ELWORTH returned to winning ways with a remarkable victory at Hem Heath on Saturday.
After being put in on a green track, they found themselves up against it at 17-5 after 13 overs as their top four batsmen managed just three runs between them.
Rob Beech and Russ Cope came to the rescue with a sixth-wicket stand of 95 in 97 minutes and slowly turned the tables.
Beech hit eight fours in his innings of 50 while Cope struck six fours and a six in his 58 to put Elworth on course for a respectable total.
They were back in trouble at 139-9 after 54 overs before a spirited last-wicket stand of 38 between Jim Higgins (27no) and Paul Crompton (11no) enabled them to close on 177-9.
Heath made a steady start with captain Brian Sims (30) looking good against opening bowlers Matt Buckley (0-20) and Crompton (2-37). But the introduction of Higgins and professional Ian Mitchell helped the pendulum swing back in Elworth's favour.
They put the brakes on the scoring rate and started to pick up wickets at regular intervals.
Only S Atkinson (29) showed the required resolve to resist the attack but found no support.
Higgins finished with 4-41 from 17 overs and Mitchell 4-29 from 12.2 as Heath's lower order perished trying to up the tempo.
They were all out for 126 as Elworth collected an important 25 points to breathe fresh life into their promotion push.
Haslington registered their sixth win of the season after a successful run chase against Norton at Clay Lane.
Norton rattled up a testing total of 216-5 before declaring, with Tasnim Hussain making 60no and Greg Willott 41no. But Haslington paced their reply to perfection with an undefeated 55 from Andre Percival proving invaluable as they reached 218-5 to claim a 20-point haul.
Crewe suffered last-over heartbreak in an entertaining match at home to Cheadle.
The visitors scampered to victory with just four balls to spare in a fixture which saw batsmen enjoy themselves on a good wicket at Newcastle Road.
Crewe had first use of the track and after losing opener Jo Boyle for 12, Martin Dawson and Nick Lange shared a good stand of 83 before Lange was out for a fine
48. Teenager Dawson made his maiden half-century before being caught and bowled by David Wheeldon after an innings full of attractive strokeplay.
Aamir Iqbal continued his prolific form with the bat to make an unbeaten 60. And with solid support from Tom Gower (24), Neil Webb (12) and skipper Richard Marsh (17no), Crewe were able to declare on 236-6 at tea.
Cheadle began their pursuit of the testing total brightly but Crewe were given a shot in the arm when keeper Mark Hurst claimed a brilliant catch off Lange, to dismiss former Staffordshire captain Steve Dean for 20.
Cheadle batted steadily but Iqbal halted their progress with two quick wickets, one thanks to a neat stumping by the impressive Hurst.
An explosive partnership of 84 in 12 overs by Barker and Riley started to take the game away from Crewe before some late wickets revived their hopes.
In the end, Cheadle grabbed the winning runs in the final over to shade the verdict after a compelling match.
Crewe have a derby date at Haslington this Saturday (1.30pm).
Betley were beaten at home by leaders Longton. Betley made 182 with Simon Bailey hitting an unbeaten 71 and Nasser Mehmood 51, but Longton captain Richard Harvey guided his side to a seven-wicket victory with an unbeaten 80 in a reply of 185-3.