Title chasing Stockton became record breakers as they bowled out Saturday’s opponents for the lowest score recorded since the North East Premier League was formed.
They dismissed South Shields for just 27 runs to hand on the previous unwanted record held by Gateshead Fell, bowled out for 30 and stuck with it for nine seasons.
The Teessiders remain unbeatable and superbly confident as they head towards their first ever championship, and after their latest win by a massive 228 runs they are now 39 points ahead of the closest challengers Chester-le-Street.
There was no sign of what was to come when Stockton posted 255-9 against a Shields side with New Zealand T20 star Tom Latham returning from international duty and expected to inspire a close game.
Kevin Ward (67) led a bevy of top scoring batsmen in the Stockton line-up including Jamie Harrison (41) Keaton Jennings (38) and Tom Coulthard (35 not out).
Shields’ opening attack of John Hutton (4-60) and Matthew Muchall (4-99) kept Stockton under pressure but when the second innings began and Latham went quickly and cheaply the writing was on the wall for the home side.
The rest of the story became engraved in history with Harrison (5-13) and Keaton Jennings (3-2) in devastating form and not a single Shields batsman reaching double figures.
Despite another victory for Benwell Hill it was Chester-le-Street who reclaimed the second spot when they trounced Gateshead Fell to earn maximum points.
Chester rattled up a massive 247 for three with a superb century from Simon Birtwisle who faced 159 balls and hit 13 fours to also share in a 203-run opening partnership with skipper Quentin Hughes who hit 89 from 120 balls with 12 boundaries.
Then Liam Simpson (6-28) blasted out the first six batters, his pace knocking down the Fell for a paltry 82.
Hetton Lyons suffered a bad day at the office against Tynemouth when bowled out for just 140 by Ruhan Pretorius (6-52 in 14 overs) and David Hymers (4-40 in 17.2 overs) with only Jonny Malkin (35 from 77 balls) offering resistance.
The Tyne club went on to win by a comfortable eight wickets, only their third in ten games.
Another defeat came the way of Durham Academy whose coach, John Windows, became the team’s top scorer against Newcastle. He hit an unbeaten 31 as he shared in a stand of 52 for the last wicket.
But their all out score of 136 was never enough and their opponents won by four wickets with former Durham all-rounder Ben Raine (3-30 and 32 not out) the man-of-the-match.
In the First Division Sacriston were the day’s biggest movers as their win over Boldon saw them leapfrog into second place above South Hetton, who lost against Willington.
But even more important for them were the points lost by leaders Whitburn following their draw at Washington. As a result their lead was cut to just 18 points.
Mo Ali (77) and Ryan Moralee (4-18) were Sacriston’s match winners as Boldon were bowled out for 131 in reply to 202 for eight declared. Neil Mulvaney hit a 49-ball half century for Boldon but couldn’t make it a winning knock.
Darren Hickey (67) and Joe Thompson (43) helped rattle up 214 for nine for Washington which proved 52 runs too many for Whitburn whose 10 points in their drawn finish was a disappointing return.
Elsewhere Brandon moved third after victory over Felling and Eppleton defeated fellow strugglers Seaham Harbour for their first win of the season.