LEADERS Tattenhall's promotion charge suffered a setback at Oakmere on Saturday as they were forced to settle for a losing draw.
The hosts were first to bat but despite a good effort from Paul Gilford (48no) they ended on 175-6 (Danny Murray 2-33).
Tattenhall's batsmen struggled in the early stages on a surface that could not be more different from the tracks at the Flacca. The top four managed only 39 between them, the consistent Norton (5-41) proving their nemesis for the second time this season.
Barry Mitchell (29) and Winston Elliot (33) wrestled the innings back into shape, mixing stoic defence with controlled aggression before both played loose strokes with the side on 108 to hand the impetus back to Oakmere.
It was left for skipper Rob Mulvihill (16no) and Mel Dobson (21no) to gain what points they could and bat out for a losing draw.
Tattenhall will aim to get back to winning ways when they travel to Weaverham tomorrow.
ALVANLEY secured a well-earned draw after a lively encounter at Hale Barns.
On a very green pitch, the home batsmen played aggressively and declared on 217-5.
Mark Szymura (23) and Andy Bennion started confidently in reply before a sudden collapse left Alvanley on 84-8, with Brendan Lowen taking four wickets in four overs.
However, James Rowlinson (44no) showed dogged resistance in the remaining 16 overs to edge Alvanley to an unlikely draw on 155-9.
CHOLMONDELEY suffered a disappointing seven-wicket defeat in their match at Davenham.
Forced to bat first the visitors reached 168-9 after openers Russ Walker (22) and Wills Hockenhull (40) put on 58 for the first wicket.
But despite the best efforts of Ed Mason (2-24) Davenham eased home by seven wickets after a blistering start by their openers.
Tomorrow the Chums face a daunting trip to the Castle when they take on third-placed Hale Barns.
In Division Two, mid-table BARROW lost at Wirral.
The visitors were all out for 113 and Wirral responded with 114-2.
In Division Three, teenager Byron Ward hit a maiden century to inspire CASTROL to victory at Port Sunlight.
The 16-year-old scored 107 - only 10 runs fewer than the hosts' total!
Castrol made 223-7.