Only three grounds were declared fit for play and Hetton Lyons took full advantage by overwhelming lowly Durham City.

Meanwhile, South Hetton struggled against South Shields but managed to hold out for a draw which pushed them down into third place.

Burnmoor moved up into second position when they managed to rescue the game at Marsden. However, they were far from convincing in chasing a modest total.

Early damage to the Marsden batting came from the ever-reliable duo of Ian Conn and Michael Callaghan which saw the home side teetering on the brink of collapse when they lost four wickets for just 13 runs.

Then came a rescue act from John Dunn (39) and former Burnmoor player Gary Lancaster (32). Martin Thursfield removed them both before Conn cleaned out the Marsden late order. Moors were left chasing 110 for victory.

Marsden's Graham Fox, playing his first senior game of the season, then almost became a hero. After he split the Burnmoor openers at 36 and took the wicket of professional Mark Benfield seven runs later, the batting suddenly lacked application. The collapse saw Burnmoor at 86 for seven wickets with Fox having taken all the wickets to fall.

Hetton Lyons were easily the better side against Durham City. Lance Hamilton and David Naunton made City struggle early on and Tom Nixon's introduction caused further problems.

With Durham at 50 for five wickets, the Lyons looked likely to wrap up the innings quickly but were held up by Nick Howe. Nixon (4-24) and Hamilton (3-11) concluded the innings and left the Hetton batsmen to score 91 to win.

With 44 added for the first wicket they were well on their way and despite losing Colin Barnes at 52, Gary Dawson (37 not out) and Wayne Birbeck, endured few problems to provide Hetton Lyons with an eight-wicket win which now puts them three points ahead of Burnmoor at the top.

South Hetton allowed South Shields to escape from a low total after Shields had lost five wickets for just 56 runs. John Pendlington, John Leslie and Glen Froud made early in-roads into the batting but then came some resistance when Ashok Patel was joined by David Craig.

Patel found a perfect partner in Greg Marshall. They took the total to 164 in an unbroken stand of 77 with Patel ending on 88 not out. Marshall's invaluable contribution was an unbeaten 23 in a partnership which saw 77 runs arrive in just 52 minutes.

Shields made an immediate impression and with South Hetton on 38 for five, when the final hour began looked to be heading for victory.

However, victory eluded Shields. They had to be content with a draw.