WITH Neston’s visit to Hyde called off due to Pennine rain, Oulton Park re-established themselves as chief contenders for the ECB Premiership title in the Chapel Press Cheshire County League with an eight wickets win against Chester Boughton Hall.
Chester dropped into the relegation zone after being roundly outplayed at Little Budworth after posting a modest 204-9 (Warren Goodwin 53, Ollie Law 39, Nathan Dumelow 6-42). With a fine unbeaten 105 from Rick Moore, who made his Minor Counties debut for Cheshire 24 hours later, Oulton coasted home with 13 overs to spare, Ben Spendlove (56) assisting Moore in an unbroken third wicket stand worth 116.
Bowdon, meanwhile, continued as untroubled leaders, beating Toft by the wide margin of eight wickets at South Downs road after dismissing their visitors for 110, Lancashire paceman Steve Cheetham taking 4-41. Bowdon knocked off the runs in 21 overs, Carl Hey 39 not out, Gareth Cross 38 not out.
Oxton moved up to fifth with a tense final over victory at home to Macclesfield with their last pair at the wicket. Macclesfield were bowled out for 171 (Khalid Sawas 61, Andy Birley 4-40, Neil Cross 3-36). Oxton’s batsmen struggled after Andy Gibson (54) and Chris Davies (44) had been dismissed and they scraped home with two balls remaining, Barney Cutbill taking 3-30.
Didsbury moved off bottom place with a 52 runs home win against fading champions Alderley Edge who were bowled out for 125, Richard Wilkinson 40, Andy Windle claiming a match-winning 6-28 and Dan Parisi 3-48. Earlier Didsbury had totalled 177, to which skipper Paul Sperring contributed 75, while quick bowler Ollie Newby, released overnight from the Lancashire squad at Aigburth, claimed 3-38.
Widnes’ last pair put up dramatic resistance to force a fighting draw at Nantwich. The Dabbers took 60 overs to compile 220-9, Ray Doyle 67, Pat Roberts 5-75 and Widnes were in trouble after tea at 135-9, after openers James McCoy had scored a rapid 53. Veteran Tony Hurdley was then joined by late second team replacement Andy Nixon and the pair batted for 11 overs to close on 195-9, Hurdley 87, Nixon 19, as they edged the draw points 11-10.