CASTLE Private A dropped five chalks at home to Hop Pole A on Friday, but they remain 63 points clear at the Premier Division summit.

Jamie Hulse was the visitors’ only victor, while Jason Cornes’ 21-3 success made him the pick of the hosts’ performers.

Champions Wharton Cons A won at lowly Middlewich, where Thomas Vickers was the best of their 10 winners.

The title rivals turn their attention to a knockout encounter next Monday, when they meet at Davenham in the Littler Cup final.

In Section One, leaders Alsager posted 245 at home to Kelsall A.

Rudheath B hang on to second spot after beating Spinner & Bergamot A, while third-placed Owley Wood A lost away to Meadowbank A.

Barnton Cricket Club A closed a gap to first place in Section Two after scoring a full house at home to back-markers Cuddington A.

The distance to leaders Wharton Cons C, victors at Winnington A, is down to just 21 chalks.

Castle Private C were another winner on their travels, this time at Hartford A.

Pacesetters Hazel Pear B recorded the biggest aggregate total in Section Three, reaching 241 at home to fourth-placed visitors Wharton Rec.

Davenham B and Limes, both contenders for promotion, lost on the road at Lostock Graylams and Crosstwon B respectively.

The leading teams in Section Four, Winsford Cons B and Barnton Cricket Club B, stay out in front after recording wins.

Winsford won at Barnton Cricket Club C, where Frank Boyle and Curt Duncalf won to single figures, while Barnton returned from Norley as victors.

Hop Pole B preserved a perfect record in Section Five by defeating Davenham D, even though they were forced to concede 42 chalks as a

result of players doubling up.

Cuddington B ceded only two chalks at home to rock-bottom Barnton Cricket Club D, while third-placed Spinner B kept alive their hopes of being promoted by beating guests Winnington B.