Seamer Sunderland (6-47) lead EP’s attack superbly to skittle visitors Eastergate out for just 115 before the home side went on to record an emphatic eight-wicket win.
East Preston, who are unbeaten in their opening seven games this season, moved up a place above West Wittering - they could only draw with Wisborough Green - to take the lead in the division for the first time in 2018.
Skipper Gary Weedon, whose team have a slender one point lead at the top with a game in hand, knows there is a lot of work left to do over the course of the summer before they achieve anything.
He said: “Again it was another great performance. It never looked any other way, Eastergate had one or two who threatened to score runs but didn’t have the patience to stick around.
“We have been the better side in all but one of our games and we are going from strength to strength.
“Jack (Sunderland) was again excellent with the ball, but as were all our bowlers. There was never any doubt chasing the score. We are still to play Arundel and Barns Green, who will be up there at the end of the season, and yet to play the 40 over win/lose format. There’s a long way to go even though we are top at the moment.”
Eastergate skipper Steve Grant decided to bat first but that was as good as it got for the visiting team.
Sunderland got rid of opener Aaron Bateman first ball and Eastergate were reeling from that point.
Fellow opener Curtis Drake (33) did offer some resistance but other than him, just Andrew White (15) and John Price (13) made double figures.
Sunderland took the plaudits, deservedly so, but Joe Carter (2-32), Lucy Uncles (1-10) and Glenn Whitaker (1-6) played their part in bundling Eastergate out for just 115 in 35 overs.
East Preston would have been looking to get over the line with all wickets intact but they do lose a couple on the chase.
Skipper and opener Weedon (20) and Tim Miles (five) both fell to Jack Saunders.
Louis Storey (41 not out) and Paul McCafferty (32*) were the unbeaten batters as East Preston reached 116-2 off 21.5 overs, recording an eight-wicket win.
Leaders East Preston make the short trip to take on rivals Arundel on Saturday.