New signing Josh Home-Jackson is making a big impact at Easington CIU, who are determined to win an instant promotion back to the Premier Division.
They enjoyed a comfortable 6-3 win against South Hetton Cricket Club to open up a three-point lead at the top, although Seaham Marlborough have a game in hand.
Home-Jackson fired in a brilliant hat-trick to bowl over the cricketers, while a brace from Simon Todd and Liam Adamson’s strike completed the scoring.
Asa Lockhurst, Graham Hall and Mark Hartley replied for South Hetton.
Seaham Parkside crushed Wingate Howden 5-0 thank to two-goal Kevin Price, Sean Kavanagh, Michael Kennedy and Shane Docherty.
Horden Cricket Club lost ground when they suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat to Trimdon Royal Oaks, who secured their first league win of the campaign.
Karl Arkwright and Niall Salmon netted for Oaks, who could have won by a bigger margin but some fine saves by Wayne Ward.
Champions Dawdon Welfare Park moved within three points of Premier Division leaders Peterlee Helford United after a 9-0 romp against relegation-threatened Easington Welfare.
Liam Hodgson’s four-timer led the way for Dawdon, supported by a hat-trick from Robbie Bird and Paul Atkinson’s brace.
Peterlee Catholic Club, who are in Durham Sunday Cup quarter-final action this weekend, picked up three good points by beating Horden CW Supporters Club 4-2.
Two goals apiece from Peter Crawford and David Paul did the damage, with James Connor and sub Rob Taylor replying.
Hetton Lyons missed out on top spot in Division Two after a shock 2-1 defeat to Peterlee Central Club.
Star man Rob Hutchinson and Ethan Maddison did the damage, with Jonathan Glenwright replying. Joe Mence shone for Lyons.
Dave Kember’s brace, plus efforts from Steven Freeman and Paul Griffith, set up Peterlee Hearts to outgun Wingate Grange 4-2, with Michael Lee hitting both replies.
Murton Colliery forced a 2-2 draw at Peterlee Helford United in the first leg of their Premier Division Cup semi-final.
Gary Shaw and Glen Hargrave netted for Helford, with John Hutton replying twice for Colliery.
In the Second Division Cup, New Seaham Westlea won 3-1 at Sherburn United to reach the semis 3-2 on aggregate.
Adam Bates Brennan Quill and Josh Elliott struck, with James Raine replying.
Seaham The Knack edged a 5-4 shoot-out victory over Seaham Marlborough in the John and Pat McManus Memorial Cup, following a 1-1 draw.
Chris Blaney netted for Marlborough, Jordan Bunts for Knack.
Anthony Moorhead stood out for the hosts, while Ryan Martin was Marlborough’s top performer.
Easington Lane WMC lost 4-1 to Pelaw Grange Dogs on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the Bishop Auckland Heart Foundation Cup. Callum Haswell starred for Lane.