OULTON Park skipper Nathan Dumelow put a philosophical spin on Saturday’s defeat at Chester Boughton Hall – a result which ended the Premier Division champions’ three-year unbeaten run.
Park, whose previous loss was against Nantwich on June 25, 2005, dropped to sixth place after the shock loss.
Dumelow said: “We were always going to lose at some point. It couldn’t continue forever.
“But it was disappointing to lose after being set just 145 to chase. We bat right down and I felt we could have made that.”
After limping to 145 (Steve Ogilby 45) on what was a challenging wicket, the hosts pulled out all the stops to end Park’s phenomenal unbeaten run.
Alex Kegg took 6-53 to remove most of the more potent batting threats, before Darron Cruickshank, who has been struggling for form of late, pounced to polish off the tail with 3-18.
Hall skipper Ogilby is feeling more confident than ever about his team’s chances of making the top three.
He said: “That is our aim and the league is very open so we see no reason why not. We still need to kick on with our batting. I felt we fell a little short on Saturday and we need people who are getting 20s and 30s to go on and get 50s or centuries.”
Not every result went Boughton Hall’s way over the weekend. On Friday a young Hall side was beaten in the Liverpool Echo Knockout by four wickets by Wallasey at Filkins Lane.
On Sunday, Bowdon eliminated them from the Cheshire Cup, scoring 136-9 before bowling visiting Hall out for 85.
NESTON’S poor league run continued on Saturday when they lost by three wickets at Nantwich. Neston declared on 208-9 (Jack Smith 80) and Nantwich responded with 210-7 (Jon Farrow 4-60).
Wicket-keeper Andy Roberts claimed five victims for Neston, who last week had four points deducted for a slow over rate reinstated.
In Division One, CHRISTLETON overcame tough conditions to beat Birkenhead Park away from home to set themselves up for an assault on the top of the table.
Having passed the halfway point of the season last Saturday, skipper Paul Allen is keen for his side to push on and reel in the sides above them.
“We are hitting form at the right time and are in the perfect position to take advantage,” he said.
“We have had three good results on the bounce now and we need to keep the momentum going.”
Allen – off for the next four weeks on an Ashes tour with the England deaf squad – won his 11th straight toss on Saturday and put Birkenhead in to bat.
Christleton’s bowlers skittled their hosts for 104 with Matt Parkinson taking 4-52, Rick Moore bagging 3-16 and Iroshan de Silva also taking three wickets.
After tea, Simon Ratcliffe carried his bat for 57no as those around him chipped in with 10s and 15s to carry Christleton to a winning 107-7.
In Division Two, TATTENHALL followed their fantastic win at Irby with an impressive display at home to Burnage. The visitors won the toss and inserted their hosts. Progress began slowly but 60 from Danny Ahmad helped build a score of 213.
Damian Lewis then found a way through Burnage’s strong batting line-up, the Trinidadian finishing with 6-54.
He was ably assisted during a most influential spell by first-team debutant Alan Brock, who took three wickets as Tatts cruised to a 25-point win.