OULTON Park got off to the perfect start against Grappenhall, but their bowling let them down as they failed again to register their first County League Premier Division victory of 2011.

Invited to bat by their visitors, Park were out of the blocks quickly.

An opening partnership of 115 between Danny Leech and Ric Moore provided a solid base to build from, but the partnership was ended when Leech (67) was caught in the covers and Moore (44) was out lbw soon after.

Louis Bentley and Ben Kettle then added 59 before Kettle (31) was bowled. Bentley (64) was not out in the middle much longer as Park posted 247-6.

With a competitive total on the board, Grappenhall lost some early wickets courtesy of Robin Taylor (3-90), leaving them at 12-2.

Park failed to capitalise, however, and Grappenhall settled well to ease past their hosts’ total and finish with 248-6.

NESTON’S prolific Australian-born opening batsman Jack Smith followed scores of 99 and 111no with a sparkling unbeaten 104 to lead his side to an eight-wicket win against Alderley Edge.

The Parkgate men edged up into mid-table with an emphatic victory which followed a burst of 6-39 by seam bowler Chris Finegan. This helped restrict Alderley to a modest declared tally of 168-9.

Thanks to Smith’s heroics, Neston made it to 170-2.