ON A day when most games in the county perished because of the weather, Chester Boughton Hall and Didsbury's willingness to take their Murray Smith Cheshire County League game to a finish was commendable and a draw a fair result.
Chester were given first go with the ball on a damp grassy wicket. Rob Fisher and Alex Kegg made early breakthroughs and a target of under a hundred was set.
Positive batting and the occasional bad ball allowed the run-rate to climb to three per over. Fisher beat the bat on several occasions with only one batsman succumbing. David Shewring, the junior spin partner had more joy. Variations in flight and a good line allowed him to trap five victims for the cost of 52 runs.
A total of 154 was perhaps a big ask in 39 overs, but achievable if everybody batted to their potential.
This didn't happen. A needless run out accounted for Ed Roberts and his opening partner Warren Goodwin followed, missing a drive. Adam Bull was unlucky with an lbw decision and Stephen Ogilby edged a cut.
A score of 43-4 was hardly the base Chester required for a late assault, but Matt Griffiths and Andy Bennion looked to have steered Hall back on course. Bennion rode his luck to help the team into the 80s before he played on for 34 and Griffiths attempted to keep the win in sight, but edged when on 23.
A flurry of wickets in fading light and steady rain brought the last pair of Shewring and Kegg together and they showed the fight necessary to block out for nine overs for the draw.
Chester closed on 104-9, earning seven points and knowing that improvements are needed in this week's crucial double header. Tomorrow, they visit Macclesfield, while on Sunday they travel to Upton in the Cheshire Cup.
The only game surviving the weather was the rematch between Chester and Upton seconds in a cup match and Chester came out on top.
They totalled 168-9 (Phil Thomas 64, Jack Yates 32) before bowling Upton out for 81 in 33 overs (Pete Cluderay 3-27).
Two previously unbeaten Division One teams, Christleton and Bramhall went head to head at Little Heath and the visitors got home by four wickets.
Play seemed impossible for much of the afternoon as the rain fell continuously from leaden skies. However, the players' patience was rewarded late in the afternoon and a reduced overs game began.
From the outset it became clear that something special was taking place as Maroof Khan took the initiative to help the hosts set a brisk and challenging total. Throughout the afternoon, groundsman John Noden's firm pitch had been bone dry under its covers waiting for some batsmen to begin the plunder.
And this is what happened as Khan, ably backed by partner Simon Ratcliffe (45), posted 80 from the first eight overs. He was out for 96 attempting another huge hit and his wonderful innings was rated by those lucky enough to see it as one as the finest in memory on the ground.
The pity was that due to the appalling weather so few stayed on to see the treat that was the cornerstone of a total of 184-4 declared in only 27 overs.
Bramhall were relegated from the Premier Division last year, but have recruited well and proved their quality in an outstanding reply led by Cheshire captain Andy Hall's 84.
They were up with the target throughout, but seemed to have faltered when Hall was out in the third to last over after a superb knock. With one ball to face and six to win the odds were against the batting team.
But the batsman kept his eye on the ball and swung towards the short boundary, the ball having just enough power to carry the rope by the shortest of margins.
Credit must go to the Bramhall players for their spirited fight-back and cool heads in a tight finish. Credit also to the Christleton team who played so much excellent cricket in what turned out to be a top quality, exciting game.
Despite the rain Cholmondeley managed to complete both Meller Braggins fixtures, the first eleven forcing a draw at Oakmere.
Cholmondeley openers Simon Fletcher and Luke Heritage scored 38 in eight overs for the first wicket and the home side took two further wickets before Simon Gardiner and Phil Evans shared a partnership of 52 in 11 overs to take the score to 102.
A further three wickets fell relatively cheaply before Andy Latham and Rob Bettany accelerated the innings scoring 64 in eight overs, giving an imposing 175-7 in 37 overs.
Oakmere started well in their reply and were making good progress until Eaton was out for 37 with the score at 110-3. With a required run rate exceeding a run a ball a further four wickets fell as the batsmen tried to force the pace.
The final pair played out the remaining overs leaving Oakmere on 135-7 off their allotted 37 overs. The pick of the Cholmondeley bowlers were Steve Egan bowling eight overs for 3-33 runs and Andy Latham seven overs for 2-16 runs.
The seconds completed back to back victories with a five wickets win against Barnton who scored 135-8 with Steve Young taking 6-55. In reply, Cholmondeley scored 137-5 with Mal Holman scoring 55 not out and Ed Torr 44.
Barrow and Pott Shrigley got the better of the weather to play out a draw. After Barrow had been put in progress was initially slow, but the talented partnership of Bell and Harman, managed to make a creditable 62 before the fall of Harman.
John Williams increased the run-rate, looking in dominant form, before being judged lbw, the punishment for being hit on the pads, halfway down the wicket.
Craig Hulme produced a workmanlike contribution, before being out lbw and with Lee Dwyer playing some extravagant attacking shots Barrow reached a creditable 143-7.
Pott Shrigley attacked the Barrow bowling reaching 70-1 off only 16 overs. With the game going away from Barrow, a couple of good catches and tight bowling by Chris Cowell and Dwyer suddenly turned the game, Shrigley slumping to 97-9.
With 12 overs left the match appeared won. However, a combination of good batting and a missed catch allowed Shrigley to hold out for a draw.
On Sunday a weakened Barrow beat Lymm in the Cheshire Shield, scoring 181-9 before bowling Lymm out for 149.
Wilmslow Wayfarers' Shahid beat Kingsley almost single-handedly in the first division of the Cheshire Building Society Cheshire Cricket Alliance.
On a cold and dank day Kingsley's batsmen failed to get going, apart from Neil Rowlands who hit an uncharacteristically reserved 44.
Shahid (4-30) then began his domination of the match by coming back to mop up the tail, and the innings for a mere 113. With storm clouds gathering over Kingsley, Shahid opened Wilmslow's innings with a series of big sixes and reached his 50 with the total on only 63. While partners scratched around for runs at the other end, another Shahid six over the pavilion brought his personal tally to 88 and the victory by eight wickets.
Saughall, whose Alliance fixture against Moss-ley was called off, have a double-header against Port Sunlight this weekend. Their league encounter tomorrow will be at Bebington Oval because their own ground is unavailable. Sunday's first round of the Cheshire Building Society Knockout Cup will be at Port Sunlight.