SURPRISE result of the season in Division One of the Murray Smith Accountants Cheshire County League was the 70-run defeat of second-placed Christleton at Warrington, at the time lying 11th in the table but now clear of the relegation zone.
Malcolm Agar (41) and the man from whom he took over the captaincy in May due to injury, James Hughes (37), helped Warrington post a respectable 175-8. Christleton, who have one eye on a possible appearance at Lord's in the National Village Knockout final, were ousted for 105, Aussie left-arm paceman Tim J-son taking 5-51.
Toft took the opportunity to widen the gap at the season's half-way mark to 21 points with a four-wicket win in a high-scoring game at Bramhall. With injured Cheshire skipper Andy Hall batting down the order and scoring 82 not out, Bramhall amassed 234-5, Jay Bowman 62. Despite suffering from a painful cracked rib for the past three weeks, Hall is the league's topscoring batsman with 649 runs.
In their reply Toft made it with two balls to spare at 235-6, Richard Emslie 63.
Brooklands continued their rise with more fine bowling from John Birchall. Following up his 10-wickets haul the previous week, Birchall took 5-36 to help dismiss Birkenhead Park for 124 after they themselves had managed only 149, Mike Stephens 56, Chris Ainsworth 3-53. Grappenhall's muchmaligned bowlers turned up trumps at Winnington Park, bowling out the Northwich side for 72, Andrew Hards 5-32 in a six-wickets victory.
Bollington's Division Two promotion push was interrupted on a day when the other 'Big Four' all won. Timperley beat them by 54 runs in a match dominated by Mark Leathley's all-round talent. The former Bowdon player top-scored with 61 in Timperley's 149-8, then took 5-35 as Bolly were bundled out for 95.
Heaton Mersey passed the 200-point mark with a 16 runs win at Middlewich after being dismissed for 191, Miles Newton 66, Phil Davies and Gavin Tomlinson both 4-64. Fine off-spin bowling by Jon Daniels won it for Mersey, his 7-62 restricting Middlewich to 175.
Cheadle returned to form with a 103 runs hammering of Tattenhall after closing at 163-9. Tattenhall were bundled out for 60, Melbournian Manser taking 5-35 to become the league's leading wicket-taker with 40 vic-tims.
Mobberley registered a much-needed win by 35 runs at home to Irby. Mobberley have appealed against the deduction of 35 points for fielding an ineligible player against Middlewich on May 22. Bredbury St Mark's beat Stockport Georgians by nine wickets.