A SENSATIONAL victory took Oulton Park closer to the ECB Premiership title on Saturday.
They scored 113 runs off just 68 balls to keep on the glory track in pole position, with champions Bowdon in second place no better off overall.
Oulton are at Bowdon this weekend in a game in which avoiding defeat is imperative.
An aggressive spell by Jason Whittaker changed the game at Alderley Edge, where the home side had reached 77-2. Under the Whittaker effect - he took 5-36 - Alderley collapsed to 99-8 and then, after a long break for rain, to 111ao (John Davies 2-9).
With heavy clouds promising more rain sooner rather than later, captain Stewart Eaton sent in his big hitters and Liam Buchanan (47) and Davies (22) put on 77 for the first wicket.
Rain returned after 10 overs and Oulton were 94-3, 18 short of victory.
The covers were taken off three times over the next two frustrating hours, and it was 8pm when play eventually resumed.
Paul Berry lashed three fours and Eaton pinched a single off the first delivery of the second over before the rain started again. But Berry had whipped the last ball away to the boundary for victory at 113-3.
'It was a game to remember,' said Eaton, somewhat understating events.
Spin twins Ben Kettle (5-45) and Jimmy Guest (4-39) destroyed Stock-port Georgians 2nds and openers George Gay (75no) and Roger Thompson (74no) needed only 18 overs to take Oulton 2nds to 166-0.
But Oulton 3rds went down, scoring 110 (Paul Murray 34) in reply to Timperley 3rds' 157ao (Craig Williamson 4-30, David Ravenscroft 4-42).
WINNINGTON PARK edged the Division One draw with Birkenhead Park at the Rec, scoring 176-9 and then being denied at 128-7. Craig Little (77) was the star of one innings, James Cowell (5-35) of the other. GORDON Allen made his County League debut at the age of 60.
The WEAVERHAM spin bowler returned figures of 0-10 off nine overs as his team sought their first win of the season.
They came close and but for a doughty 49 by skipper Gavin Tomlinson, MIDDLEWICH, who in contrast are certs for survival, would have lost the Mid Cheshire derby.
Weaverham made 182-7 (Paul Lightfoot 58, Kevin Gouglas 45, Jon Lightfoot 61, Alan Bell 20; Jon Shepherd 2-48) and excellent fielding and bowling reduced Middlewich to 80-4, after which it was a question of holding out.
Allen's efforts enabled son Jamie (3-8), Bell, Jon Lightfoot and Colin Lewis to pick off the wickets, but Middlewich held firm at 112-8 (David Bates 32).
At Haddon Field: Lee Cagna (5-22) was the difference between the two rivals as Middlewich's young 2nds 206-8 (Chris Bennett 62, Dave Parry 47; Ally Robertson 5-56) beat Weaverham 157ao (Richard Goodier 38, Brian Rogerson; Ben Cagna 2-40).