THERE was plenty of tension in the air at Alvanley on Saturday as the Meller Braggins League leaders ran a single off the final ball of the match to tie with Northwich.
The hosts, runaway leaders in Division One, were indebted to a great seventh-wicket stand of 59 between Chris Charles and Chris Fletcher in a contest that went to the wire.
Northwich chose to bat first and after reaching 111-2 with 10 overs to go, Alvanley and their attritional bowling attack looked to be on top.
However, a late flurry took the visitors to a competitive 176-4, Charles, Robin Fisher and Lee Ainsworth all ending with a wicket apiece.
In reply, Alvanley started well but a strong position became a disastrous one within a matter of overs.
As wickets in the top and middle order tumbled, Alvanley were reeling on 113-7. But Charles and Fletcher led a recovery and the hosts ran a single off the final ball to net the tie (176-9) and 18 useful points.
Elsewhere, there was frustration for third-placed OAKMERE as their clash at Trafford MV was abandoned due to rain without a ball being bowled.
In Division Two, KINGSLEY settled for a draw from a rain-affected match at top-of-the-table Winnington Park.
After winning the toss, captain Mark Butcher elected to bowl and it was the change bowlers of Pearce senior and junior who slowed down the Park innings, with Pete and Ben picking up three wickets each as the home side reached 195-7dec.
The forecast rain hammered down at tea, reducing the Kingsley innings to 30 overs.
In the end, only Butcher (40no) offered fair resistance to a good Winnington attack as Kingsley reached 101-7 off 28 overs, another two overs having been lost to another shower.
BARROW remain in the danger zone after losing at home to Woodford.
Batting first, Barrow lost opener Phil Noble for 34 but there were good contributions from Greg Russell, Dave Maclements and Aaron Williams in a below-par score of 158-9.
In reply, some aggressive batting and loose bowling allowed Woodford to reach 162-4.
Third-placed CHOLMONDELEY are firmly in the promotion hunt.
They were too good for basement side Winsford, reaching 99-5 after the hosts were all out for 98.