The top three teams re-started their campaigns with wins while there was a first-up victory for a bottom four battler when McDonald's Men's Premier Cricket resumed on Saturday.
Competition heavyweights Sydney University, Manly-Warringah and Sydney – sitting first, second and third respectively – pulled off limited-overs victories in the first games of 2021 to maintain their positions on the ladder.
And previously winless UNSW broke through for its first win of the season, knocking over Hawkesbury in a tense encounter at Owen Earle Oval.
After making 215 on the back of Adrian Isherwood's magnificent 85, the Bumble Bees bowled the Hawks out for 203 in the 49th over.
Isherwood backed up his performance with the bat, taking 4-21 with his left-arm off-spin.
It was the stand-out individual performance of the round.
"It was good to put it all together in the one game and get the first win for the year," Isherwood said.
"We've been there or thereabouts and a bad half an hour in a day has really cost us a win.
"Hopefully this is the start of something and we can keep moving up the table."
Isherwood has scored 467 runs for the season at 42.5 and taken 25 wickets at 28.8..
But the 25-year-old is still undecided whether he is a batting or bowling all-rounder.
He said: "I get that question every year and I still haven’t worked it out.
"I really don’t know. I enjoy both equally."
Isherwood, who has been working with former Sheffield Shield player and UNSW premiership-winning captain Mark Ray on the mental side of his game, hopes to break back into NSW second XI cricket next season.
Sydney Uni was a comfortable six-wicket winner over Penrith, but Manly and Sydney were both made to fight hard for their victories.
The Waratahs looked headed for likely defeat when Eastern Suburbs reached 6-160 in pursuit of 190 at Manly Oval.
But a devastating spell from quick Ryan Hadley (4-29), ably supported by spinner Elliott Herd (4-60), saw the Dolphins lose 4-11 and go down 19 runs short of their target.
Sutherland's Tom Doyle scored his second century of the season as the Sharks set Sydney 240 to win.
The Tigers were 6-160 at one stage before reaching their destination with three wickets and an over to spare.
Max Papworth, the son of former Wallaby Brett Papworth, made his highest First Grade score to help guide UTS North Sydney to a tense victory over Campbelltown-Camden.
With dad watching on at North Sydney Oval, the young keeper-batsman walked to the middle with his side 4-97 chasing 210.
Papworth made 41 to haul the Bears to within touching distance before veteran Rob Aitken and No.9 Mac Jenkins finished the job off with an unbroken 37-run partnership.
Four top order half-centuries laid the foundations for Mosman's comfortable win over bottom-placed Blacktown Mounties, Bankstown overcame Parramatta on the back of a Jake Cormack ton and Fairfield-Liverpool beat St George in a quality top six encounter.