ELWORTH collected just four points as they were over-whelmed by a powerful Long-ton side on Saturday.
The hosts struggled at their London Road ground, making an inadequate 157 all out, which was brushed aside by the Premier Division title-challengers from the Potteries who cruised to a nine-wicket victory.
After being invited to bat on a firm track, Elworth squandered chances. Only professional Ian Mitchell (64) displayed the necessary confidence and aggression to take on the bowlers.
The hosts progressed at less than three an over, but the power of Mitchell kept them in contention with an array of straight drives and pull shots for 13 boundaries.
He was given good support by Rob Beech (19), but after he gloved a short delivery by the hostile Dave Edwards to the keeper, and Mitchell was trapped lbw by pro Alphonso Thomas (3-68), who bowled 27.2 unchanged overs, Elworth were unable to reach a defendable target.
The hosts needed to maintain a tight line and length to have any chance of restricting Longton, but the visitors were afforded a runaway start as openers Rob King and Mike Longmore ran riot, rattling 54 off the first eight overs.
Mitchell and Scott Elliott came in and put a temporary brake on the scoring rate, and Elliott trapped Longmore (49) lbw to provide hope. But opener King reached his half-century off a Ricky Ballard delivery, easing his side to 161-1.
Also in the Premier Division, Betley look doomed as they went further adrift at the bottom after defeat at Porthill Park.
The hosts made first use and Matt Hole (139no) and D Cotton (71no) enjoyed a sixth-wicket partnership of 210 to set a new league record, as they posted 252-5 declared. In reply, Simon Cork (30) tried to help his side respond, but they were all out for 143.
In Division One's double-header weekend, a win and a draw kept Crewe spirits high.
On Saturday, high-scoring Kids-grove found pace ace Aizaz Cheema (7-38) too hot to handle. In a devastating opening spell, he snapped up six wickets for just 15 to leave the visitors reeling on 29-7. The scalp of former Northants star Jeff Clarke, who had smashed 176no the previous week, was vital.
Kidsgrove made a partial recovery almost completely down to Garry Stanyer's 50no, but they were sent back for just 84.
In their reply, Crewe's Mark Hurst and Nick Lange put on 41 before Hurst went for 12. Lange followed for an attractive 33, but they quickly slumped to 48-4.
Richard Marsh (13) pushed them closer, and it was left to Cheema (15no) and Annu Sinha (7no) to see Crewe home for 20 priceless points.
On Sunday, a hard-earned draw at Norton earned six more points. The hosts made first use and rattled up a formidable 248-2 declared.
For once, Cheema was unable to make an impression, picking up just one wicket as Norton professional Raj Kumar (100no) and Tasmin Hussain (115) put them to the sword. Phil Marsh claimed the wicket of Hussain.
It was a tall order without topscorer Tom Gower, but Lange (18), Hurst (21), Cheema (38), Sinha (24) and Joe Boyle (50no) had a good go. The win, however, was always unlikely and they were happy to settle on 187-6.
Also in Division One, Haslington could only manage a draw and a defeat in their busy weekend.
On Saturday, the bottom club hosted high-flyers Leycett, who were put into bat. Dave Moreton (1-45) took the first wicket but Leycett raced to 153-2.
Professional Bilal Hussain was finally out for a superb 158, caught well by Dean Bedson off the bowling of Matt Saive, and Leycett declared on 274-3.
Haslington's chase did not begin well with both openers and Lee Morris getting out early. Two further wickets fell, leaving the South Cheshire side reeling on 42-5.
Anthony Phipps (18) and More-ton (17) put up some resistance with a partnership of 45, but Haslington were eventually bowled out for 110.
On Sunday, Haslington hosted Rode Park and were asked to bat. Chris Henderson (33) and Bedson (35) put on 55 for the second wicket but Haslington were left on 84-3.
Liam Bedson hit a quickfire (34) before being caught out, while Phipps (40) and Moreton (24) put on 42 for the eighth wicket to bring Haslington up to 206ao.
Tom Gledhill took the first wicket of the innings with the score on nine, and when Saive snapped up two more, Rode Park were 73-3.
Opener Maurice Kepple was finally out, caught and bowled by Gledhill for a well-made 89, and the next four wickets fell for just 20 to leave Rode Park 180-9. Haslington were frustrated when the tailenders dug in, ending on 181-9. Matt Saive returned 4-82 while Tom Gledhill got 5-89.
Second-team scores Premier Division: Betley 121ao (D Lowe 35) Porthill Park 125-3 (R Dixon 34); Longton 204ao (S Debb 59, R Jones 4-40) Elworth 159-8 (B Bleasedale 42, K Ballard 41).
Division One: Kidsgrove 113ao (C Lange 4-53) Crewe 114-7 (S Everill 3-24); Leycett 198-4(dec) (R Redfearn 82) Haslington 194-6 (T Blackwood 101, M Hann 43).