CHESTER Boughton Hall slumped to their second successive defeat on Saturday when they lost at champions Bowdon by 55 runs.
Bowdon chose to bat first on a good wicket and Clive Gie bowled an excellent nine overs which went unrewarded, but skipper Alex Kegg bagged a couple early on.
The main man, though, was Dave Atkin who ran in for 19 overs and snared 2-47 runs - an excellent display of stamina and intelligent seam bowling. Rob Fisher got little assistance but chipped in with three wickets as Bowdon closed at 175-9.
This was an attainable target but with two overs gone, two wickets had also fallen. Eddie Roberts and Steve Ogilby were the victims but Warren Goodwin and Andy Bennion were to partially pull things round.
With 48 on the board and both players well set and scoring quickly, Bennion was out in the most extraordinary manner, padding away a wide Gary Yates delivery. The ball went high in the air and spun back agonisingly on to the stumps.
Goodwin soon followed and in-form Yates (5-27) made it a procession.
Matt Griffiths (30) found an ally in Dave Shewring (32) and these two posted 50 for the fifth wicket to put things back in the balance.
Shewring's harsh dismissal soon ended those hopes and the game meandered to an inevitable defeat as Yates turned the screw.
Some positives came from the game. Gie and Atkin looked in good form with the ball and several batsmen spent their first significant time in the middle.
Chester host Oulton Park tomorrow.
Top performances from the rest of the club imposed pressure on the Boughton Hall selectors. The seconds beat Bowdon and paceman Kristian Rogers, the Northwich Vics goalkeeper, knocked on the first-team door with a return of 6-18, to help dismiss the visitors for 70. Lauren Griffiths made her debut behind the stumps and took two catches.
The batsmen made short work of the target, finishing on 71-1 after 11 overs, with Brett Balac hitting 44no in his first shot at opening the innings.
The seconds secured a 10-wickets victory over Oxton in a League Cup match on Sunday. Balac took 4-17 as Oxton were dismissed for 91 and Tom Ducker (57) and Sam Chapman (25) saw Chester home in reply.
George Robinson was another to give the selectors a nudge with a peerless 120, including a six to reach his century as the thirds hit 268-5 against Warrington, who were beaten by 197 runs. Simon Parry added 62. Dalat Gulzar claimed 4-2 and Sam Mallows 4-27.
The fourths won at Oxton who were 178ao in reply to 243-8 (Richard Thistlewood 57, Bobby Evans 32, Cliff Mallows 33).
nChristleton's stuttering start to their first season in the Premier Division continued with a home defeat by Oxton, who clinched their first win of the campaign.
The highlight of the game was an outstanding innings by Oxton wicket-keeper Marc Debrabender of 119no, helped by 73 from Matt Doggett in a total of 238-4.
This was in reply to a useful 235-8 from Christleton, who featured an unbeaten 88 by Simon Ratcliffe. nOulton Park moved into third spot with a home draw against Hyde, despite posting the Premier Division's highest-ever score.
The cornerstone of the Park innings of 362-4 was a splendid 110 by Australian Andy Robinson, who put on 114 for the first wicket with Danny Leech (49) and 84 for the second with Paul Berry (46), before being bowled with the score on 264.
Steve Selwood (39) picked up the rate as Park reached 285-4. An amazing five overs followed when Park scored 77 runs, Nathan Dumelow finishing with an unbeaten 88 off 33 balls, including seven sixes.
Hyde rose to the challenge with James Duffy (135) and Dave Fitzsimmons (93) putting on 230. But in the end they were hanging on at 277-7 after five wickets had fallen for only 11 runs (Chris Jones 4-55).
Park seconds (191-8 dec) drew with Brooklands (189-9). nNeston chalked up their first win of the season by eight wickets against promoted Toft at Parkgate. Andy Bones' well-crafted 69 held Toft's modest 169 together before Simon Mar-
shall highlighted the Neston reply with a sparkling un-beaten 98 out of 145 while he was at the crease.
He was ably partnered by Phil Davis with 39 in a 99 stand for the second wicket.
Tattenhall, who lost at promotion favourites Timperley in Division Two, have sent out an urgent plea for new batsmen. Said skipper Gary Forster: 'If Tattenhall are to challenge this year, there needs to be a massive improvement in the batting.
'The club would be pleased to hear from anyone who wants to test himself in a high standard of cricket and feels he is being overlooked at present.'
After winning the toss and with a depleted batting side, they had little option but to field. Initially this proved to be a good decision with the opening bowlers, medium-paced Nigel Cox and spinner Gary Forster, bowling tightly with the home side at 41-3 in the 17th over. One wicket saw an outstanding catch by Forster in the covers, diving away to his right.
The introduction of Mel Dobson had the big-hitting former Bowdon player Dominic Ball bowled in his first over and at 54-4, Tattenhall were on course to chase a modest total.
But the strong batting line-up of Timperley proceeded to hit out and with a small leg-side boundary, three batsmen put on 150 runs in 21 overs to allow them to declare at 206-6 off 42 overs.
This was a fair declaration by the Timperley captain, but with their depleted batting line-up, one of the more experienced batsmen would have had to make a big score.
This was not to be the case. Tattenhall were bowled out for 101 runs in the 42nd over. The highlights were the innings of Tim Salt (24), Danny Ahmed (21) and a solid defensive dis-play by newcomer Paul Kenny.