The pride of the Lyons shone through on Saturday as Hetton gave Chester-le-Street a 142-run mauling.
Hetton Lyons roared to what must be their best NEPL performance to send the Cestrians crashing to a second consecutive defeat, and that after going one year without being beaten.
There was no doubting the star of the show at Ropery Lane as Ryan Pringle put the champions to the sword with both bat and ball.
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It all started calmly enough as Chester went about their usual business with a couple of early strikes, but this brought together Gary Scott and Pringle, who took the game away from the home team with a third-wicket stand of 185, Scott reaching a century with 12 fours and four sixes. But it was his partner who really took the breath away as Pringle hit 11 crisp fours and six sixes to register 80 out of his 86 runs in boundaries.
Jarvis Clay then added an unbeaten 34 as Hetton tried to bat their hosts out of the game by using all 65 overs to close on 313-8.
Street then lost four early wickets, and despite a defiant 66 from Liam Simpson, it was Pringle who fittingly had the final say as he bagged a return of 6-42 to cap the perfect day as the Cestrians slumped to 171 all out in 43.4 overs.
That defeat opened the championship door a bit wider, with both Blaydon and South North poised to barge in.
Blaydon's six-wicket victory over the Academy brought them to within ten points of the leaders, their game highlighted by two centuries from Durham men, Ben Raine scoring 102 in 163 balls for the youngsters and Mark Stoneman replying with a 169-ball 101 for Blaydon.
South North owed Adam Cragg (60) and Steve Humble (63) a debt of gratitude for digging them out of a hole at home to Tynemouth, and having made 209-9, Lee Crozier (4-42) spun the Bulls to a 34-run win despite a defiant 81 from Rameez Shahzad.
In the basement battle, Stockton eased themselves away from trouble with a seven-wicket win over bottom club Gateshead Fell.
Alan Baird bowled superbly to pick up 3-23 in 13 excellent overs as the Fell slumped to 28-4 and Jon Rickard (3-9 in 3.5 overs) and Joel Thwaites (2-6 in 7) saw Gateshead dismissed for 93 in 40.5 overs.
A stand of 37 between Rickard and Matt Brown laid the platform for victory and Rickard saw the Teessiders home with an unbeaten 32, casting Fell even further adrift at the bottom.
Sunderland hammered Newcastle by 158 runs and Benwell Hill proved too strong for South Shields.