A NAIL-BITING finish at the Oxhayes saw Malpas beat Alvanley by one wicket in an opening-day cracker.
Batting first on a dry track, visitors Alvanley soon steadied themselves after losing Dave Shewring in the first over.
Skipper Andy Bennion (106) led from the front with an imperious century. He teamed up with Nick Geddis late in the innings, adding 65 in nine overs as Alvanley posted 191-8.
Debutant Cameron Park bagged 4-66 for Malpas before going on to play an even more influential role with the bat. The Malpas reply started at a frantic pace but they dipped to 83-3 and 140-8.
Cue Park’s match-winning cameo... The new boy blasted a big-hitting 63 off 54 balls, which included six sixes and four fours.
With the scores level and the field up, Park launched into another big shot, picking out the only man on the boundary. Nick Geddis took the catch, but turned round in horror to see he was standing 2ft over the line.
Park shared an unbroken 10th-wicket stand of 67 with James Stubbs, whose 0no off 12 balls was invaluable as Malpas finished on 197-9 (Keith Rickett 54, Robin Fisher 5-33).
Elsewhere in Division One, OAKMERE earned a two-wicket win at Davenham.
The hosts batted first and made 168, Peter Hutchinson bagging 4-37. Oakmere were then indebted to a handy 43 from number 10 Michael Cushion as they reached 169-8 (Ian Eaton 44).
In Division Two, KINGSLEY lost heavily against a strong Lymm OP side.
Choosing to fielding first, Kingsley missed early chances. Travis Martin (5-62) led the attack well and debutant Peter Pearce (2-62) was unlucky not to claim more wickets as Lymm amassed 186-8. Kingsley’s batters got bogged down early on and no-one made it into the 20s as they were bowled out for a meagre 66 with two overs to go.
BARROW were rolled over at Aston, who batted first and made 219-8. The visitors were skittled out for 76 in just 24.5 overs.
CHOLMONDELEY (154-9) drew at home with Prestbury (178-8dec).
In Division Three, CHESTER COUNTY OFFICERS claimed a maximum-points victory at Old Parkonians.
Chester were surprised to be asked to bat on what looked a good batting pitch. They set 179-9, thanks in part to some lusty lower order hitting.
Opener Mike Pownall led the way with a half-century, and he was backed up by Rowlands (45) and Ian Rule (27). In reply, Parks were all out for 151 (Rowlands 3-13, Mike Clarke 3-46).
BUNBURY (129-6) beat Pott Shrigley (127).