Week five in the NCU saw North Down victorious in their visit to CSNI and CIYMS triumph at home over visitors Waringstown in the day's hardest to call matches.
The biggest winners of the day were Instonians with a 91 run margin over Woodvale who have now managed only 69, 71 and 84 in their last three outings.
It was Jack Dickson who top scored for the Old Boys finishing 73 not out (4x4, 6x6) and collecting his first Premier half-century along the way, his partnership with Shane Getkate (56) producing 118 of the 175/6 total.
Marcus Poskitt set the tone with 5 boundaries in his 19 ball 30 before Getkate and Dickson plundered the Woodvale bowling seemingly at will.
When Woodvale batted Ben Rose bowled the second over and first ball his off-spin accounted for Wayne Horwood whose attempted sweep against the spin lobbed to Getkate at backward square leg.
What followed was a series of injudicious shots as batsmen perished failing to clear the fielders on the straight boundary. Andrew White struck with his first delivery as Stephen Bunting was bowled behind his legs sweeping and went on to finish with 4-12 while James Lambert and Ben Rose each claimed a brace.
North Down posted the second highest total of the day at Stormont, Ruhan Pretorius with 58 not out and Paul Stirling just missing out on his half-century with 47. Ryan Haire added the finishing touch with a typical hard hitting 42. For the home side only seamer Matthew Foster was able to claim more than a single wicket.
There was to be no repeat of the Ross Adair fireworks of last weekend and the home side were always behind the clock as Andrew Cowden could manage only 20 as their top scorer. Three wickets each for Carl Robinson and Peter Davison and a couple for Pretorius as CSNI were all out in the final over losing by 61 runs.
At Belmont Chris Dougherty continued his fine start to the season top scoring with 42 in the home total of 159/7. Jason vd Merwe added 33 and there were some useful late order runs from James Cameron-Dow who finished 21 not out.
With Kyle McCallan a spectator today it was James Mitchell, Gary Kidd and James McCollum who carried the Waringstown attack each claiming two wickets.
It has been tough going at the top of the Waringstown innings a number of times already this season and today was no exception. James Hall drilled Allen Coulter to Cameron-Dow in the first over and Mark Adair rattled Adam Dennison on the foot in the second to leave the visitors 3 for the loss of both openers in only 9 balls!
It took a 103 run partnership from James McCollum (57 off 48, 5x4 1x6) and Greg Thompson (49 off 31, 3x4, 4x6) to get their side back into contention.
When Coulter bowled McCollum it was the signal for CIYMS to take control and when he and Adair took another couple of wickets each it sealed the visitors fate as they came up 18 runs short with 9 wickets down at the end of their 20 overs.
In the battle of the basement clubs at Wallace Park it was the home side who triumphed to claim their first League win of the season. Their only other win being in the Cup, again against today's opponents. It was by a distance Carrick's worst performance of the season.
A three wicket burst from David Simpson reduced the visitors to 33/4 and when Ryan Eagleson went without scoring one run later the slide had well and truly begun. At 46/9 there's not much point hanging around and in number 11 Barry Venus Carrick found their joint top scorer his 24 not out coming off 15 balls (2x4, 2x6). Iain Parkhill the other man to get 24, his coming off 40 balls (2x4) as wickets tumbled around him. Callum Styles with 18 the only other score in double figures in a total of 90/9.
The loss of Robert Rankin for 8 did little to hinder Lisburn's progress as skipper Adam Berry (33) and Matthew Humphreys (24) added exactly 50 for the second wicket. The final margin was six wickets with almost four overs in hand.
Troubling times for Carrickfergus who in the past few seasons have been accustomed to finding themselves nearer the top than the bottom.
Similarly for Lisburn and Woodvale who like Carrick are perhaps feeling the absence of 'overseas players' more than the other sides this year.
Next Saturday all roads lead to Comber where North Down will host fellow table-toppers CIYMS. So one thing is certain one or other will stand alone at the head of the rankings this time next week.
NCU PREMIER LEAGUE RESULTS:
At Stormont - Civil Service North v North Down
North Down 172-5 (20 overs: R Pretorius 58 not out, P Stirling 47, R Haire 43; M Foster 2-26) Civil Service North 111 (19.1 overs, A Cowden 20; C Robinson 3-17, P Davison 3-18, R Pretorius 2-19)
North Down won by 61 runs
At Belmont - CIYMS v Waringstown
CIYMS 159-7 (20 overs: C Dougherty 42, J van der Merwe 33, J Cameron-Dow 21 not out; J Mitchell 2-27, G Kidd 2-30, J McCollum 2-31)
Waringstown 141-9 (J McCollum 57, G Thompson 49; A Coulter 4-14, M Adair 3-27)
CIYMS won by 18 runs
At Shaw's Bridge - Instonians v Woodvale
Instonians 175-6 (20 overs: J Dickson 73 not out, S Getkate 56, M Poskitt 30; S Bunting 3-25, F Saeed 2-30)
Woodvale 84 (16.1 overs, A White 4-12, J Lambert 2-6, B Rose 2-20)
Instonians won by 91 runs
At Wallace Park - Lisburn v Carrickfergus
Carrickfergus 90-9 (20 overs: B Venus 24 not out, I Parkhill 24; D Simpson 3-9, C Doak 2-9, J Manley 2-12, M Humphreys 2-14)
Lisburn 92-4 (16.1 overs: A Berry 33 not out, M Humphreys 24; CJ van der Walt 2-19)
Lisburn won by 6 wickets