Hale Barns First XI are just one win away from sealing top spot in the Division 2 West after their clash with Ashton-on-Mersey CC was abandoned due to rain.
Rory Allan’s quickfire 45 was the most notable performance of the day before the enforced early finish, which puts Barns six points ahead with eight points to play for.
A disastrous start for the hosts saw them slump to 19-3 after a run out and two wickets for Lee Heap (2-19), but opening batsman Joe Cooper stood firm and was supported for a significant period by captain Tommy Smith (2), who survived for 33 deliveries before eventually becoming the fourth man down.
Ben Hicks showed more urgency to score runs, but was only able to add 12, while Cooper’s 77-ball stand for 32 was finally ended by Edward Faulkner (3-25), who took two wickets in three deliveries to restrict HBCC to 81-7.
However, with Barns on the brink of failing to reach triple figures, Allan stepped up with a crucial contribution, smashing 45 off 34 balls, which included four sixes, to guide Barns to a respectable 136 all out.
In reply, Cooper (1-16) and Sam Smith (2-14) both made inroads to limit the visitors to 38-3, shifting the momentum in Barns’ favour. Faulkner (11*) and Tom Scott (8*) remained unscathed to take the score to 54-3 after 18 overs, but with the match finely poised, a stubborn downpour prevented its completion.