COMBERBACH have become the first team in more than two years to beat Castle in a Mid-Cheshire Bowling Association match.

They halted a 54-match unbeaten sequence for their Northwich rivals, one that started with a home win against Rudheath in May 2017, when they prevailed by 10 chalks on Friday.

The hosts returned seven winning cards, including impressive victories to single figures for Jon Gurney (21-8) and Andy Gregory (21-9), to record a 206-196 success.

It leaves the Premier Division champions 237 chalks adrift of old foes Wharton Cons A with a game in hand.

The men from the Tin Mission were too strong for neighbours Meadowbank A in a derby encounter last week when Tom Vickers (21-7) was the pick of their players.

The contenders for top spot still have to play each other too in a fortnight's time.

Meanwhile the leading teams in Section One were all victorious.

Crosstown A remain out in front after winning at Wharton Cons C, while Helsby A occupy the second promotion place after amassing 200 at Davenham A.

Owley Wood A are only 20 chalks further back after seeing off Rudheath B.

Winsford Cons A, conquerors of Comberbach B, were the division's highest-scorers last week with 202.

In Section Two, pace-setting Owley Wood B suffered only a second league defeat of the campaign when they were squeezed out by closest-rivals Sandbach Park.

The teams both had five winners, but the latter prevailed by a narrow three-chalk margin on aggregate.

A gap to the front-running Weaverham side remains significant at 112 points but a battle to dislodge Sandbach from second spot rages on with Barnton Cricket Club A, Crosstown B and Moulton RBL A all within striking distance.

There was a surprise in Section Three when Wharton Rec A went to promotion-favourites Great Budworth and won impressively.

A 185-172 success included a brilliant 21-6 win for last man Steve Jones against Graham Gregory.

Lostock Graylams suffered a defeat too at Limes, while Helsby B boosted their own hopes by brushing aside Davenham B.

Crowton's display in Section Four was a highlight of the latest round of matches as they dropped only five chalks in a home triumph at visiting Moulton RBL B's expense.

Castle C, in first place, were too strong for Barnton B and there were wins on the road for Delamere and Cuddington.

On Thursday, Rudheath D tied with Davenham C.

Norley B continue to be the dominant force in Section Five, extending a winning sequence to a dozen matches after completing a double over Castle D.

Owley Wood D are comfortably the best of the rest after returning from Davenham D as victors by 36.