Chruch were left wondering just how they lost their derby at Accrington after looking in control before a late-order revival changed the emphasis from collecting an odd bonus point or two to pulling off an unlikely but well-merited Accrington win.
Midday rain meant a reduction to 43 overs per side, and it was slow going with David Ormerod and Accy captain Jimmy Hayhurst keeping it so tight that it took Levi Wolfenden until the 12th over to score.
Saeed Anwar was able to score more freely but he too had to be patient.
The pair had occupied the crease for more than half of the 43 overs in adding 52 before Wolfenden was snapped up by Graham Lloyd for 11. Nasser Hussain struck just one boundary against his old club before being bowled by Ormerod.
Anwar and Mohammed Jamil then added 36 before the latter was stumped off home pro Ashar Zaidi and a move up the order for Andy Bentley didn’t bear fruit as Ormerod bowled him with the score 100.
A couple of consecutive sixes by Anwar gave the Church innings some momentum but the he was run out off the first ball of the penultimate over for 75 off 129 balls with Phil Gilrane and Phil Howard adding a handful more.
If Church’s progress seemed serene, it was made to look positively skittish as Accrington began their reply with three maidens and their innings appeared in ruins at 10 for the loss of Stuart Crabtree, Andy Greenwood and Zaidi, run out unnecessarily for one, going for a second run.
But a partnership of 50 between Mitch Taylor and Lloyd helped rebuild until Taylor fell for 18, leg before to Anwar.
With the score on 71, Anwar trapped Simon Hanson for 11 but it looked like Church’s pro had claimed a more crucial scalp when he caught Lloyd (34) off Jamil.
Surely that was Accrington’s last chance gone but Graeme Sneddon and captain Hayhurst had other ideas as they pair added 40 in fewer than eight overs.
Church remained favourites when Jamil bowled Seddon (28) and had Hayhurst (22) caught behind to leave Accrington 14 short.
They reckoned without Marley Ali as the teenager mixed his youthful impetuosity with some well-hit strokes.
A swept four by Matt Schofield off Anwar’s final delivery left three needed off the last six deliveries.
Marley was dropped off the first ball and ran two, then was stumped by Tucker off the third ball to give Jamil a five-for but Ormerod scrambled the requisite leg-bye to give Accrington the bragging rights.
Enfield will be disappointed with their batting show against Todmorden as they made just 68. They lost by eight wickets as Tod passed the score with ease.
Rishton are still rooted to the bottom spot after a 53-run loss to East Lancs, who set a target of 220. Shaun Wyse (47) and Craig Smith (56) battled for the Blackburn Road side but the score proved too much.