Ellon Gordon suffered a morale-sapping defeat by ACE Mannofield to slump into the bottom half of Grade 1, though the club were boosted by their second team, who moved effortlessly to the last four of the Johnston Rose Bowl.
A painstaking 64 from captain Scott White helped Ellon to reach 171 for eight wickets, but it proved not to be enough as ACE Mannofield progressed to their first win of the season, losing only seven wickets in the process.
The Ellon team must now take advantage of the lowly status of Aberdeen Grammar at Rubislaw on Saturday.
There was better news from the second team who beat 3rd Aberdeen Grammar by 20 runs in the Johnston Rose Bowl with Huw Owen starring with four wickets for 15 runs as the visitors attempted to close in on the home total of 163 all out.
The reward for the win is a tie against near neighbours and deadly rivals Methlick 2nds at Lairds.
Meanwhile, on a cold, gloomy afternoon at Groats Road in Aberdeen, Methlick first team did well enough even in defeat to return to Lairds with 16 points after a low-scoring defeat by second placed Knightriders.
The home side batted first, crawling to 16 from 16 overs in the face of some fine Methlick fielding. Murphy was particularly mean, conceding only six runs from his first spell of seven overs. Duffy was equally difficult to get away with a mere three runs coming from his eight overs.
Knightriders struggled to 35 for the loss of five wickets, but recovered sufficiently to reach a respectable 137 all out. Kallepu was the pick of the visiting bowlers, taking three for 25, while Kennedy also had three victims for 51.
The Methlick response took them to within 45 runs of victory with seven wickets remaining,only to suffer a disastrous slump losing their last seven wickets for 27, bowled out for 120 on a disappointing afternoon in which only Anderson (23) and all rounder Murphy (41) prevailed with the bat.
Methlick seconds had a better day, progressing smoothly to the semi-final stages of the Johnston Bowl where they will play their Ellon counterparts.
Captain Rob Fryer led the Lairds run charge with a fine 64, backed by Graham Gerrie (41) and Brian Anderson(28) to help their side to 197 for five.
A valiant Banchory effort took them to 150, but Methlick were too strong and well served by Shadid Choudry who took three for 29, while an equally impressive Jamie Jones claimed two for 33 to enable Fryer’s men to make it three wins on the bounce.