CHESTER County Officers and Bunbury are among the early-season pacesetters in Division Three of the Meller Braggins League.

While Bunbury head the table after four matches, CCO are close behind in third thanks to Saturday’s derby victory at Groves.

With heavy rain forecast for later in the day, Groves decided to bat on a fine looking wicket after winning the toss.

Openers Dominic Green (40) and Mike Garvey (35) made good progress before Graham Dodd (2-17) got the breakthrough during a tight spell. Dodd’s second was snapped up by wicket-keeper Matt Calver.

Steve Johnson (3-52) kept the wickets falling at regular intervals while Mike Jones (2-17) also chipped in before some powerful late blows by Mike Caulfield (38no) took the score to 193-7.

After tea, CCO made a shaky start and found themselves on 17-2. But opener James Blaxhall and the returning Mike Rowlands (96) took control.

The umpires allowed the game to carry on despite the arrival of rain and, following the departure of Rowlands, Mike Jones (16no) and Johnson (20no) completed the run chase as CCO finished on 194-6.

BUNBURY came away from a rain-affected draw at CH Ladybridge with 16 points.

The visitors posted 194-4 (Richard Munson 56no, Simon Lamb 50) and Ladybridge got to 78-7 in reply.

In Division Two, the wet weather also played a part in proceedings as BARROW drew at Barnton.

After losing the toss for the fourth week in a row, the visitors were asked to field first.

Barnton quickly made a good start, taking 23 overs to reach 83-1.

But the onslaught was halted following the introduction of spin. Nicky Mumford and Phil Noble took wickets at regular intervals as Barnton reached a below-par 162-8, Mumford claiming six wickets.

Then the rain came and, after sitting in the pavilion for two hours, the Barrow openers emerged to bat out the remaining 12 overs. With no chance of victory, they made it to 44-3.

KINGSLEY remain in the bottom three after loosing away to CHOLMONDELEY.

Electing to bat, the home side posted 193-6 on a flat track. Kingsley bowled respectably but without early penetration as Travis Martin (2-39), Peter Pearce (2-73) and Adrian Burden (2-39) all claimed a brace of wickets.

After a flying start Kingsley lost wickets at regular intervals and were bowled out for 151 (Travis Martin 46).