IN a rain-ravaged programme when the only ECB Premier Division game decided saw reigning champions Bowdon win at Chester Boughton Hall, prospective title winners Oulton Park were able to stretch their lead in the Murray Smith Accountants Cheshire County League to a daunting 30 points.
Park emerged with a 14-9 draw from a high-scoring, rain-reduced game at Hyde where they posted an impressive 254-4 in just 39 overs. The run spree was led by Paul Berry with his first century of the summer, exactly 100, together with openers Andy Robinson (57) and Danny Leech (54).
In response, Hyde reached 237-4, thanks to consistent Mark Makin (72 not out), James Duffy (64) and Rob Brierley (50). With 3-83, Cheshire spinner Nathan Dumelow kept just enough control on the scoring rate to prevent the Werneth Low batsmen from snatching the game.
Christleton dropped further behind in second place when they could only extract eight points from a losing draw at Oxton, who picked up 14 after scoring 214-6, Marc Debrabender (68) Dave Mitchell (65) and Maroof Khan 3-93. Guy Newell's 42 was the top score in Christleton's reply of 166-7, Andy Birley taking 3-17.
Bowdon moved up to third with their sixth win by eight wickets at Chester, whose bad patch continued. Only Warren Goodwin (31) batted well for Boughton Hall, all out for 107, offspinner Gareth Edwards claiming 5-50. Bowdon had Ian Cross (38) and Steve Bramhall (32) unbeaten at the wicket at 108-2.
Widnes were rained off when Alderley Edge visited Beaconsfield road. Alderley were restricted to 169-8, Brough top-scoring with 46. The Widnes innings was curtailed at 19-1.
Toft collected 14 points from a winning draw against Neston at Booths Park. They scored 179-5, David Blackburn (45 ), leaving Neston 42 overs in which they reached 150-7, Simon Marshall (44) Jamie Noble 5-36. Bottom clubs Poynton and Nantwich figured in a near stalemate draw, although the Dabbers edged it 9-7 to maintain their upward trend. Chris Simpson topscored with 44 in 167-5.