NESTON may have driven the final nail into Oulton Park’s Premier Division title coffin.
The Parkgate outfit earned a winning draw at home to Park on Saturday, leaving them fifth in the table and realistically ending their chances of retaining their title.
Jack Smith struck 87 for Neston, who have struggled this year, as they set Park a target of 196-9 (Nathan Dumelow 6-60).
With the bat, only captain Dumelow stood out for Park with 54 as they closed on 153-9 (Graham Rickman 4-38, Chris Finegan 3-56).
CHESTER BOUGHTON HALL could smash the title race wide open tomorrow when they welcome leaders Alderley Edge to Filkins Lane.
Edge – champions-elect for some time – faltered on Saturday, losing to Nantwich, and if Hall beat them it will give Bowdon and Hyde renewed hope.
Hall skipper Steve Ogilby said: “It is quite tight at the top, although I was disappointed our game with Bowdon was called off on Saturday as we lost ground on the top sides.”
Hall welcome back Warren Goodwin to the starting line-up.
He has been in the nets bowling but has not really tested his broken finger batting yet, but Ogilby is confident he will be up to the challenge.
“Warren is a good, versatile player who will give us options with the ball and I am sure he will be fine against Alderley Edge,” said the skipper.
Hall’s home game against Bowdon was called off at the weekend due to a waterlogged square.
“The conditions would have been great for our bowlers,” said Ogilby. “But it was really just a bit too wet and the game could not go on. It’s disappointing because we lost ground on the top three. If we had played and lost we would have got more points than for the cancellation.”
In Division One, CHRISTLETON go into tomorrow’s match against Bramhall at Little Heath off the back of a disappointing defeat at Oxton.
Oxton struck 220-5 (Matt Parkinson 3-68), but Christleton’s reply amounted to just 162ao (Rick Moore 87).
Skipper Paul Allen said: “Rick Moore was the only batsman to come out with any credit.
“The other 10, including myself, didn’t really turn up and when 10 players are not on their game nothing is going to change the outcome.”
Batsmen Simon Jones and James Clulow have been brought in from the seconds after some impressive performances as Allen looks to spice up his batting attack.
TATTENHALL’S game at Sale was cancelled, which saw them slip further down to third in Division Two.
After their fantastic start to the season, Tatt have slipped in recent weeks and will be looking to get back on the promotion trail tomorrow at home against Mobberley.