DESPITE a much-improved performance, Grappenhall could not overhaul Cheshire County League Premier Division leaders Chester Boughton Hall on Saturday.

Grappers started well and had their hosts in real trouble with the ball, but Chester rebuilt to set a challenging total before the visitors could not quite get over the line in their run chase.

After skipper Adam Roylance won the toss, Grappers elected to bowl and tore through Chester’s top order, with Arran McCabe and Olly Knight picking up two wickets each to reduce the hosts to 56-5.

However, the lower order steadied the ship and built some excellent partnerships to steer them to 230-7 from their allotted overs.

Grappers lost an early wicket in reply but Roylance batted superbly once he had got to grips with a difficult chase.

He anchored the innings as wickets fell around him and he was upping the ante to chase a victory when he fell for a brilliant 95.

Roylance was the eighth wicket to fall and his side were eventually dismissed for 189 – 41 runs short of their target.

Meanwhile, a half-century from Matthias Paltridge helped Appleton to another draw at Winnington Park.

A rain-affected contest saw the hosts declare on 188-5 from 25 overs, but Paltridge’s knock of 59 took his side a long way towards avoiding defeat.

He received valuable support from Amir Aslam, who hit 24 not out as the visitors batted out the overs to finish on 134-8.

The seconds also drew with Timperley’s fourths but the result of the weekend went to the thirds, who beat table-topping Heaton Mersey Village by 80 runs.

Nathanael Paltridge’s classy century helped Appleton to 204-8 before Jess Lewis took 5-36 to bowl the visitors out for 124.

Appleton’s women continued apace at the top of Cheshire Women’s Cricket League Division One as figures of 3-2 from Becky Jones helped dismiss Chester Boughton Hall for just 86. Sami Fowler and Annie Rashid took two wickets each.

They had earlier set their visitors a victory target of 132, with Georgia Heath top-scoring with 38.