Ellon Gordon turned in their best performance of the season to deny Cults-Artisans outright leadership in Grade 1, winning in style at the Gordon Park, raising hopes of a high finish in the top flight and an extended run in the Aberdeenshire Cup.
Captain Scott White was again the home hero, keeping himself in the running for individual honours in both batting and bowling in the league.
The Ellon skipper hit a splendid responsible 49, but matched by an equally determined Brian Veldsman who also fell one short of a well-deserved 50.
In the event, the two did enough to take the home total to 194 for nine wickets, which was more than enough to beat the Allan Park side whose title aspirations were badly dented as they slid to 159 all out.
White was again the key figure in keeping the score down, grabbing three Cults wickets for 29 runs to ensure Ellon end in the top half of the division, but well supported by some slick home fielding.
At Dunecht the second eleven’s hopes of promotion disappeared after losing out by 33 runs to the league leaders who looked to be on the ropes after being dismissed for a paltry 64, only to hit back and bowl out the visitors for an even more embarrassing total of 31.
Home bowler B Witz was in unplayable form, registering the heady figures of six wickets for a mere nine runs.
On a day the batsmen from both sides will want to forget, visiting bowlers Andy Parks and C George were able to come home with their heads held high after taking three wickets apiece.
Ellon will now be able to concentrate their minds on the final of the Johnston Rose Bowl.
Once again Methlick 2nds were thrust into the limelight after the first team game at Rubislaw failed to beat the weather, but unfortunately Rob Fryer’s men were unable to deliver, slipping further behind leaders Dunecht.
A home total of 132 proving not to be enough to see off the challenge of Aberdeen Grammar 3rds who cruised home for the loss of only four wickets.
Not for the first time Fryer led by example, scoring 28 in a bid to establish a platform for his lower order batsmen, while only Jay Allan rose to his skipper’s challenge, sensibly keeping the scoreboard ticking over with a responsible knock of 23.
Sadly, too many Lairds batsman had left their form in Holland, enabling the Rubislaw side to ease home with the minimum of effort.
Brian Anderson was the pick of the home bowlers, claiming three wickets for 23 runs.
The reverse virtually ends any chance of a league title coming to Methlick, especially after leaders Dunecht were comfortable winners at home to Ellon Gordon 2nds.