CHAMPIONS Oulton Park dragged Bowdon off the ECB Premiership summit with their third successive victory over the previous Kings of Cheshire cricket.
A magnificent opening stand of 174 between ex-Derbyshire Chris Bassano and current Cheshire bat Danny Leech powered Oulton to a seven-wicket victory and into third place.
Bowdon were not allowed to fully enjoy the famed Little Budworth track. Stewart Eaton (3-57) inflicted early damage and they suffered a middle-order collapse that only a stand of 102 between Ian Claridge and Ian Cross could retrieve. Nathan Dumelow took 3-75.
But their score was never likely to be enough on the high-class wicket and so it proved as Bassano smashed 130, including 13 fours and seven sixes and Leech hit 82 (15 fours). Ben Spendlove chipped in with 27 and Dumelow hit the winning boundary.
Skipper Dumelow was the star on Sunday as holders Oulton made progress in the Cheshire Cup.
He made 74 and took 4-17: Oulton 196 (John Davies 40) Heaton Mersey 176.
Oulton just edged the 2nd Xl match - 15-11 on points - against Bowdon. Jimmy Guest hit 69 and Steve Yates 58 in their 232-7 to which Bowdon's response was 202-6 (Ben Kettle 4-62, Guest 2-68).
Nantwich 3rds 158ao lost to Oulton 3rds 160-8 (Ian Murray 39, Paul Murray 29).
Winnington Park 146ao Urmston 149-3
WINNINGTON remained rooted to the foot of Division One after being easily beaten at the Rec by leaders Urmston.
They started brightly enough and were 30 when they lost their first wicket and then 120-4 when the loss of Paul Sinclair proved crucial.
He looked as if his form was returning and the only Park player likely to support Aidan Baker, who made a splendid 86.
The tail did not wag and the bowlers had a small total to defend on a good pitch against high quality opposition.
Jamie Cowell and Tom Pilling bowled with pace but no luck. Captain Stuart Hayes brought himself into the attack and got a wicket straight away with the pitch taking spin.
But Urmston never looked in trouble as they reached their target with plenty of overs to spare, Hayes taking 3 for 39.
Middlewich 175-9 Upton 269-6 dec
MIDDLEWICH clung on for a draw against a powerful Upton side who took such a liking to what they described as the best wicket they had played on this season they were reluctant to leave it.
Keith Hallam found some assistance in the wicket to remove both openers early on and he ended with 4-55, but there was little joy for other home bowlers.
Middlewich's reply started poorly with opener Martin Dawson falling cheaply in the third over. Again Andy Cole and skipper Rich Clorley tried to rebuild the innings and were settling down scoring at four runs an over until Clorley was given out lbw.
Gavin Tomlinson continued to tick the scoreboard over, but some outrageous umpiring decisions led to three more lbw decisions which ended the chase. They settled for the draw with Cole compiling an eye-catching 58, Chris Ainley 32 and Tomlinson 31.