TEENAGE batsman Jonny Kettle was declared man of the match as Oulton Park began their defence of the Premier Division title on Saturday.
Impressive 17-year-old Kettle hit 60 runs, as did Danny Leech, but the Little Budworth track proved perhaps too good.
Park reached 230-7 chasing Urmston's daunting 283-5.
Skipper Nathan Dumelow, who scored 36, said: 'We needed 70 off the last 12 and should have won from there, but it drifted away from us.'
Ben Spendlove and Robin Taylor both took a brace of wickets.
The game was preceded by a minute's silence in memory of former Oulton chairman Roy Rams-bottom, who died during the winter.
A magnificent debut from overseas star Shane Jones was not enough for CHESTER BOUGHTON HALL as Hyde claimed a win at Filkins Lane.
The hosts were put into bat and closed on 277-7, with Aussie import Jones stranded on 98no.
Openers Warren Goodwin and Matt Griffiths had got off to a flyer before Griffiths saw his stumps uprooted for 22. Skipper Steve Ogilby joined Goodwin but just when the
young opener was looking in devastating form, he was run out backing up for 46. When Ogilby went shortly after for 14, the ship was rocking at 85-3.
Jones and debutant Jim Gillson (51) then went about repairing the damage, sharing a partnership of 114 before Jack Yates contributed a lively 24 towards the end of the innings.
Hyde, however, batted superbly to reach 280 with just three wickets down and three overs to spare.
Jones was the pick of the Chester bowlers with 1-63 from 13 overs of off-spin.
Under-strength CHRISTLETON lost to NESTON at Parkgate.
The visitors had first use of the track but only Rick Moore (63) impressed as they were all out for 133.
Former Sussex all-rounder Brad Donellan was the star with the ball for Neston, taking 6-28.
In the run chase, Byrom Cooper was the mainstay with 50, helped by 34 from Neston's Australian overseas player Jack Smith.
Moore returned to pick up a wicket, as did debutant Paul Eastwood, before Neston reached 134-3 with 15 overs to spare.
In Division Two, promoted TATTENHALL lost by 78 runs at home to War rington.
After the visitors chose to make first use of a good-looking pitch, Tattenhall's Trinidadian all-rounder Damien Lewis (5-86), beat the bat at will. But three key catches were put down early on, meaning Warrington's middle order were never exposed to Lewis's new-ball burst.
Warrington had set a challenging 219-7 from 50 overs, the home side stumbled and fell out of the starting gate on their attempted run chase.
Openers John Gibbon and John Hope were both back in the pavilion before the end of the second over, falling to leg-before decisions when attempting expansive strokes.
Careful rebuilding began, Graham Harper (19) and Barry Mitchell (68) repairing the early damage, but Harper then fell caught and bowled, and within two minutes Lewis had been bowled. The hosts were eventually out for 141.