CASTROL cruised to a 36-run win over relegation potentials Offerton CC on Saturday - and it was a victory paid for in blood, literally.
For Castrol's Keith Garratt took a ball on the nose which bled profusely before being staunched, enabling him to continue the game.
Garvey lost the toss, Castrol were asked to bat and Evans (1) and Flanagan (35) opened the innings.
Ward made the breakthrough with Evans nibbling at a wide one and was caught behind by Brezzes, 13-1.
Garvey (8) then joined Flanagan, and the score moved along to 24 when Garvey was given not out to what looked like a pretty straight delivery.
Hutchinson (0) and Benbow (0) both fell to Thomas in the 13th over and Castrol found themselves 34-4.
King (4) stuck around to add just 15 runs when Hudson caught him off the bowling of Thomas.
Caulfield (14) once again took the attack to the bowlers but a communication breakdown saw Flanagan run out 59-6.
Caulfield attempted to maintain his onslaught only to be caught on the boundary, for Thomas' fifth wicket of the innings.
With no further runs added, debutant Stirzaker (2) nicked one off Thomas and Brezzes took a good catch at first slip, 68-8.
Castrol were looking down the barrel and in grave danger of capitulating. However, Garratt (29) and Walters (14) repaired some damage.
Thirty-two runs were added for the ninth wicket, beating last week's ninth-wicket stand by one run at 100-9.
The total was defendable and the ever-reliable Piercy (9no) was told to support Garratt, who was doing well until a top edge flew towards him, opening up a gash on the bridge of his nose.
Castrol's skipper offered Garratt the chance to declare the innings, which he declined, going on to smash Ward for a huge six.
Garratt was bowled by Ward to close the innings on 133. The only problem was the 11 overs given to the away team, making the winning target of 134 in 56 overs.
Aided by sharp fielding, Flanagan and Walters kept things tight and it was Flanagan (3/27) who made the important breakthrough, having Phillips (2) lbw 10-1 after six overs.
Colthard (17) and Ward (18) then consolidated and with the required rate at 2.46 an over, they were happy to defend for most of the time.
Offerton were just keeping up with the required rate and Walters (0/20) bowled a fine spell with little luck, before being replaced by Piercy.
Potter (26) joined Ward and it was the latter who was run out after a fantastic bit of work from Walters and Benbow, making it 41-3 from 20.
After having his figures ruined by leaking 10 runs in his sixth over, Garvey was replaced by Stirzaker.
With Flanagan returning for Piercy as well, the game suddenly turned on its head and Castrol coasted to an unlikely 36-run victory.
Castrol MoM was Keith Garratt - hitting 29 runs and taking four catches, all with a broken nose.
Next week Castrol are away to Knutsford.