Washington Sandpiper and Easington CIU, two of the sides relegated from the Premier Division, shared the points in a 2-2 draw on the opening day of the new season.
Sandpiper had the better start to the game and went one up when the reliable Gary Allison curled in a left-foot shot from the edge of the box.
Washington hit the post twice and missed a couple of good headers before half-time, but they continued to dominate in the second half and doubled their lead when Steve Jones put away the rebound after Andy Lumsden hit the bar with a free-kick.
Sandpiper looked comfortable winners, but they allowed Easington back in the game when Anthony Ward was tripped in the box and Norman Hird made no mistake with the penalty.
That gave Easington real impetus and they got their reward when the prolific Hird headed in a perfect cross from Kenny Lynch at the back post.
Andy Lumsden (Washington) and Graeme Langthorne (Easington) won the man-of-the-match honours.
Wearmouth CW opened up with a 2-0 victory over Coxhoe Red Lion, while Dubmire were pipped 2-1 at Consett.
Peterlee Helford blew a 2-0 lead in a 3-3 draw at Hartlepool Catholic. Tony Brown volleyed home David McAteer’s cross for Helford’s opener, and Brian Esteris slotted home Paul Lowther’s through ball to increase the lead.
Catholic stormed back to lead, but Peterlee summoned up one last effort to score an unlikely equaliser, Barry Strathearn crossing to Esteris.
Although his first effort was beaten away by Hutchinson, he put away the rebound.
In Division Four, Colonel Prior lost 3-0 at home to Billingham Vets, with Mark Fisher, Lee Dale and Garry Duffie on target, while Wearmouth Old Boys succumbed 5-0 to Durham County Strollers.
Ivy Legends were impressive 3-1 winners at Hartlepool Vets, coming from a goal behind.
Boldon Colliery went down 3-2 at Hartlepool Stag & Monkey in Division Two after twice leading, while Washington JFC Biddick Inn won 3-0 at Houghton Cricket and The Philadelphia were beaten 4-3 in a thriller at Richmond Town.
Blue House won their derby 3-1 against Rolls-Royce, while Oddies beat Woodhorn Lane 2-1 and Willow Pond were sunk 5-1 at Sedgefield Black Lion. Glaster, Walton and Speckman earned Wingate Cons a fighting 3-3 draw at Hedworthfield Red Hackle.
Seaham won 2-1 at Gateshead Rutherford in Division Two, Mill View SC were thumped 8-1 at Darsley Park, Hylton CW succumbed 1-0 to Thornley Celtic and Horden Sportsmans were pipped 4-3 by North Shields Pineapple.
Ryhope Foresters and Red House WMC both lost at home on the first day of the Premier Division season, 1-0 to Hebburn Town and 2-1 to Marden respectively.
Penshaw Catholic Club drew 0-0 with Wallsend Community. while Steels King Brothers did likewise at Darlington Shuttle and Loom.