NANTWICH clung on for a draw with Christleton in a high-scoring game which saw Jeff Maynard crack 118 not out, on Saturday.
The Dabbers were desperately close to defeat in the ECB Premier League, as the hosts powered towards the target of 289 for victory, but Christleton fell just short at 280-6 at the end of their 55 overs.
It was a fair result after a fine afternoon of attacking cricket. Batting first, Nantwich looked in trouble when openers Ollie Sadler (6) and Chris Simpson (0) were swiftly removed.
But Aussie Steve Paulsen was in fine form again, taking his season's total to 563 with a splendid 83 off 57 deliveries.
It made for an exciting partner-ship with long-serving Maynard, who produced a wonderful array of shots to score 118 off 161 balls at the close.
Ray Doyle was also in a scoring mood, cracking 45 off 42 to take the score on, but a lack of support elsewhere restricted the score to 288-6.
The hosts were in a determined mood, and that was reflected by the approach of their batsmen as they started their reply.
Rick Moore (84), Simon Ratcliffe (79) and the consistent Maroof Khan (63) sparked a thrilling run-chase, which Nantwich at times seemed powerless to resist.
But Sadler (4-57) kept chipping away, and Paulsen claimed the vital dismissal of Khan, to keep their side in it right to the nailbiting climax.
In Division One, improving Alsager dented Timperley's promotion ambition with a 38-run victory. Steve Armitage and his men had posted a reachable 173, with Armitage (37) and Ashwin Punja (34). But leg-spinner Mohammed Arshad (6-27) was in devastating form as Timperley were all out for 135. The win capped a super week for Alsager, who had knocked last season's defeated semi-finalists Nantwich out of the Fred Graham Trophy a few days earlier.
Maynard hit 24 as the Dabbers scored 113-9 in the Twenty/20 match, and Alsager replied with 114-3 (Punja 42 not out, G Pickford 30, S Dyer 27).
Andy Newton cracked 66 for Nantwich 2nds as they beat Brook-lands 2nds. Home team Brooklands made 244-9, and the Dabbers reached 245-5 for victory.
Nantwich youngster Ollie Sadler, 19, was the only first-year student to be selected for Oxford University's cricket team for their annual Varsity match with Cambridge University.
The former Brine Leas pupil and South Cheshire College student opened the batting in Oxford's first innings of the four-day match, scoring 22.
And the Cheshire U19s skipper was 17-not-out as Oxford claimed a nine-wicket victory in their second innings, at the Parks.