City United and Western Suburbs kept their battle for the minor premiership alive with contrasting wins in Maitland first grade cricket on Saturday.
At Robins Oval, City, led by Wayne Dunlop century, consigned Eastern Suburbs to a 116-run loss and fourth spot equal now on 40 points with Northern Suburbs (third) and Kurri Weston (fifth).
Wests (167) had to fight hard for a 36-run win against Thornton at Coronation Oval, which ends any chance of the Thunder making the semi-finals.
Kurri Weston (252) continued their late-season surge with a 47-run win against Tenambit Morpeth at Kurri Central and Northern Suburbs (4/116) severely dented Raymond Terrace's hopes of finals with a six-wicket win at Jack Collins.
Dunlop struck 16 fours and six sixes in a dominant performance with the bat in City's total of 7/242. Andrew Vickery (22) and Josh (21) and Matt Trappell (28) were all out in their 20s but City were able to keep the scoreboard clicking.
Josh Hicks picked up 3-39 and Lachie Wishart (2-28) were the chief wicket takers for Easts.
City's bowlers built early pressure and didn't let Easts into the match. Jack Stoneman offered the most resistance with a smart 40 before he was bowled by Nick Barker.
The homeside's bowling stocks were reduced when Cam Wynn was hit in the face when he misjudged an attempted outfield catch.
Andrew Vickery continued his outstanding form with the ball taking 4-31 with his leggies.
"I was very happy with the way we played. Coming here today we knew it was going to be a test after the way Easts beat us last time and as contenders for the finals," City skipper Matt Trappel said.
"Andrew Vickery got us off to an OK start but obviously Wayno (Dunlop) was excellent.
"He has been looking the goods all year and today he converted it into a big one.
"Once again one of our batters stood up for us to build an innings around. It's good because we are not relying on just one or two people this year to do the job.
"We are batting nice and deep and to get 240 after being sent in and then defending it getting them out for 120 was a great effort. Our bowlers really stood up today."
Wests skipper Tom Irwin said the hard-fought win against Thornton was a confidence booster for the team as they were able to get the points despite not being at their best.
Justin Lantry (60) and Mitch Fisher (41) combined for a 83-run seventh wicket partnership as Wests finished on 167. Thornton's Brent Dawes took 4-35.
"It was great to get the win on Old Boys' Day as we haven't been able to do that for a few years," Irwin said.
"Probably the best part of the win is that all the guys who have been scoring the runs failed and we were able to put on a good total on a tricky wicket.
"It gives you a lot of confidence when you can have a scrappy win with everyone contributing."
Thornton were all out for 131 with Elliott Lewis taking 4-32 and Shaun Hill 3-25.