CHESTER Boughton Hall's five-match winning streak in the Murray Smith Cheshire County League came to an end on Saturday as they hung on for a losing draw at Didsbury, but they made progress in the League Cup the following day.
Eddie Roberts did his best to force a victory in Saturday's Premier Division match, but even his 69 couldn't do the trick as they settled with a reply of 179-8, which dropped them to third spot in the table. He had good support from youngsters Fred Owen (17) and Tom Ducker (19 not out).
Didsbury had elected to bat first in the hot sun and a slow wicket made for some dour early cricket as the Manchester men stumbled to 37-3 against the excellent Alex Kegg and Heath Pritchard.
There was to be no more success for another 38 overs. Abbas and Battye tore into the Chester attack posting 208 for the third wicket. Abbas was spilled on 60 but went on to a magnificent 137no and Didsbury finished on 257-5 from 55 overs.
Winning ways returned on Sunday in the League KO at Filkins Lane. Birkenhead Park called correctly to consign the home team to more hours in the field in sweltering conditions.
Pritchard, David Atkin and James Powell made early breakthroughs but it was the off-spin of Matt Griffiths which never allowed the visitors' innings to get going. His 4-31 restricted the total to 156-7, while Kegg went for just 13 off his nine overs.
Chester's reply was emphatic. Roberts cracked 19 while opening partner Pritchard smashed the ball regularly into the canal for a top-class 84. His whirlwind knock contained four sixes.
Three quick wickets left Chester 50 runs to find, but Steve Ogilby (20no) and Andy Bennion, whose 31no included two enormous sixes, ensured a second-round home tie with Toft this Sunday.
Chester visit Wirral rivals Neston at Parkgate tomorrow.