NORTHWICH moved away from the First Division relegation zone for the first time this season after rediscovering their batting form at last.
Two players reached 50, one in spectacular style, as they completely outplayed title hopefuls Chester County Officers at Moss Farm.
Jim Kimber took 2-19 to remove the openers but Chester CO rallied to reach 86-2 at the halfway stage. Then Peter Gibbon was introduced to the attack and bowled a spell that put Northwich firmly in control. He took 4-15 in 14 overs as the visitors could score only 54 runs in their final 24 overs, and the last wicket fell with the first ball of the 48th over. Matt Lightburn also took a couple of wickets while Nick Shaw removed Mark Rowlands as he looked in for a big score, CCO finishing on 140.
A heavy shower just after tea put some life into the wicket and slowed the outfield, making scoring difficult.
John Hughes and John O'Sullivan were both out and with the score on 51-2 from 19 overs, the match appeared in the balance. However, Mark Phillips steadied the innings before Ant Shaw finished it off. Phillips hit an unbeaten 51 and spent early evening watching balls disappearing to the boundary from the non-strikers end as Ant Shaw finally played a destructive innings. The big Northwich number four faced 36 balls and hit six fours and four sixes in his 68no, bringing an abrupt finish to the match with 10 overs to spare.
Northwich's overdue win was finished at 145-2.
The 2nds were also successful. After bowling CCO out for 152, they scored 153-9 in a tight finish.
Steve Riley (4-44) put a stop to Chester's free scoring and Scott Hayes (3-23) added support. Nigel Mears made a patient 38 and it was fellow veteran Riley who hit the winning run.
Northwich completed a hat-trick of wins via their 3rds at Glazebury. The Easts - father and son - starred.
The home side were all out for 145, Andy East rattling through the tail for 5-19. Son Martin, 15, made his best score of 48 while Rob Newton was working his way to 72 at the other end. Northwich made 148 without loss.
In Division Two, HARTFORD made progress by winning at Heaton Mersey Village, whom they bowled out for 131. Matthew Shinkfield was the star with 67no as Hartford raced to 133-1.