MARK Evans bemoaned his side's misfortune after Castrol slumped to their second consecutive defeat on Saturday.
A narrow 12-run reverse at home to Northwich left the skipper to rue the loss of a crucial toss and the fact five first-team regulars were unavailable.
Evans said: 'As with last week it was another great game of cricket.
'We did well in the conditions, it was very hot and not winning the toss could have been critical.
'We seem to be unable to kill teams off with the ball and, apart from taking a couple of stunners, we also put another three catches down which may have accounted for the 12 runs.
'All in all though I have to be pleased with the effort of the guys because we were missing five players as a result of holiday commitments, bans and other commitments.
'We nearly pulled off an unlikely victory and that's credit to everyone who played.'
After losing the toss, the Oilmen were forced to bowl first and, despite a fine opening, Northwich found themselves struggling on 89-6 thanks to a magnificent bowling display from Mike Caulfield (5-30).
James (37no) and East (17) settled the visitors' jitters before they slumped to 150ao.
Castrol were confident of reaching their target and began confidently with Evans (34) and Paul Benbow (28) leading them to 82-2.
However, hopes of a comfortable victory were ended as a sudden batting collapse left them on 85-5.
Richard Morrisey (14) and Mike Garvey (16) looked to have halted the slump but they could not hold off the attack of Lightburn (5-42) who edged his side towards an unlikely victory.
Castrol's lower order tried in vain to rescue the match and despite a good effort from Keith Walters (10) they fell to 138ao.
Castrol took seven points, Northwich 23. Last Thursday, Castrol beat Division Two side Wirral in the second round of the Twenty20 Knockout Cup. They now host either Port Sunlight or Division One leaders Tattenhall in a quarter-final tie on June 22. nCastrol are next in league action at Lindow on Saturday.