to Sacriston Cricket Club, with Adam Hinde, Ross Monaghan and Andrew Macpherson responding to strikes from Chris Mordue (2), Sam Renwick (2) and Tom Winter.
Whitehills sealed the second promotion spot with victory in the only game in Division Two. They go up again alongside Waldridge Park after edging a hard-fought 2-1 triumph at West Rainton, who had Graeme Brenkley sent off. Jamie Bowes notched for Rainton, whose defeat ended their own promotion ambitions.
Pelton Crown maintained their championship push in Division Three with two wins to go top.
First, they defeated battling Hetton New Inn 3-1.
Both sides went close in an even first 45 minutes, with Pelton breaking the deadlock only for the visitors to level. On the restart, Crown notched twice more, with Liam Mitchell, man of the match Kris Lawton and John Morris securing their 3-1 win.
That moved them two points off top spot, with five games in hand.
In midweek, a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Esh Winning Cricket Club moved them into pole position, despite having Steven Ions sent off.
John Morris and Mark Foster struck the vital goals, with Michael Fish replying.
Framwellgate Moor WMC consolidated third place with a fine 3-1 success at home to leaders Washington Cricket Club.
Promotion is out of reach, but Moor turned on the style, capped by strikes from Adam Kitching, star man James Smith and Lewis Coburn.
Ferryhill Celtic were good 4-1 victors away to Bede Lodge SC, inspired by a well-taken Luke Thompson hat-trick.
Shane Todd also weighed in, while John Kilgannon notched for Bede, whose star man was Andrew Bell.
Belmont The Shoes moved off the bottom in style, defeating Kelloe Davy Lamp 4-2, with Kadam Lumsden-Parnaby firing both replies.
Ferryhill Community Hub outgunned Esh Winning Cricket Club 6-1, with Jonathan Hodgson firing the consolation.
In midweek, Ferryhill Celtic walloped Framwellgate Moor WMC 7-1. Lewis Coburn struck for Moor.
Durham County moved top of Division Four by winning their penultimate match, 4-1 at Chester-le-Street AFC.
Already promoted, Joe Kerry’s double, backed by Stanley Ogunsuyi and sub Chris Brown, steered County home, with keeper Craig Oliver the hosts’ star performer. Shaun Mayell hit Chester’s consolation.
Fencehouses went down 4-1 at fourth-placed Lumley Snooker Club.
Fencehouses took an early lead, with Grant Craig scoring, but poor marking at a set piece led to Lumley levelling with a deflected strike right on half-time.
It remained tight in the second half, with Fencehouses appealing in vain for two penalties, which they described as “nailed on”. Ben Haddock’s brace, added to by Darren Finlay and Dean Lawrence, guided Lumley home.
Washington Jays and Quarrington Hill WMC fought out a tight goalless draw.
Jays had an effort cleared off the line, while the visitors missed a penalty. Jays were denied a last-gasp winner by a good save from Carl Morris. Carl Lewiston stood out for Quarrington Hill.
In midweek, Fencehouses beat Washington Jays 1-0, with Grant Craig scoring and Scott Hutchinson man of the match.