DAVENHAM lost to their promotion rivals after being put in on a damp wicket.

They lost the normally prolific openers Louis Bentley and Dave Ashley by the fifth over and they managed only five runs between them. Tom Screen (33) showed defiance that was only matched by James Loveridge (25no) and they had left the bowlers with too much to do.

Hale Barns scored at a steady rate to reclaim second spot from Davenham, for whom Andy Floyd took 1-13.

Oakmere 111-7 Weaverham 138

OAKMERE and Weaverham fought out a draw at Overdale Lane.

Mike Cushion (5-18) and Nick Porter (2-26) were on form for Oakmere against Over Peover 2nds, 79ao.

Peter Hutchinson carried his bat 44 and Saeed Kara hit 21 as Oakmere 2nds replied with 76-1.

CH Ladybridge 205-9dec Winsford 158ao

WINSFORD slipped back in the promotion race when they were taken by surprise at Division Two's bottom club.

Mike Clarke took 3-21 in his opening overs to put Winsford seemingly in control and Dave Etchells (2-16) continued the good work and Ladybridge were in trouble at 78-6.

But, aided by some dropped catches, they escaped to make a challenging total, the last 13 Barry Crellin-Clarke overs going for 87.

The batsmen found themselves in the same malaise as the bowlers and they slumped to 53-5. James Dean offered some hope when he completed his maiden half-century but when he and Smith (35) departed, the tail fell limp.

The Meadow Bank Social Club man-of-the-match award went to James Dean for his 50.

Winsford 2nds beat leaders Northwich 2nds to keep in touch with the title.

Northwich ended on 125-9, Winsford scored 126-4 (Stuart Plant 2-45).

Craig Douglas top scored with 30 for Northwich and Steve Riley added 27, with Hough returning 5-43, and Doman and Webb both taking a brace as the Winsford attack did its job.

Andy Cooper provided the key innings of 52, which found a variety of support most notably from James Bland (22).

Cooper was named as Winsford's Raven Inn man of the match.

Barnton 213-6 Mere 206ao

BARNTON won a thriller at Broomsedge with Matt Morley (5-47) skittling the tail end just in time as the Mere innings ran out of steam.

Neil Langham (53no) provided the highlight of the innings with his maiden half-century and there were good knocks from Ben Wingfield (24) Paul Coot (32) and Phil Wingfield (30) making his first senior appearance for many years.

Mere's innings started at a great rate but was checked when they lost two wickets to James Ollier and Morley cam in at the death.

Barnton 2nd XI's promotion prospects suffered a blow as they lost to fellow-hopefuls Port Sunlight on the Wirral. It all looked good for Barnton as they dismissed their hosts for 92, but their batting collapsed completely and they suffered their first defeat since July 1.

Northwich 112ao Castrol 105ao

NORTHWICH won a tense low-scoring game in spectacular fashion to maintain their push for promotion.

Matt Lightburn, after eight weeks on the sidelines, ripped out the off stump of Castrol's last man with seven runs to spare.

Paul Alcock (30) got the innings off to a good start as he hit 30, but with captain John O'Sullivan missing the Northwich middle order collapsed to a worrying 58-6. Martyn East (29) then staged a mini recovery but the total was still modest.

Castrol reached 34 before they lost a wicket but Lightburn and Nick Shaw reduced them to 47-4. They looked like getting away again before Shaw and spinner Matt Jamieson took five wickets for four runs in six overs and had them teetering at 90-9.

Lightburn finished with 3-26 from 14.4 overs, Shaw 4-38 and Jamieson 3-23.