WISTASTON Village maintained their grip on the Division One leadership on Saturday despite managing only a draw at battling Bunbury.
But their lead has been slashed to just two points as the pressure begins to tell. Batting first, the home side posted a decent total of 225-6 from their 48 overs.
Among the runs for Bunbury were Ben Camber (44), Nick Swinbank (41) and Simon Lamb (30). Julian Cotton returned 3-64 from his 17 overs for Wistaston, including the golden duck scalp of Matt Burrows, and collected two catches as he put in an influential performance.
In reply, the visitors' openers started well and Keith Thornhill included three sixes and five fours in his 54 as he took the game to the hosts.
Gareth Barnes (23) helped to build a good foundation, but the middle order batsman failed to master the bowling, especially that of Dave Roberts (4-83).
In the end it was down to Chris Townsend (35 not out) and David Gregg (18) to cling on and deny Bunbury victory by finishing on 156-9.
Elsewhere in Division One, Aston failed to help Wistaston's plight by falling to defeat to now-second-placed visitors Chester County Officers.
Chester were bowled out for 131 with I Barlow 36 and P Beesley taking 4-41. But the hosts fell five runs short, as they were all out for 126 with Derek Wright 40.
Hartford comfortably beat Sandbach by seven wickets. Sandbach batted first and made 231-7 with S Buschenfield 58 and C Tomlinson 41. Hartford won the game with 233-3 with Geoff Sharp, who had to leave the field after being hit in the face, returning to hit an unbeaten 100 and Matt Shinkfield 98.
In Division 2, home side Audlem could manage only a draw with Styal. They were bowled out for 236 with Steve Swallow 41, S Banks 80 and D Baxter 33. In reply, Styal made 210-9 wickets with M Baig 39 and B Sloan 42. nWistaston 2nds picked up another 20-point haul in a closely contested match with Bun-bury.
Batting first, visitors Bunbury posted a meagre 133-9 from their 48 overs, with top scorer B Allon (46). Pick of Wistaston's bowl-ers was Josh Allwood with 5-24 from just eight overs, while keeper Martin Davies collected three catches and Martin Cogger two.
In reply, Wistaston put on 54 for the first wicket with John Scott (20) and Josh Allwood (34) among the runs before four wickets fell for 19 runs.
But Neil Steadman (16) and Dean Titus (33 not out) steadied the innings and saw Wistaston home at 136-7.