ALVANLEY underlined why they are the early Division One leaders with a stunning eight-wicket home win over one of their main promotion rivals on Saturday.
Missing four players, Andy Bennion’s team were expecting a tricky test against a third-placed Davenham side who arrived at Frodsham Road with an unbeaten record to protect.
But after making a promising start, the visitors were sent back to Northwich with their tails between their legs as Alvanley maintained their one-point lead at the summit.
Doing most of the damage was the excellent Dave Shewring (6-49), who teamed up with Rob Fisher (3-58) to instigate a collpase which saw Davenham slump from 144-3 to 179 all out.
At the interval Bennion decided to promote himself to open the reply – and it was a decision which certainly paid dividends.
Bennion smashed a run-a-ball 62 and Mark Szymura a classy 58 to knock the stuffing out of the normally frugal Davenham attack.
It was left up to Chris Jones (32no) and debutant Andy Hayhurst (24no) to guide Alvanley to 180-2 with 11 overs remaining.
OAKMERE bounced back from their defeat to the leaders seven days earlier with a thrilling four-run success at Birkenhead Park.
The in-form Dan Wood fired 96 and Callum Rigby 42 as Oakmere set a testing 201-5dec.
Birkenhead Park made a fist of it in response, but a fourth run-out of the innings from the first ball of the last over ended their pursuit on 197 (Phil Nelson 3-45, Sam Catling 3-62).
BUNBURY and CHESTER COUNTY OFFICERS remain neck and neck at the top of Division Three.
CCO are now just six points off the pace in second after they made it back-to-back maximum points victories with a four-wicket home win over Cheadle Hulme Ladybridge.
As is becoming customary, Mike Clarke’s men lost the toss and it was no surprise that Cheadle Hulme chose to bat on another blinding Mannings Lane track.
But with Graham Dodd (2-25) and captain Clarke (2-32) bowling well, their total of 184-7dec would have been far lower had it not been for a sparkling 90 from Vijay Deshpande.
After Mike Rowlands (76) and Chris Wright (38) laid the foundations, it was Mike Jones (10no) and Steve Johnson (5no) who got the runs which took CCO to 188-6 in the 30th over.
Bunbury were four-wicket winners at home to Pott Shrigley, who declared on 214-4 but were then unable to prevent the pacesetters from reaching 215-6.