ALVANLEY extended their unbeaten start to the season on Saturday but fell narrowly short of victory in a tense finale.
Having opened up with two maximum-points wins, Alvanley had to settle for a home draw with Hale Barns in their latest outing.
The hosts batted first but lost Chris Jones early to an outstanding caught and bowled.
Andy Bennion joined Mark Szymura and took the score to 20 before the in-form Szymura was run out.
More wickets tumbled so it was left to the lower middle order to steady the ship.
Robin Fisher and Dave Shewring added a thrilling 73 in just 13 overs, Fisher taking 33 balls for his 48 while the more watchful Shewring hit a classy 41 as Alvanley closed on 185.
Hale Barns had 43 overs to overhaul Alvanley but lost an opener to the second ball of the day from debutant Kenny Roberts.
But despite beating the bat on numerous occasions, the seamers could not dislodge the second-wicket pair. Shewring’s introduction did the trick. In just three overs, he bagged 3-11 and the visitors were reduced to 70-4.
Hale Barns progressed to 108-7 and Alvanley scented victory, but three dropped catches and a series of near misses allowed the visitors to reach 139-8 (Shewring 4-61, Robin Fisher 3-23).
Elswehere in Division One, OAKMERE – who host Alvanley this Saturday – scored a resounding victory over Ashton-on-Mersey.
Michael Cushion (4-22) and Phil Nelson (4-2) had Ashton all out for 61.
It took Paul Yearsley (33) and Dan Wood (24) just 11.5 overs to reach 62-0.
In Division Three, CHESTER COUNTY OFFICERS were just one wicket away from beating Alderley Park at Mannings Lane.
The visitors won the toss and elected to field after a rain-delayed start reduced the game to 40 overs apiece.
CCO got off to a steady start with the openers, Ian Rule (33) and James Blaxall (4), pinned back on a slightly green track.
Roger Watt continued his good form with a controlled 43, including a sumptuous six, as CCO posted a challenging 148.
In reply, Park lost wickets steadily to the bowling of Graham Dodd, Mike Roberts and Steve Johnson. But the final wicket eluded CCO and the visitors finished on 131-9.
BUNBURY were comfortable winners over promoted Groves, reaching 106-2 in reply to the Ellesmere Port club’s 102ao (Robin Williams 6-20).