NORTHWICH beat the weather but turned in a wretched performance and lost to Cheshire Alliance First Division bottom club Styal, who had not previously won.
Excellent drainage at Moss Farm and a break in the clouds allowed play to start at 3.30pm.
Styal made a best-of-the season 182-8 (Anthony Shaw 4-58) in just 33 overs, aided by dropped catches.
Northwich had 27 overs to give chase to an improbable target and were bowled out trying, for 154, wasting a chance to improve their lead in the table.
Northwich 2nds reached the Alliance Cup final for the third year running on Sunday.
Nick Shaw (4-24) and Steve Riley (3-18) helped dismiss Appleton for 115. Ashley Sefton and Matt Lightburn guided Northwich to 116-2. nHeavy rain accounted for virtually all the remaining weekend cricket.
Any matches that did start did not last long. Oxton, for instance, were 46-1 against Oulton Park when conditions became impossible.
But Oulton, still 26 points clear in the ECB Premiership, are a week closer to the title.
Brighter weather on Sunday brought Oulton 3rds into action and they were winners at Upton who scored 190-8 dec (Nick Jones 3-23). Ian Murray hit 45, Ric Moore 40, Paul Murray 50no and Matt Spann 24no in Oulton's reply of 192-4. nWinnington Park also benefit from a blank week all round, easing their fight against relegation from Division One.
They have glory in mind on Sunday when they host Bowdon in the Cheshire Cup semi-finals, the winners meeting Oulton Park or Macclesfield who play the following week. nAfter beating Oxfordshire at Nantwich, Cheshire go into their final Minor Counties Championship game against Wales at Chester Boughton Hall starting on Sunday as favourites to win the Western Division title.
If they can take maximum points they expect to finish above rivals Berkshire and qualify for the play-off against the Eastern zone winners in September. nOakmere Ladies were winners of a curtailed game at Chester in midweek.
Boughton Hall had made a formidable 134-2 and Shami Ahmed (23) led Oakmere's reply.
The game was called off in the 15th over and decided on the last full over played. Oakmere's run rate was above Chester's throughout, Chester reaching 90 by the end of the 14th over, Oakmere 105 which gave them victory. nThe Murray Smith County League anticipates an acute shortage of umpires on Saturday and has issued an SOS to clubs for volunteers.
Appointments secretary Rick Davis says he will have at most 27 umpires at his disposal, but needs 36 to cover all 18 games where promotion and relegation issues are coming to the boil.
Anyone qualified and with some umpiring experience can contact Davis on 01625 422468 for further information.