DARON Cruickshank produced a sparkling display as Chester Boughton Hall made an instant return to winning ways on Saturday to move up to second in the Premier Division.
The title challengers bounced back from their shock loss to Alderley Edge with a comfortable five-wicket win at Macclesfield, inspired by their Trinidadian all-rounder.
Cruickshank (2-28) took the wickets of the Macc openers before cracking an explosive 87 off 83 balls.
Jack Williams (2-47) also helped himself to a couple of scalps, but it was Alex Kegg (5-68) who took the bowling honours for the visitors.
Chasing 198, the big-hitting Cruickshank got the reply off to the perfect start as he put on 109 for the first wicket with Oliver Thompson (25).
Good work from Lancashire starlet Jordan Clark (33) – 24 hours after he played for the Red Rose against Gloucestershire at Old Trafford – and Mike Robinson (14no) saw Boughton Hall home to 199-5.
Oulton Park’s season took a turn for the worse as they were beaten by 135 runs by fellow strugglers Didsbury.
The Little Budworth outfit had the away side on the ropes at 9-2 and 66-3 as the likes of captain Robin Taylor (3-75) enjoyed early success. But led by skipper Nick Anderson (101), Didsbury recovered to post a daunting 303-9.
Without key men Rick Moore and Nick James, second -from-bottom Park were always going to be up against it and they were bowled out for 135 despite the efforts of Taylor (40) and Louis Bentley (36).
The prolific Jack Smith (120no) – 880 runs for the season and counting – and Andy Murphy (137) shared a stunning opening-wicket partnership of 265 as in-form NESTON won at home to basement boys Grappenhall, who fell 71 runs short on 199 in reply to 270-1dec.
CHRISTLETON secured a winning draw at Division One high flyers Sale.
A stand of 68 between Varun Sood (58) and Jamie Creek (14) hauled Guy Newell’s team up to 148 before Iroshan De Silva (5-59) and star man Sood (4-61) restricted faltering Sale to 135-9.
Chester Boughton Hall 2nds were seven wicket winners at Macclesfield 2nds on Saturday, chasing down 143 (Ed Filer 5-43) when reaching 146-3 (Andy Pembroke 53no, Adam Dunbavand 44).
There was a four-wicket victory for Boughton Hall 3rds over Upton 3rds, who could not prevent the visitors from making 170-6 (Craig Evans 55) in reply to 166-9 (Dave Fisher 5-31).
Joe Killoran (89no) was in fine form but Boughton Hall 4ths went down by eight wickets at home to Upton 4ths.