CASTROL skipper Mark Evans fears his side could face a relegation dogfight after they fell to their sixth defeat in eight games at Knutsford.
The Oilmen's good early-season form is now a distant memory as they suffered an all-too-familiar batting collapse in a tough Meller Brag-gins League Division Three contest at Mereheath Lane.
Evans said: 'I reckon we've forgotten the basics of batting and chasing medium totals.
'It takes a sensible head and I don't think we've got one between us!
'We've now lost six of the last eight and if we're not careful we could get sucked into the mire. It seems that only the poor form of the bottom two is keeping us away from the relegation places.'
Castrol, who entertain Holmes Chapel tomorrow, lost the toss at Knutsford and were invited to field in sweltering conditions.
The hosts made steady progress with Simon Brewsher (47) in good form before Mike Caulfield (4-23) took control to restrict Knutsford to 143-7 from their allotted overs.
In reply Castrol made a solid start and Martin Flanagan (13) and Byron Ward (25) eased them to a comfortable 59-2.
However, the Oilmen failed to make the most of the opportunity and Martin Cook (5-16) was the chief beneficiary as they slumped to 111ao and a 32-run defeat.
Castrol Under 15s slumped to defeat against Widnes-based Moor-field.
The hosts were first to bat and notched up 97-2 from their allotted overs.
However, Moorfield rose to the challenge and clinched victory with 99-4.
* Ellesmere Port captain Phil Ashton insists his side's fate rests in their own hands after their Cheshire Alliance draw at Hartford left them perilously close to the Division One relegation zone.
Hartford were first to bat and, although they reached 180-9, Port secured a draw with 134-9 (Ashton 41).
But with the gap between the sides at the foot of the table continuing to narrow, Ashton admits his side need to start turning draws into wins.
'We should have won really but in the end we had to hold on for a draw,' he said.
'We are four games unbeaten now but we need to start scoring some high points by putting three or four wins together.
'If we do that I am confident we can get ourselves into mid-table. We've still got to play all of these sides around us so it really is very much in our hands still.'
Port go to Woodford on Saturday.