LITTLE Stoke firsts toppled North Staffs and South Cheshire Division 1A leaders JG Meakins to give their title hopes a huge boost.
Meakins decided to bat and, despite outstanding bowling figures of 5-24 from Little Stoke professional Naveed Arif, amassed a total of 222-7 from their 55 overs.
Peter Wilshaw (68) was top scorer for the visitors ably supported by Sam Nixon (45) and Matthew Redican who was unbeaten on 40.
In reply, Little Stoke lost both openers with just 33 runs on the board but Pete Turnbull continued his rich vein of form hitting an unbeaten 105 to set up victory.
Also amongst the runs were youngsters Dan Richardson with 26 and Billy Thorley, whose unbeaten 25 helped the hosts home.
Karl High claimed 3-30 for Meakins but a comfortable five wicket win for Little Stoke means they close the gap on the league leaders to just 11 points, with five matches remaining.
Little Stoke seconds visited North Staffs and South Cheshire Premier B basement side Elworth but could not manage to build on last week’s victory over Audley.
Batting first, Audley steadily built a challenging total of 188-9 from 50 overs with six players getting into double figures.
Peter Barnett top scored with a knock of 49 and the pick of the Little Stoke bowlers was Alex Kay with 3-32.
In reply, the visitors were in trouble at 5-1 as Connor Flowers caught and bowled Scott Winnington for the first of his five victims.
Greg Faulkner (25) and skipper Alex Kay (28) put on 36 for the next wicket and then brothers Paul and Richard Allen compiled another important partnership of 41 but Elworth were giving little away.
Further wickets tumbled thanks mainly to Scott Elliott (4-33) and Elworth finally claimed victory as the visitors were all out for 172, just 16 runs short of the target.
This Saturday, Little Stoke firsts visit Silverdale (1pm), while Meakins entertain Meir Heath.
Remaining fixtures for the Uttoxeter Road club are: Aug 24 v Alsager (home, 12.30pm), Aug 31 v Blythe (home, 12.30pm).
Sept 7 v Meir Heath (away), Sept 14 v Cheadle (home, 12noon).