DIDSBURY went top of the Premier Division when they won at Nantwich on Saturday, while Neston in pole position since July were sliding to defeat at Chester Boughton Hall.
Neston were outplayed at Filkins Lane, where the hosts ran up a total of 221-5, led by James Powell, who hit 42. Simon Marshall (4-55) was the best of the Wirral club s bowlers.
Neston had no answer in their reply to Chester s county Under 17s captain, Matthew Griffiths, who claimed 6-58 as Neston were skittled for 176.
Chester seconds went to Neston with their strongest side, but were dismissed for 90 in 40 overs with only Fleet (31) and Yates (20) showing any staying power.
Neston edged home by five wicketsin 48 overs, Martin Thornton taking 3-19.
Hyde declared at 183-6 (Peacock 64 not out, Brian Taylor 63, Jason Whittaker 6-63) and Oulton Park had reached 150-8 (Jason Swift 90) when play was halted. Ryan Driver took 8-58 off 23 overs for Hyde, who pocketed 12 points to Oulton's eight.
Alvanley figured in a remarkable game, resulting in the narrowest of defeats for the home side.
On a wet green wicket Alvanley lost the toss and were asked to bat first by Marple. Matt Tyler (19) and Ian Charles posted 30 for the first wicket but for the next 20 overs the game was dominated by the big hitting of Andy Bennion.
Pulling and driving with aplomb he struck 88 off just 72 balls, including two enormous sixes and nine fours. Ian Charles was the perfect foil, adding an accomplished 45. The pair added 97 for the second wicket.
At 150-3 it was left to Andy Senior (18) and Nick Ingram (21 not out) to take the total to 215-5 declared in just 45 overs.
The wicket was easing and Alvanley s already threadbare attack was dealt a se -vere blow as Andy Roberts pulled up injured in the first over of Marple's reply. Andy Senior took an early wicket but a stand of 112 swung the game back to the visitors as their batsmen threw caution to the wind.
Nobody was able to back Senior up but it looked at one stage that he was going to win the game single handed. A burst of wicketsleft Marple at 180-5 and then 203-8 with just two overs remaining.
The Marple tail ensured that five were needed off the last over which saw three singles off the first five balls. With one run needed for a tie and two for a win the Marple batsmen scrambled an unlikely win.
Although the game ended in defeat Alvanley picked up 14 points. Andy Senior's marathon 19-over stint bagged him 6-62.
The unpredictable seconds were mauled at Marple. Chasing the Stockport team s 215-5 Alvanley were skittled for just 83.
Sale registered a crucial 22-point victory at Cholmondeley which lifts them clear of the drop zone. Third team wicket-keeper Ali scored an unbeaten 51 in Sale s 158-7, after which Cholmondeley were sent back for 114.
Tattenhall s league status is now in real danger. They are 67 points adrift of the 10th-placed club in Division Two after their draw with Mobberley who hit 209-5 (Tom O Shea 100). Tattenhall replied with 186-9.