DAVENHAM'S innings got off to a bad start, otherwise they might have celebrated victory in Division One against Runcorn.

Instead they were beaten at Butcher's Stile, after seeing the visitors declare at a reachable 145-7 (Rob Massey 3-27).

But they had to retrieve an early batting collapse from 56-6 and nearly succeeded. They needed 20 runs off the last two overs and were all out for 134 (Phil Sharples 34).

But the 2nds won - just. Steve Warburton (5-30) and skip-per Mike McDowell (4-17) accounted for Knutsford at 90. But at 70-9, the game looked up for Davenham.

Chris Latham and Warburton were the heroic last pair, the latter hitting Davenham's 91st run.

In Division Two, WINSFORD claimed a low-scoring but emphatic double over Bowdon Vale.

The 1st team unveiled true fighting qualities. Put into bat, Winsford made hard work of a better-than-normal opening-day pitch with four of the top five batsmen registering ducks.

Into bat at six came Michael Clarke with the score at just nine runs, and he showed concentration, discipline and a maturity beyond his 14 years to bat for 30 overs, scoring an un-beaten 36, while shepherding the tail to a score of 87 in a man-of-the-match performance.

Bowdon Vale must have thought the game was theirs but Barry Crellin marked his return from Weaverham by taking six in a Winsford attack that blew away Bowdon for just 64 runs, with five overs remaining to play.

Mark Brodie produced the remarkable figures of 5-3 as Winsford 2nds destroyed Bowdon Vale for just 36. Brian Smith top scored with just 13, but winning was easy at 37-2.

OAKMERE began their 50th season with a hat-trick of wins.

The 1st XI beat Lindow by 102 runs at 189-4, thanks to a belligerent knock of 102, including three sixes and 13 fours, from skipper Paul Yearsley. Vice-captain Paul Guilford made 41no at the end.

After some slow batting, earning a draw seemed likely but spin bowler Peter Hutchinson (6-28) whipped through the Lindow innings as they were all out for 82.

The 2nd-team bowlers did an equally impressive job. Lindow were skittled for 78 by Eddie Gibson (3-18), Chris Nelson (2-18) and new signing Kevin Fitzpatrick (4-26).

Phil Guest (36no) saw Oakmere home at 79-3.

Oakmere Ladies were also winners on Sunday. Brooklands made 109-1 but then Shami Ahmed (64no) and Emily Harrison (20no) won the game at 110-2.

Division Three promotion hopefuls BARNTON turned a struggle into a victory at Broomsedge.

Mike Cross (26) and Matt Bebbington (29) got the innings off to a solid start, putting on 57 for the first wicket. But then seven wickets fell in quick succession before Neil Langham (22) rescued things and they declared at 108-9.

Ashley decided to attack from the start of their reply but were guilty of playing midsummer shots on an April wicket. Barnton's pace attack ripped out their first seven batsmen and Ashley were bowled out for 84.

Barnton 2nds were denied victory. After scoring 155-5 (Keith Noden 44, Darren Falland 32), they failed to bowl out Ashley who scored 74-6 (Dave Ollier 3-5).