CHESTER Boughton Hall’s title challenge hit the buffers on Saturday as they fell to a surprisingly heavy away loss to main rivals Nantwich.
While Chester still have a mathematical chance of claiming the Cheshire County League Premier Division title, the destination of the championship is firmly in the hands of the Dabbers with two games left to play.
If they take maximum points from their penultimate fixture at Alderley Edge this Saturday and Chester fail to do the same at home to Toft, Nantwich will clinch the title for the second season running.
Boughton Hall captain Jim Gillson won the toss at Whitehouse Lane on Saturday and opted to bat first on what looked a difficult pitch.
But Chester’s usually strong batting line-up let them down.
Steve Ogilby was first to go and with chief tormentor Jimmy Warrington in fine form, Ollie Law and Warren Goodwin swiftly followed to leave the visitors on 21-3.
This soon became 35-5 and the wickets continued to tumble. Ed Roberts (34) and Ollie Thompson (20) put on 39 for the eighth wicket but the best Chester could muster was 111ao.
Alex Kegg gave the visitors a slim hope with a fine 3-36 but the result was never really in doubt and Nantwich crossed the finishing line with 115-4.
OULTON PARK fell back to the foot of the table after losing to Oxton.
An excellent all-round performance by Oxton’s overseas pro Gayan Fernando – he scored 53 and took 6-74 – proved too much for the hosts.
Oxton were all out for 211 in the final over of their innings in what was one of the best bowling and fielding performances of the season from Park.
Kieran Berrington (3-27) and Danny Leech (4-101) took the bulk of the wickets.
With a below-par score posted, the home side sniffed a chance to climb up the table. But this was soon put to bed when the top order collapsed, leaving Park 17-4.
Stuart Robinson (29) and Berrington (23) attempted a salvage operation, but their efforts were not enough as the hosts were all out for 167.
NESTON were outplayed by Urmston at Parkgate and look like finishing in their lowest position for several years. They mustered only 107 (David Hurst 33) and Urmston went on to win comfortably at 111-3.
Boughton Hall 2nds beat Nantwich 2nds by six wickets, making 204-4 in reply to 202. Hall 4ths (66ao) lost to Oxton (118ao).