Division One – September 10:
Didsbury 87-6 (30; Hannah Jones 37, Leesa Mellon 28, Ali Cutler 2-6, Sammi Short 2-15) (25pts)
Chester Boughton Hall 83-8 (30; Lorna Starkey 23, Hannah Marshall 3-19, Mellon 2-16) (6pts)
(Restricted to 30 overs per side)
• Chester’s hopes of a treble, and of retaining their league title, slipped away as Didsbury came out on top. Chester were always facing an uphill battle from April onwards, when they lost their opening two league matches. Boughton Hall duly responded in a manner worthy of the defending champions, when they proceeded to win their next eight completed league matches. However, today was their first defeat in the league since April, and also ended a 14-match winning run across all competitions. For the first time in recent years at least, the division one lead changed on the final day. Rosh Navaratnam bowled a tight spell and Hannah Marshall took crucial wickets, but it was once again Hannah Jones who played the main role in restricting the scoring rate during Chester’s innings, as the Lancashire spinner sent down six overs for only two runs. The win lifted Didsbury to third place.
Appleton 102-2 (30; Emma Barlow 41, Holly McCurrie 25) (6pts)
Oakmere 103-3 (26.4; Dawn Prestidge 31*, Raffaella Rodighiero 26*, Kerry Hartnett 22, Olivia Horsfield 2-24) (25pts)
(Restricted to 30 overs per side)
• With Chester slipping up, it was Oakmere who clinched their first title since 2014 – Dawn Prestidge and Raffaella Rodighiero’s partnership seeing them home here. Having started the day 11 points adrift, Oakmere ended it eight points ahead. Appleton’s run of seven successive top two finishes ended as they were forced to settle for fourth place – indeed had they failed to hold their nerve and complete a three-run win over Stockport Trinity last week, it would now be Appleton who were facing up to the prospect of relegation. Oakmere’s title win means that no club has retained the Championship since Appleton in 2012. It also means that while Chester’s dreams of the treble were dashed today, one player is celebrating a personal treble, as Prestidge is a member of Oakmere’s League squad, and also of the Chester T20 squad that won the Knockout Cup and the Divisional Competition in the shorter form of the game. Given her successes in captaining Cheshire to first place in their T20 division, it can in fact be said to be a personal quadruple!
Division Two – September 10:
Wistaston Village 113-6 (40; Hannah Bratt 37, Jen Regan 27*, Alison Smith 21, Amanda Gettins 2-15, Becky Baldock 2-19) (6pts)
Ashton-on-Mersey 86-6 (28; Azure Wilkinson 28*, Regan 4-17) (25pts)
(Ashton win on faster scoring rate)
• Jen Regan’s extraordinary feat of taking four wickets in four balls was not enough for second division champions Wistaston to end their season with a win. Instead Azure Wilkinson held Ashton’s reply together to ensure a narrow win on faster run rate in yet another rain-affected match.
Division One / Two Cross Divisional – September 10:
Stockport Trinity v Oxton – Cancelled due to rain, 8pts each.
• This was the one and only occasion on which a match in the top two divisions was washed out this year. Although there were several abandoned matches, all of them in the closing weeks of the season, the number of no result matches suffered by the top two was the same (one) and the finishing order in division one would have been the same if the table had been based on average points from completed matches. Wistaston’s win over Didsbury was the only occasion in 2017 where a division two side won a cross-divisional match – very different to the situation in previous years.