The top and bottom two clubs clashed in the Cheshire ECB Premier League with the first meaningful rain of the season affecting both fixtures but Chester Boughton Hall still managed to stretch their lead over Neston to nine points.
Four games remain including the crucial fixture between the rivals at Parkgate on August 31.
Warren Goodwin and Mark Rowland put together an excellent opening stand of 199 for Chester who were put in to bat at Filkins Lane. And by the time they declared after 43 overs, Chester had rattled up a remarkable 309 for one.
Goodwin’s not out 164 was the highest Premiership tally of the season, his innings including 17 fours and five sixes. Goodwin now has 989 runs and seems certain to achieve four figures once again.
Rowland contributed a stirring 82, then Jordan Clark weighed in with 46 not out. Left with 67 overs to reply, Macclesfield lost five overs to rain, but still did well to reach 262 for nine, Rob Porter 69, Jack Ward 48, Nick Ross 37 and James Cross a key, late unbeaten 26.
All-rounders Goodwin and Rowland also did well with the ball, taking 3-19 and 2-37 respectively. Chester took 15 points and Macclesfield five.
Neston meanwhile, put Didsbury in to bat at Parkgate and their lowly visitors (record: three wins and 13 defeats) surprised them by totalling 259 for nine from 54 overs, the consistent Nick Anderson scoring 93, Simon Normanton 45, James Hawley 38, while Andy Clarke claimed 4-66 and Paul Stimson 4-68.
The Neston reply was ruined by rain stoppages and they eventually had only 26 overs at the crease, reaching 147 for nine in a dash for points, Jack Smith 36, David Hurst 30, Simon Normanton 5-44, Jonny Fawcett 4-39.
Neston pocketed seven points to Didsbury’s 14, still not enough to shift them off a technical bottom place.
Because of the rain that fell throughout the region, there were no definite results in any Premier League games, a revived Oxton coming nearest with a draw at home to Marple, whose form has dipped badly.
Oxton declared on 229 for four, Martyn Evans 71, Alex Money 66 after which Marple struggled to 70 for seven, Beau Webster 24 and Andy Hall, a steadying 22 not out while Gayan Fernando claimed 5-33 off 12 lively overs.
Hyde rattled up 303 for five at home to Nantwich, Dave Fitzsimmons 97 not out, James Duffy 65, Scott Kirwin 48. The Dabbers had batted for only four
balls when the rain descended on Werneth Low – as it can.
Grappenhall were on 221 for eight half way through the 52nd over at home to Toft when wetness arrived from the Mersey Funnel. Adam Roylance had
scored 77 and Richard Green 56 not out, while Jack Dickenson was on 3-45.
Bowdon’s former Lancashire batsman Mark Chilton compiled a cultured 91 in his side’s abandoned game at Alderley Edge which yielded the visitors 10 useful points.
Mark Leathley supported him with 43, while Jason Whittaker took 3-71 in the visitors’ tally of 224 for six. Alderley Edge were 10 for one when the rain came.