Eastern Suburbs have grabbed a share of second spot on the Maitland first grade ladder after surviving a early scare from a fired up Tenambit Morpeth Bulls attack.
Tricky batting conditions and excellent bowling to the conditions had Easts reeling at 8/137, but a fighting 53 by Michael Gavan and an unbeaten 30 by Nick Rinkin allowed the Griffins to reach 202 in the final over of their one-day game at King Edward Park.
Despite conceding 26 extras in the field, Easts managed to dismiss Tenambit Morpeth for 170 with opener Damien Miller the standout with the bat making 52 for the Bulls.
Easts skipper Jack Bennett said it was an important but ugly win for the Griffins, who now sit equal on points with Western Suburbs in second place after the Plovers' suffered a narrow loss to Kurri Weston.
City United is a game clear at the top of the table on 41 points and Raymond Terrace is fourth, a game behind Wests and Easts after an eight-wicket loss to Thornton.
"was a much closer game than we would have liked, they played really well and we probably just weren't at our best yesterday," Bennett said on Sunday.
"We struggled to build big partnerships until Toby Godfray (47) and Michael Gavan put on 50 and then Michael and Nick Rinkin put together a partnership of about 50 which helped us to get a competitive total.
"Nick has improved with the stick and that's his second important innings this season. It is really good that he can get some runs at the bottom of the order if our top order fails.
"The wicket was a bit hard to score on in that middle part of the innings. They bowled well and bowled tight and we couldn't get the runs away.
"We didn't bowl well, we bowled 26 extras which isn't good enough. It was scrappy, but good that we got there in the end.
Bennett conceded it was the type of game they would have dropped in the past couple of seasons.
"The win showed the character to get the job done even though we weren't at our best.
"In previous years we would have lost it, got bowled out for 150 and let them get it four or five wickets down.
"We showed the resolve and fight to win that game which is important leading towards the back end of the season. We want to be competing for those top spots and being a contender."