Chester Boughton Hall went top of the Cheshire ECB Premier League at the season’s half-way stage on Saturday with a convincing eight wickets home victory over Oxton.
Their Wirral visitors were one of three teams to draw a blank on a day of low scores after heavy rain over the previous 48 hours.
Oxton, whose five previous games had resulted four wins and a draw, were bowled out for 125, their top scorer being number eight batsman Chris Cashin with 28 as they fell under the spell of spinner Harry Killoran.
The youngster claimed 5-31 off 17.2 overs. Chester replied with 127 for two in 23 overs, Warren Goodwin continuing his recent fluent form with 59 not out.
Oxton played without fast bowler Martyn Evans, suspended for one week by the club for showing dissent during a home match sgainst Didsbury the previous week
Neston suffered their second successive batting collapse to concede defeat at Grappenhall - and the leadership. D Williams, 64 and Luke Camden, 47 were their only run scorers in a tally with subsided from 127 for three to 175 all out against the bowling of Steve Southward, 3-29 and Josh McClelland, 3-43.
Grappenhall replied with a hard-fought 175 for seven, James McCoy 50, Andy Clarke doing his best to turn the game around with an impressive 5-47.
Another team to draw a blank were the erratic Marple in an unusually low scoring match at home to Bowdon. Marple struggled to post 120 for nine in 55 overs, their top run-scorer being number 11 batsman Andy Greasley with 23 not out.
The remainder fell to the spin of Gareth Edwards, 3-18 and Simon Marshall, 3-37. Bowdon’s response of 121 for two in 25 overs was led by two impressive innings of 59 by Mark Leathley and Trent McCormack.
The last of the nil points brigade were bottom club Macclesfield, who completed the first half of the campaign without a victory, the only club in the League to go winless.
Now 25 points adrift at the foot of the table, Macclesfield were all at sea at home against Hyde, mustering a meagre tally of 81, top scorer Tom Parfett, 27 against fine bowling by part-timer James Duffy with 5-37 and Tom Young, 3-33.
Hyde, now in a handy fourth place, had the match won inside an hour at 83 for one, Danny Berry 50, Chris Tipper 30, both not out.
Nantwich lost their fifth game – more than in all last season - by six wickets at Toft and will have to turn things around quickly between now and mid-September if they are to gte back in the running for their fourth consecutive title.
The Dabbers mustered 161, Rob Cook-Sievwright 47, Jimmy Lomas again bowling unchanged to take 5-57 aided by Rob Jones 3-35. Future England prospect Jones then led the Toft reply of 163 for four, with a sound 56 aided by Pat Roberts’ 43 not out.
Alderley Edge profited from the two best individual performances of the day to win by 123 runs at Didsbury, whose form continues to disappoint. Calum Rowe led the way with a fine innings of 76 in a tally of 218 for eight, aided by Jon Steele’s 42, with Simon Normanton 4-59.
Charlie Reid’s leg spin then came in useful as he helped himself to 5-33 to dismiss the home side for 95, to which all-rounder Normanton contributed 37.