A heavy defeat for Macclesfield at reigning county champions Nantwich slashed the leaders’ advantage from 27 points to nine.
Macc went to the Dabbers for their toughest of four remaining fixtures missing several players due to injury and availability.
Unsurprisingly put in to bat, Macc were undone by a stunning exhibition of seam and swing bowling by Cheshire bowler Jimmy Warrington.
He took eight wickets for just 53 runs as he ran through the Macc line-up.
Khalid Sawas kept him at bay with a determined 46 but when he was out the innings slumped to just 99 all out in 45 overs.
Matt Fry also showed grit and determination down the order, but sometimes you have to hold your hands up and acknowledge and superb performance with the ball from a top-class bowler.
After tea Macc knew that quick wickets were vital and that all chances must be taken.
Unfortunately that was not the case as three chances went down as Cheshire’s Jonny Kettle (40 not out) and Lancashire’s Louis Bentley (50) knocked off the runs for the loss of just two wickets in quick time as Macc went for broke with attacking fields to take wickets.
It was a bad day at the office for Macclesfield with everything going against them, including missing the horrendous weather that enveloped the rest of the county.
However, the overall performance was out of character compared to the superb cricket played over the rest of the season – and they came up against an outstanding performance with the ball from Warrington.
If anyone had offered Macc to be top of the league by nine points with three games to go at the start of the season it would have been accepted with open arms, and we know that three wins will still mean the title would come to Victoria Road.
The title charge continues on Saturday as Macc face third-placed Oxton, who boast former New Zealand Test Player Lou Vincent.
All support is welcome with free entry, bar and kitchen open throughout and the propsect of some great entertainment on view on the field, starting at noon.
POYNTON inflicted a 12th defeat of the season on Meller Braggins champions Alvanley, winning by 85 runs.
Poynton batted first and totalled 172, with Paul Gould scoring 78, despite Alvanley’s Chris Charles taking 5-43 andDave Shewring 4-38.
Charles’ unbeaten 37 was the only bright spot in Alvanley’s disappointing reply of 86 all out, as Dave Williams finished with figures of 3-27.
LUCKLESS Bollington suffered another devastating blow in their fight for Division One survival on Saturday when they entertained Bramhall.
Only 12 overs were possible, Bramhall reaching 29-0 until a series of torrential downpours flooded the Recreation Ground and forced the eighth abandonment of Bollington’s season.
Elsewhere over on The Wirral, Irby who were in their own fight for survival managed to dodge the rain to record victory over Brooklands.
Bolly now have four games left to save themselves, starting this weekend.
They entertain Cheadle Hulme at The Rec on Saturday and travel to Heaton Mersey for their rearranged league fixture on Sunday.
PRESTBURY were well beaten in their Meller Braggins League Division One game at Weaverham.
The hosts batted first and put on 184-4 before bowling out Prestbury for 117.
In Division Three, Pott Shrigley’s game at home to Barrow fell foul of the weather.