CREWE were dumped out of the Cheshire Cup thanks to an agonising four-run defeat on Sunday.
After their Division One derby clash with ELWORTH was abandoned due to a flooded pitch on Saturday, Crewe were fresh for a trip to Sale the next day.
And they started well, restricting their hosts to 193-7 as they made first use. Despite their depleted line-up, Russ Barker (4-43) excelled and there was a wicket each for Martin Webb, Bernie Bishop and Richard Marsh.
Openers Mark Spencer (40) and Mark Hurst (29) gave Crewe a great start in their reply with a partnership of 75, before both were dismissed.
Bernie Bishop then hit a fine 65 and, with good support from Simon Banks (22) and Richard Marsh (14), Crewe got to the last over needing seven to win. But the loss of Bishop followed by a run out left them agonisingly just short of success at 189ao.
In Division Two, WESTON went down to a determined Norton outfit.
Batting first, Weston managed just 122ao, with only Raj Kumar (51) and Asad Shah (28) getting into double figures as Simon Davies returned 6-51 for the visitors.
Norton eased to 124-5 in their reply, taking just 31.1 overs to get there. Shah (2-66) and Kumar (3-47) again did most of the work for Weston.
BETLEY had to settle for a draw with Ashcombe Park, who batted first and made 163-9 (Gaz Singh 7-91). Betley posted 138-5 (J Austin 66no) in reply.
* Second team scores - Division One: Elworth 88-3 (R Stevenson 51) Crewe 84ao (R Stevenson 3-6). Division Two: Weston 236-8 (G Jennison 49, P Bailey 48, B Washington 54) Norton 130ao.
* Former Crewe professional Ranadeb Bose has been named in the India Test squad to tour England this summer.
Bose spent two-thirds of last summer at Crewe, taking 31 wickets before a shoulder injury forced him to return home early.