ALVANLEY are still looking for their first victory of the season in the first division following a final-over defeat by Mere.
Openers Ian Charles and Cei Sanderson made a steady start at home to Mere but were able to maintain the momentum as they were out for 23 and 18 respectively.
Nick Hawking was promoted to number three, but he managed only six runs and Alvanley were in a mess at 53-3. Andy Senior regained the initiative with 34 aggressive runs which dominated a partnership of 37 with Glen Pickersgill.
It was left to Pickersgill to hold the innings together and he went on to score 41 as wickets fell recklessly. Only Peter Pearce offered any further resistance with 19 and Alvanley closed at 172-9 off their 45 overs, which was at least 20 runs less than the quality of the pitch warranted.
Mere started their innings confidently and even though Phil Jones picked up two early wickets, the visitors were ominously poised at 102-2 with 20 overs in hand.
Pearce and Hawking bowled well in tandem and two more wickets looked like changing the course of the game. Hawking made the breakthrough by having opening batsman Adams stumped for 41 by Chris Fletcher and then Pearce bowled Cunningham for 28.
Mere's captain Max Ekstein took charge and his 45no allowed the visitors to seal victory in the final over for the loss of six wickets.
Alvanley seconds returned from Mere having secured their third victory from five matches, scoring 214-3 (Reg Haslam 76no) before captain Robbie Roan finished them off with 4-19, including the vital wicket of Roper who contributed 80 of the team's total of 145ao.
On Sunday, Alvanley lost at home to Hawk Green in the Cheshire Shield. The visitors racked up 290-8 off their 45 overs and Alvanley responded well to finish 32 runs short at 258-4, the highlight being a partnership of more than 150 between Pickersgill and debutant John Farmer.
Malpas enjoyed a league and cup double last weekend, starting with a two-wickets victory at home to Wilmslow in Division One.
They bowled the visitors out for 124, with Peter Baker taking 4-50 and Jonny Suckley 3-15, and Baker was also the top scorer with an unbeaten 35, supported by 26 from Mark Dunning in the Malpas reply of 125-8.
The seconds sent Ashley back for 157 (Richard Pawson 3-12) before hanging on at 112-9.
Malpas had Broadbottom as visitors in the Cheshire Shield on Sunday and bowled them out for 169, Paul Bradley and Phil Rowlandson taking three wickets each.
Malpas cruised to a five-wickets win with six overs to spare, Keith Ricketts hitting 46, Richie McWilliams 37, Jonny Suckley 33 and Paul Bradley 28no. They visit Prestbury tomorrow.
Barrow produced a fine all-round performance to beat visitors Bowdon Vale and maintain their unbeaten record in the second division.
Losing the toss, Barrow were asked to bat and with opener John Williams striking a quick 25, they looked poised for a large total.
But accurate bowling from Roylance first stopped the run feast and then took wickets, with Barrow slumping to a perilous 62-4 after 28 overs.
At this point, Lee Dwyer started to play shots around the ground, taking the attack to the opposition. With support from Phil Noble and Mal Barrow, a score of 156-6 was reached with Dwyer scoring an impressive 74no.
Bowdon Vale started slowly against an excellent attack of Williams and Mel Barrow, and wickets began to fall. At 73-7 the game was almost Barrow's, despite some hard hitting from Halsall, and Vale were all out for 114.