LEAGUE leaders Oulton Park showed why they are top dogs when they enjoyed a three-wicket win over Nantwich on Saturday.
An extra touch of class and consistency proved the key for the hosts as they aim for the title again. Nantwich opted to bat first and declared on 211-6.
Cheshire U19 ace Ollie Sadler (66) lived up to his growing reputation with a fine array of shots but Steve Paulsen fell well short of his own sky-high standards when he was caught and bowled by Robin Taylor for 35.
Jeff Maynard (25), Chris Hampshire (13) and Paul Hampshire (22) all stuck around long enough to make worthwhile contributions, and Ray Doyle (19 not out) and Paul Stockton (12 not out) were still there at the declaration.
Nantwich were dealt a hammer blow when influential paceman Barrington Browne broke down with injury after taking the wicket of Chris Bassano (1) in his first over.
Stockton (4-66) led the charge admirably, and got support from Chris Hampshire (1-79) and Sadler (1-28). But the hosts kept the runs ticking regularly enough to get to 215-7 and a maximum 25 points.
Meanwhile in Division One, Alsager were also the victims of a title-chasing side. Ashwin Punja top-scored with 34 as they declared on 178-8, but hosts Poynton raced to 181-4, with openers Steve Dunn (59) and Paul Gould (34) enjoying an opening partnership of 100. nNantwich U21s are in the Cheshire U21 Cup semi-final after dismissing Davenham.
The Dabbers were 255-9 with Ray Doyle (56) and Chris Simpson (38). Davenham were 217 all out in reply, with Ollie Sadler (4-43) and Phil Stockton (3-26). They travel to New Brighton in the next round.