The match of the day lived up to its billing when unbeaten leaders Neston beat second-placed Chester Boughton Hall off the final delivery which helped them build a 35 points lead at the top of the ECB Premier League.
Neston batted well to post 251 for seven starting with a solid 94 runs opener between Will Evans, who went on to score 63 and David Hurst, 38.
Young spinners Jack Williams and Harry Killoran enjoyed a spell in control, but an assertive innings from left-hander Luke Camden turned the tables and when he hit 22 runs off Williams’ last over he finished with an unbeaten 82.
Williams, who had made such an impressive debut for Cheshire the previous week-end, claimed 4-93 off 20 overs and Killoran 1-104 off 24 as Neston won by just 18 runs.
Warren Goodwin became the first League batsman to top 500 runs before he was out for a sound 83 and Chester later lost their last seven wickets for 70 runs when Ian Linwood was dismissed by Paul Stimson off the final delivery of the day, at 233. Stimson closed with 3-53 and Chris Finegan an impressive 4-81.
Grappenhall stay third with an unexpectedly easy seven wickets win at Didsbury, whom they dismissed for the day’s lowest score of 92, Josh McClelland 4-28, Luke Williams 3-21. Grappenhall won inside 20 overs at 93 for three, with Luke McCoy unbeaten on 42.
Toft edged up to fourth thanks to a 27 runs home win over Alderley Edge, who lacked the services of nine-wicket wonder Mark Warnes. A cluster of 40s from Robin Jones, Toby Drummond and Ed Stubbs helped Toft reach 187 for nine, with Jason Whittaker scooping 4-47.
After which Alderley were bowled out for 160, Calum Rowe hitting a fine 89 and Andrew Jackson 42. The other nine not many. Robin Jones took 4-64 and Jimmy Lomas 4-78 off 17.3 and 26 overs of spin respectively.
Nantwich heaped more misery on Bowdon, winning by four wickets at South Downs Road where they were in control virtually throughout. Bowdon mustered only 153 for nine, Simon Marshall 48 against the skills of Ollie Griffiths, 6-49 and Jimmy Warrington, 3-41.
Lancashire starlet Liam Livingstone stroked an unbeaten 88 off 82 balls including nine fours and four sixes, Chris Ashling 3-53 as the Dabbers reached 155 for six.
Oxton extended their improved run with a 59 runs win at bottom club Macclesfield, Worcestershjire all-rounder Saiiq Choudrhy dominating the match on a rare appearance. Choudhry, 55 and Alex Hughes, 53 helped Oxton reach 209 for eight , Craig Melrose 4-108, to which the Silkmen replied with 150 all out, Nick Ross 49, Choudhry 5-22.
Hyde won by seven wickets to add to the recent misery of fast-dropping neighbours Marple, at Bowden Lane. Mark Bennett, 70 not out, Beau Webster 56 and Andrew Hall 54 not out helped Marple post a decent 238-3.
But while Hyde’s bowlers are not making much of a mark this summer, their batsmen remain among the best and their confident reply took them to 238-3 in 52 overs, Danny Berry 79, James Duffy 74 not out, Chris Tipper 52.