UNLUCKY Widnes were denied the chance to inflict a first ECB Premier Division defeat on hosts Oulton Park in two years as rain and bad light ended their contest six overs early, with only a couple of wickets to fall.
The Mid Cheshire visitors, however, had also done their bit to safeguard their proud record thanks to a fine unbroken partnership between ninth-wicket pairing Nathan Dumelow (74no) and Guy Emmett (26no).
Having been put into bat on a wet wicket, Sean Moore (19) and Stephen Titchard (17) had given the visitors a sound start.
But the innings of the day was played by Danny Naughton, whose 78 came off 99 balls and included seven boundaries and two sixes.
He received support from brothers James and Luke McCoy (18 and 17) and Gareth Dyson (12).
Conscious of the strength of Park's batting, Widnes continued their innings until the 57th over, losing two bowling points as a consequence. Their final all-out total was 186.
Gareth Dyson gave Widnes' bowlers the best possible start with a wicket with his first ball. When Neil Barfuss clean bowled Cheshire opener Danny Leech and ex-Derbyshire all-rounder Ben Spendlove, Widnes were well in control at 26-3.
Dyson and Sean Moore then struck to leave Park in dire trouble at 39-6.
This became 48-8 but rain stopped play, allowing Park to gather their composure.
On the resumption, Dyson could not find his rhythm again and Widnes were unable to make a further break-through.
The weather intervened for a final time with Park on 114-8.
Widnes and Park took eight points each.
This weekend, Widnes play Toft at home on Saturday in the league. This game starts at noon, not 1pm as usual.
On Sunday, Didsbury visit Beaconsfield Road in the Cheshire Cup fourth round.
Widnes 2nds go to Toft on Saturday after a four-wicket home defeat to Oxton, although they redeemed themselves on Sunday when Luke McCoy hit a century in a second-round cup defeat of Tattenhall.
* Today (Thursday), Widnes stages Cheshire U14s against Lincolnshire (1pm).