Chester Boughton Hall’s Premier League title defence is all-but over after suffering a fourth defeat in 10 matches against struggling Marple.

Hall skipper Will Owen won the toss and chose to bat and he was rewarded with a stunning 222-run opening stand from century makers Rick Moore and Jamie Crawley.

Cheshire captain Moore struck 123 from 143 balls including 15 boundaries while Lancashire academy star Crawley made a patient 110 not out off 153 balls (13 fours and a six) as Hall declared on 237 for two in the 50th over.

The efforts of Hall’s centurions looked set to be rewarded as Owen (2-31), Alex Kegg (1-50) and Charlie Fleet (1-29) reduced Marple to 80 for four.

But a stunning 159-run unbeaten stand followed between Mark Bennett – 101 not out – and Andrew Hall (75 not out off 84 balls) saw the hosts home in the 51st over on 239 for four to leave Hall sixth in the table.

They trail leaders Timperley by a huge 80 points after the top side eased past Bramhall by 148 runs. Neston suffered a nine-wicket thrashing at home to Alderley Edge while Nantwich defeated Didsbury by 34 runs.

Daniel Leach hit 84 for Oulton Park in their 300 for four but it wasn’t enough in a high-scoring clash as Cheadle’s Greg Dixon whacked 157 in reply to get home on 301 for four.

Upton’s Division One title bid continues to gather momentum with a 27-run win over Macclesfield.

Upton posted 216 all out, Dan Owen top scoring with 59 as Matt McGreary added 43.

Peter Barron hit 76 in reply but Macc were dismissed for 189, Ian Linwood taking 6-53 as Ross Dixon claimed 3-33.

Barrow’s woes continue after a six-wicket loss against Oxton. Barrow were skittled for a meagre 67, David McClements making 16, as Ali Crick claimed a superb 4-8.

Phil Johnson took 2-15 in reply but Oxton eased home on 69 for four.

In Division Two, Christleton suffered a disappointing 59-run defeat at Romiley.

The hosts posted 136 all out as Arran Brearey took 4-30 and Arslan Dar claimed 2-25 off 13 overs.

Christleton were all out for just 77 in response, despite Joshua Joseph’s knock of 31 from 54 balls, Nick O’Connell adding 15, as Hamish Burrill claimed 5-16.

Alvanley suffered a 40-run reversal at Mobberley, the hosts scoring plenty of lower order runs to post 176 for nine with two wickets each for Billy Ouzounidis and Chris Charles, while Stephen Charles took 3-49 off 15 overs.

Mike Rowlands (25) and Chris Charles (32) gave the response some impetus but Alvanley were rolled out for 136, Matt Mountney taking 4-28.

Tattenhall were dismissed for 166 with six overs remaining in their pursuit of Warrington’s earlier total on 187 all out.