A RAPID 27 from Gareth Dyson promised to secure Widnes victory at home to Murray Smith Cheshire County League Premier Division rivals Neston.
After the visitors had reached 129 without loss at the 33-over mark, having elected to bat, all-rounder Tony Hurdley made a vital breakthrough in his sixth over and proceeded to change the complexion of the game.
He took six other scalps to finish with fine figures of 7-42 from 15 overs as Neston were bowled out for 196 in the 54th.
However, the Widnes innings also proved something of a roller-coaster ride.
James McCoy made 50 of their 70 without loss after just 14 overs.
But a careless shot enabled ex-Bootle man Finnigan to uproot Mc-Coy's middle stump and, from then on, Neston bowled tightly.
Dyson kept victory in sight but on his dismissal, Widnes had to settle for the draw at 183-9, taking 10 points from the draw to Neston's 15. Oxford 'blue' Marshall claimed 6-74 for the away side.
Earlier, Bappa Mukherjee (2-66 from 19 overs) had bowled tirelessly in the absence of Widnes spin twin Ibrahim Ali.
But despite bowling good lines, the hosts had lacked early penetration on a slow wicket and too many noballs didn't help.
Veteran Davis and youngster Thomas helped Neston build a foundation which appeared solid.
This Saturday, Widnes 1st host Macclesfield while their Cheshire Cup quarter-final at home to Birken-head Park will be at Beaconsfield Road on Sunday, July 18 (1pm).
Widnes 2nd went to table-top-ping Congleton with seven regulars missing but held out for a draw in a rain-affected match. Widnes, at Macclesfield this weekend, took seven points to Congleton's 12.
The 3rds visit Stockport Georgians this weekend after taking 15 points from a high-scoring draw against Woodford on Sunday. Widnes 219-4 from 44 overs (Tabb 86 and Moore 73), Woodford 168-5 (Tom Evans 3-43).
Widnes U11s play at Hightown tomorrow in the Merseyside/Lancashire Cup final. On Sunday, Widnes U9s were runners-up to Wallasey in the age group's inaugural Merseyside Festival at Northern.