CHESTER Boughton Hall remain entrenched in Premier Division relegation danger following Saturday’s three-wicket home loss to Widnes.
When the coin came down on the wrong side for skipper Eddie Roberts, Chester knew it was probably the most important toss they had lost this season.
Widnes had no hesitation in putting the hosts in to bat on a pudding of a pitch still wet from 48 hours of persistent rain.
It was clear that anything around the 120 mark would be competitive, but after 35 overs Chester had struggled to 58-4.
Trevor Fabien managed a quick-fire 29 and Roberts, stranded at the wrong end as wickets fell, eked out 30 as his side closed on Nelson – 111.
It was never going to be enough and Widnes clinched the win with 113-7. Ashley Shaw took 3-19 and Alex Kegg claimed 4-23, as well as holding a backward diving catch at deep mid-off to dismiss Zia ur Rehman.
Hall could take some solace from the performance of Shaw and 16-year-old Glen Coppack’s debut behind the stumps.
OULTON PARK gave their title hopes a welcome boost after putting Knutsford club Toft to the sword. Third-placed Park missed their chance to go top after losing to Oxton last weekend, but their 77-run victory at a wet Little Budworth has kept optimism high.
“We can definitely catch Bowdon,” said captain Nathan Dumelow. “The pressure is all on them because they are at the top.”
Batting first Park posted 196 with Jonny Kettle top scoring with 35. In reply, visiting Toft could muster only 119 (Dumelow 4-46).
NESTON fell to a 69-run loss at Alderley Edge, who declared on 214-3. Neston’s reply looked like earning them draw points thanks to Mark Garrett (46), only for Jason Whittaker (5-21) to claim the final wicket off the last ball of the day.
An e-mail vote of 24-8 (with four clubs not replying) has given the County League’s appeals panel the green light to meet again and reconsider the penalties imposed upon Alderley Edge and Widnes for their players appearing as deputy professionals in unauthorised games outside the League.
Widnes’ Ata ur Rehman was suspended for six weeks and the club docked a total of 128 points. If Widnes lose the points they would be plunged into relegation danger – offering Boughton Hall a possible lifeline. Alderley Edge were docked 35 points for a similar offence.
The panel will reconvene on an early date yet to be agreed under deputy chairman John Bygate.