CHESTER Boughton Hall were all smiles after Sunday's success in their own Mason Owen knockout, but they will have their work cut out tomorrow when they visit an Oulton Park side enjoying the safety of a 30-point cushion at the top of the Premier Division.
Hall were well beaten at home to Bowdon on Saturday while the leaders managed to emerge from their own rain-hit encounter still well on top.
Despite losing 33 overs to rain, Park managed to extend their lead at the summit by taking 14 points from a drawn game at Hyde.
Park opened the batting and Andy Robinson (57) and Danny Leech put on 99 for the first wicket. Paul Berry (100) then weighed in with his first century of the season. When Leech departed for 64, Berry and Steve Selwood (21no) took the score to 248 - before Berry was run out.
Park finished on 254-4dec but Hyde put in a stubborn performance with the bat to make their way to 237-4. At one time they even had victory in their sights, but Nathan Damelow (3-83) kept them in check.
Second-placed Christleton's away game against Oxton was always going to be difficult and the absence of four regular players, including Matt Parkinson, did not help the cause.
The first Oxton wicket fell in the 23rd over and the score on 62 when Stokes edged to Crowley behind Khan for 29. Doggett was next in and, five runs later, Crowley took a sharp catch to dismiss him off Newell for four.
Oxton's innings was interrupted by a brake for rain and Christleton lost eight batting overs as the score moved to 245-6 dec off 55 overs.
Khan was the most successful bowler with 3-93 off 21 overs with Newell taking 2-70 off 20 overs.
Khan did not have time to get his breath back as, 10 minutes later, he was opening with Chris Hollindale to face Birley and Allen.
Khan was quickly back in the pavilion and the score had advanced to 44-3 when Hollindale edged to the slips and was out for 13 off Birley.
Cruikshank was next and, with the score on 60, attempted an indescribable shot. A flier went to Debrabender behind the stumps and Cruikshank was out for nine. Jim Gillson, nursing a bruised thumb from the field, was next in and the score moved to 91 when an unfortunate incident occurred.
Newell hit a ball to the deep for an easy two but, on turning, lost his footing completely and for the second week was run out for 42.
Andy Sissons joined Jim Gillson in the middle after Cruikshank and Newell were dismissed and the pair played some good shots, taking the score to 120.
After losing another couple of wickets, Christleton knew the target was looking remote so they saw out their remaining overs to finish on 166-7.
Boughton Hall's bad patch continued as they lost at home to Bowdon, who moved up to third place.
Only Warren Goodwin (31) batted well for Boughton Hall, all out for 107, as off-spinner Gareth Edwards claimed 5-50. Bowdon had Ian Cross (38) and Steve Bramhall (32) unbeaten at the wicket at 108-2.
In Division One, Upton found themselves back in 11th place after a remarkable game at Old Greasby Road in which they bowled out Cheadle Hulme for 89 (Gary Dixon 4-11, Lee Dixon 4-25). Upton fell seven runs short against Ewan McCray (6-26) and John Potts (4-20).
In Division Two, Timperley are now 47 points in front of their joint second-placed challengers after winning by four wickets at Tattenhall. John Hope top-scored with 64 in Tattenhall's 189-8, but Timperley won well with Andy Cronin scoring 70.