BOTTOM club Spennymoor put up a fight in their relegation battle with Cliffe only to lose by four wickets, and now face a battle to preserve their top-flight status.
Andy Collingwood (60 not out) was the rock in Moor’s total of 164-7, coming in after the loss of two early wickets and mounting a recovery with Neil Parkin (37).
He batted through the rest of the 40 overs and, despite Chris Wrigley picking up 4-43, the Moor built a respectable score.
Cliffe were teetering on the brink at 41-3, but then Thomas Adamson (46) and John Wilson (42 no) shored up the crumbling edifice to set up a crucial success with just 15 balls remaining.
The 20 points lifted Cliffe 41 clear of the dropzone, but for the Moor the defeat left them 24 adrift of safety with time and matches running out.
Middleton-in-Teesdale are the other team in trouble, and their woes increased with a sevenwicket defeat at Middleton St George.
Anthony Coatsworth cracked 12 fours and two sixes as he took the George attack on almost single-handedly, but with Mo Nadeem picking up four wickets the Tees dale innings closed on 144-9 after 40 overs. Steve French (66) and Chris Peacock (31) steered the hosts to victory inside 27 overs to leave their opponents in the bottom two.
Brompton remain one place above the relegation zone, although their 107-run hammering at the hands of championselect Rockliffe Park was little more than expected.
Dion Wood’s 113 and Darren Wheeler’s 56 propelled the Park up to 234-2 in 40 overs. James Lain (39) tried to hit back when Brompton replied, but with Mark Swanwick and Wood sharing six wickets the end came after 30.1 overs with the visitors all out for 127.
Raby Castle’s Simon Lee followed up a double century earlier in the summer with an eye-watering 161, which was enough to see Castle home by 64 runs after hapless Barningham were set a daunting target of 261-5.