Promotion beckons for Darlington Mowden Park after their patient pursuit of leaders Macclesfield finally saw them surge to the top of the National Two North table.
With only one side automatically promoted and the second-placed side facing a play-off to climb into National One, the news Macclesfield had fallen to Sedgley Tigers came less than an hour after Mowden’s 38-20 home triumph over Harrogate.
It was one they had to work for, trailing 14-5 at the quarter mark with only Shaun McCartney’s try to their name.
Touchdowns from Ross Doneghan and Anthony Harrison brought about a 19-17 interval lead.
The second half delivered three unanswered tries as winger Cameron Mitchell intercepted and raced home, followed by one from Ralph Appleby and a second for McCartney.
The prospects of the North East boasting three teams at National One level next season increased even further as Tynedale gave their survival bid another shot in the arm, winning for the second week in succession.
Victorious 27-14 at Yorkshire side Wharfedale, Tynedale were 19-3 up on 20 minutes after tries from Ben Frankland, Hamish Smales and Matthew Charters. Dutchman Sep Visser delivered the four-try bonus point on 53 minutes.
The result lifted his side to within four points of safety.
At the other end of the table, Blaydon claimed yet another scalp at Crow Trees, second-placed Rosslyn Park being defeated 19-18.
Visiting fly-half Scott Sneddon had a conversion to win the game for the Londoners from right of the posts with three minutes to go following Thomas Howe’s long-range try, but his shot flew left of its target.
Blaydon had battled back to earn their lead after trailing 13-7 at the break, full-back Simon Barber scoring the home side’s only try.
Left-wing Tom Jeffrey put them ahead with a 40-metre run through a host of tacklers, replacement hooker Fran Entressengle wrapping it up with a poacher’s try at the front of a bungled line-out.
Westoe fell 44-17 at home to Stockport in National Three North, where Percy Park lost 22-20 at Bradford and Bingley.
Durham and Northumberland One leaders Horden lost 21-19 at Darlington.
Basement boys Ponteland won 24-20 at third-bottom Novos in a game with implications in the relegation battle.