WINNINGTON gave themselves a fighting chance of avoiding relegation from Division One, thanks mainly to three bowlers.

Timperley's decision to bat looked good at 71-1, but Vishnu Bhardwa and James Cowell not only bowled tight, but started to pick up wickets.

They took 3-62 and 3-40 respectively and, needing to kill the innings off, captain Stuart Hayes turned to Aidan Baker and removed the last three batsmen at a cost of 11 runs.

Park felt they were in front at half-time and still had the game to win. They lost Baker cheaply, but Jim Pilling rose to the occasion, firstly forging a partnership with Simon Newall and then with Paul Sinclair.

Pilling's hard hitting brought him an unbeaten 69 and Sinclair was 23 not out at the end.

On Saturday, Winnington hosted bottom-of-the-league Malpas, for what should have been a very close game.

Brian Shingler and Brian Jones took three wickets apiece as Malpas 2nds were bowled out for 135 by Park 2nds.

Park made 137-2, with Will Chambres including 15 fours and a six in his 81 not out.

* OULTON began to edge ahead of title rivals Hyde with a straightforward Premiership victory, their eighth on the trot.

Chris Jones (2-41) and Ben Spendlove (2-6) put the brakes on the Oxton innings and when Spendlove had to go to hospital with a hand injury John Davies (5-15) took over and cleaned up the tail.

Despite losing 14 overs to rain the total was well within Oulton's capabilities - Chris Bassano (47no), Paul Berry (54) and Nathan Dumelow (25no).

Holders Oulton reached the Cheshire Cup semi-finals against either Widnes or Poynton at home when they eased past Alderley Edge at Little Budworth on Sunday.

John Davies (5-42) carried his Saturday form over 24 hours and Danny Leech top scored with 78no. Craig Williamson (6-48), Steve Yates (40) and Jimmy Guest (44) were the notable performers in the second string - Congleton 120, Oulton Park 120-4.