WIDNES suffered the agony of a last-ball defeat in the Murray Smith Cheshire County League ECB Premier Division.
Hosts Alderley Edge scrambled the winning single after a game in which fortunes had fluctuated throughout.
Alderley's last pair had put on 38 with number four Mark Walker unbeaten on 69 at the close.
Widnes left the field wondering just how they had contrived to lose. However, they took 12 points from a riveting game.
Widnes, electing to bat, lost James McCoy (13) and Cameron Park (2).
Steve Titchard and Tony Hurdley found it slow going on a worn pitch. Hurdley departed for 15 before Mahboob raised the tempo with a rapid 13.
Titchard reached his half-century but promptly departed to an excellent catch at mid-on.
With neither Phil Catterall nor Sean Moore staying long, it was left to Bappa Mukherjee (49no) to play the most imposing innings.
He was assisted towards the end by captain Ian Spencer (13no) and considering the slow start, Widnes were happy enough with their 178-8 total from 55 overs.
Former Lancashire player Mark Currie opened the batting for Alderley Edge against the accurate new-ball attack of Mahboob and Titchard.
After both openers had played and missed against Shahid Mahbob, Currie edged him to Spencer behind the stumps.
Mukherjee replaced Titchard but Mahboob kept Widnes' hopes high with two more wickets before giving way to Rob Yearsley after an excellent 12-over spell.
Mukherjee then chipped in with two wickets, but at 120-5, Alderley still looked likely winners.
Spencer brought back Titchard who appeared to have swung the balance in Widnes' favour.
He took four wickets in six overs to leave his team requiring just one more for victory with a 37-run lead. But Walker hit Mukherjee for a four and a six to leave the game on a knife edge again.
Spencer recalled Mahboob but not even he could prevent Alderley from getting the eight runs required off the last over. nWidnes 2nd lost to Alderley Edge by seven wickets. Richard Evans hit 70 in Widnes' 180-9, but only Paul Green (3-30) troubled the visiting batsmen. nThis Saturday, Widnes entertain newly-promoted Christleton (1pm) while the seconds visit Timperley.
On Sunday, the Beaconsfield Road first team have a tough Cock-spur National Cup tie at Wallasey.