ELLESMERE Port kept their slender promotion hopes alive with a decisive away victory over Offerton.
Dwayne Bernard put on a bowling clinic, taking 6-18 off 16 overs in a spell that included seven maidens, as the opening bowler held up one end for the entire Offerton innings.
The fast bowler got the Port off to the best possible start, clean bowling opener Phil Thomas for a duck, with his partner Ian Bates dismissed soon after.
Offerton’s three-four-five batsmen put up some resistance, but Bernard struck again before Port were gifted two run-outs in the space of four runs.
Paul Betteridge then took his first and only wicket of the day, allowing just four runs in his five overs, paving the way for Bernard’s dismantling of the Offerton tail.
The home side finished 57 all out, a dismal score from 32 overs, and at this point victory seemed a formality.
Thomas, opening the bowling as well as the batting took the wickets of both openers Dean Allen and Stuart Daniels, before Paul Isaacs was bowled after a quick 16.
But the total was not large enough to properly defend, and Chris Gatrell and Gareth Boys had no trouble knocking the required runs, reaching 58 easily.
Ellesmere Port will play second-bottom Knutsford next week, as they attempt to chase down both Audlem and Glazebury in Division Two.