DEFENDING champions Leek were frustrated by the weather in their attempt to gain more ground on league leaders Checkley.
Another top score from Chris Beech (78), plus good support from fellow youngsters Tom Steele (35) and Alex Thomson (30) took Leek to 223-7, despite the efforts of Michael Brown (4-89).
On a fine day it, would probably have been enough to see off their Potteries opponents – but that’s expecting too much of a typical unpredictable British summer.
The rain came down right on cue to spare Burslem a seventh defeat of the season as they wobbled on 80-4, with Leek seemingly in control.
Only Ali Khan (33) had been able to show any resistance to the Leek bowling attack of Nadeem Malik (2- 20 off 9), Greg Willott (1-21 off 13 ) and Alex Thomson (1-22 off 13).
It would have been doubly frustrating for Leek had Checkley were only able to increase their lead at the top by more than just two additional points.
But they too had to suffer in the rain, as their opponents dug in with just one wicket to spare, after the heavens had cut short play.
Stone moved up into third place, five points behind Leek, after beating Porthill Park by five wickets, thanks to another splendid knock by Luke Cheadle.
Cheadle’s undefeated 67 took him past the 1,000-run mark for the season.
Stone are away to Wood Lane this Saturday, while Leek host Whitmore and Checkley face a potentially difficult Moorlands derby away to Knypersley.
Leek 2nd XI’s disappointing season continued against Caverswall who claimed a winning draw, despite the determined efforts of Richard Gill (5-37).
With Dan Hall weighing in with 3-44 Caverswall could only post 128 all out, but Leek could get no further than 111-7 in reply.