IT had to end somewhere – and Chester Boughton Hall’s record-breaking start to the season has finally been brought to a halt.
Defeat at Urmston on Saturday was Chester’s first of the 2011 Premier Division campaign, breaking a sequence of six successive victories.
But the blow was softened by results elsewhere as Nantwich – the only other unbeaten side in the top flight – lost at Hyde, meaning Boughton Hall are still top.
Having won the toss at Moorside Road, Chester elected to bat, but were reduced to 33-2 after losing both openers.
However, a third-wicket partnership of 143 between Steve Ogilby (94no) and Ollie Law (67) put the away side in control before a late thrash from Daron Cruickshank (33) saw Chester declare on 238-4 from 51 overs.
The visitors looked set for victory early in the reply, with Urmston falling to 8-2 thanks to wickets from Warren Goodwin (1-20) and Cruikshank (2-94).
But Ursmton rallied and an imperious third-wicket stand of 183 turned the match.
A frustrated Chester side wasted several chances, but were eventually rewarded when Jack Williams (1-54) made a breakthrough.
It was too little too late, though, as Chris Watson (125no) and Craig Allison (21no) eased Urmston to victory with five overs to spare with a score of 241-4.
Despite the defeat, Chester still managed to pick up a potentially vital 12 points.
OULTON PARK survived a scare to gain a draw against basement club Alderley Edge.
After losing the toss and bowling first, Oulton got off to a promising start with Robin Taylor (3-130) and Craig Williamson (1-27) making early inroads to leave Alderley Edge at 44-2.
A century stand put Oulton on the back foot, before Kieron Berrington (4-104) helped contain the hosts to 293-8dec from 54 overs.
In response, Oulton Park lost opener Martin East (8) early, but a 110-run partnership for the second wicket between Danny Leech (98) and Louis Bentley (52) took them to 126-2.
Oulton looked set to challenge the Alderley Edge total, but lost several wickets and played out a draw by scoring 220-7 from 56 overs.
A superb batting display from Jack Smith (86), Mark Garrett (87) and Luke Pavlnovich (45) guided NESTON to 270-4dec from 54 overs against Macclesfield.
It was not enough for the win, though, as the hosts battled to a draw with a score of 245-9.
In Division One, CHRISTLETON set leaders Marple a daunting target of 221-9 declared from 50 overs, as Iroshan De Silva (68) impressed.
However, Marple eased to a five-wicket win by reaching 225-5 from 49.1 overs, despite the efforts of Matt Parkinon (2-76) and Guy Newell (2-62).