CHESHIRE Alliance Division One leaders The Groves suffered only their second defeat of the season as they went down by one wicket at promotion-pushing Haslington on Saturday.
Not for the first time this season the Ellesmere Port side failed to perform with the bat, but whereas in recent weeks their bowlers have got them out of jail, this time there was to be no escape.
With skipper Mike Garvey away, Byron Ward moved up the order to open the innings and he responded with an excellent 54.
Ward was offered support by Damien Walters (25), but once that duo were dismissed, the visitors, captained by Mike Caulfield, collapsed from 103-4 to 131 all out.
Once again The Groves were better with the ball, but despite the best efforts of Walters (6-53) and Mike Piercy (3-29), Haslington made it to 136-9.
Caulfield said: “I said to the lads that they can be proud of the fight they put up with the ball and in the field. On the flip side of course is the batting and I don’t think you can expect to win many games, against a decent opposition, when you’re only scoring 131.”
The Groves host Wilmslow on Saturday.