WITH the sunshine returning – 24 hours before Hurricane Bertha arrived – Saturday’s Cheshire County Cricket League ECB Premier League results mean that only the current top three clubs – Hyde, holders Chester Boughton Hall and Toft – now have realistic chances of winning the title.

With five games remaining, Hyde have the best opportunity as they lead by 35 points after a comprehensive dismantling of Bowdon at South Downs Road.

Hyde rattled up 242-7 after winning the toss, Danny Berry scoring 88 and James Duffy 48, while home skipper Gareth Edwards wheeled away spiritedly to return 3-105. His batsmen were once again all at sea and mustered a total of only 97, to which opener Stephen Ball contributed 28, while Kyle O’Reilly claimed 3-15.

The day’s only draw was on the superb wicket at Urmston where Marple wound up with a 14-7 points advantage.

They posted 236-9, Mark Bennett 54, Andrew Hall 51, Paul Wood 41, Jibra Khan 5-58 and Matt Parkinson 4-88 on the day the young man was presented with the League Performance of the Month award for June.

Urmston responded with 187-8, Sumit Panda 71 not out, Andy Whyley 3-58.

In Division One, Brooklands enjoyed their first Division One victory in 22 games since beating Bredbury on August 10, 2013, when they overcame Davenham by 45 runs at Georges Road.

Mark Law top-scored with 65 and Don While 56 as Brooklands piled up 207-8, Dean Jackson 5-86. Davenham’s losing run continued after a reply of 162, Make Sambell 36, Christian Potter proving the match-winner with 5-56 off 12 overs.

Brooklands still trail safety by 50 points after 10th placed Middlewich pulled off a rare win by three wickets at Timperley after dismissing their hosts for 160, Nathan Brown 68, Phil Parry 3-10, Steven Bliss 3-53.

A fine innings of 77 not out by James Cornford saw Middlewich post 162-7 in reply.

This game ended at 7.53 p.m. after umpires Brian Jones and Graham Pugh were given problems. They report: “The second innings was extended by several incidents of player-misbehaviour and reports are being submitted. The captains did their best in difficult circumstances”.

Sale, the division’s most improved team, beat Christleton by three wickets and they have put themselves into the promotion contention. Christleton were all out for 121, Rick Halkon 4-32, Tyrone Lawrence 4-51.

Sale descended to 56-7, but wound up with 122-7 thanks to eighth wicket pair Alistair Barrowman, 33 and Rob Greenhough 28, both not out.