CHESTER Boughton Hall’s lead at the top of the Premier Division was narrowed from 27 points to 21 when they were held to a losing draw by closest challengers Hyde at Filkins Lane.
It could have been worse for Chester, who slumped to 22-4 in reply to Hyde’s 280-6 before being saved by Jim Gillson.
The home skipper stood firm with a top-quality 105no, aided by Jack Williams (53) in an eighth-wicket unbroken partnership worth 106. Chester closed on 254-7, the destructive Rob Woolley finishing with 4-48.
Earlier, Hyde left-hander James Duffy had taken the Boughton Hall attack apart with a forceful 137. Supported by Scott Kirwin (40) and Tom Twiney (39), the latter helping in a 106 stand for the second wicket.
OULTON PARK, led by Nick James for the first time in 2011, secured a first league victory of the season.
Visitors Macclesfield got off to a promising start, reaching 83 before Ben Morrison (37) was caught on the leg side off the bowling of Craig Williamson. Two quick wickets for Kieron Berrington and Williamson left Macclesfield on 113-3.
Macclesfield recovered to 225 before Danny Leech claimed 4-36 off seven overs, including the wickets of Rob Porter (58) and Tom Parfett (63), to help end the away side’s innings on 281-8.
In reply, Park started well. They reached 151-2 before feeling the force of destructive Macclesfield bowler Jack Ward. As batting partners fell, a patient batting display by Louis Bentley (117no) saved the home side’s blushes as they finished on 285-6.
NESTON made it four wins and a draw in their last five games with a high-scoring victory over Oxton at Parkgate which hoists them to fourth spot. Ever-improving all-rounder Mark Rowlands (103) and skipper Lee Dixon (79) carried Oxton to a declared tally of 239-8 (Chris Finegan 4-29).
David Hurst (70) and Jack Smith (60) took centre stage after tea, but the Neston innings needed an unbeaten 48 from Gareth Peers to see them home by four wickets with seven balls to spare. The game lost four overs to rain.
There was a tight finish in Division One as CHRISTLETON lost by three runs at Cheadle Hulme.
The hosts won the toss and posted 169 (Adam Wilde 48). For Christleton, the excellent Iroshan de Silva took 5-25 and newly-arrived Delhi all-rounder Varun Sood 4-56 on his debut.
Christleton lost their last wicket at 166, Iroshan Naseer scoring 48 off 33 balls and Sood 47, while Chris Brady claimed 4-38 and Ewan McCray 4-53.