Church's match at Bacup was one of only two Lancashire League matches to survive the weekend rain but Craig Fergusson’s men had only three bonus points as consolation after going down to a last-ball defeat in a game which finally got underway just before 4pm.
It was the second time fifth placed Church had lost to Bacup in a fortnight, both matches low-scoring affairs which the Rossendale outfit pulled out of the fire right at the death.
Captain Fergusson chose to bat with the game at Lanehead trimmed to 26 overs apiece.
But the visitors were off to the worst imaginable start as Adam Greenwood mistimed a hook off Bacup sub pro, Lancashire rookie Steve Cheetham, skyward to captain David Warren at slip off the first delivery.
Worse was to follow still in the opening over as pro Saeed Anwar edged Cheetham to keeper Jack McGregor for a duck.
Cheetham, 23, a tall paceman from nearby Oldham, was only hired when Bacup’s original stand-in, Sri Lankan Wes Fernando, pulled out on Friday.
It was looking a smart piece of business by the Bacup management when Nasser Hussain was given leg before to Cheetham, also without scoring, then Fergusson was run out by a direct hit from Tim Farragher.
Church had slumped to just 24-4 in the 11th over before Menazar Mehmmod and Phil Howard stalled the home attack for a while in adding 47, Howard hitting two sixes in his 20.
But he then edged to McGregor to become the first of five victims for McCluskie.
The Gilrane brothers came and went cheaply, Mark to the McGregor-McCluskie combination, Philip well held from a steepling hit to Farragher.
Mehmood continued to carve out what runs were available but only last man Sam Tucker could give him any support after Andrew Bentley was bowled by Cheetham, then Joel Gaskill was caught by Scott Thompson, mis-timing a pull off McCluskie.
Mehmood was eventually last man out, caught in the deep by Thompson to give McCluskie his fifth wicket off the third-last ball for a fine 39, with five boundaries, as Church could amass just 92.
Things looked bleak as Bacup opening pair Jack McGregor and Tim Farragher raced to 27 without loss but, after McGregor was caught at slip for 16 by the Church captain off Andrew Bentley, progress slowed.
Tim Farragher was bowled by Saeed and Butcher caught behind off Bentley by Joel Gaskill – an injury to the experienced Tucker while batting meant that Gaskill took the gloves while brother Jack sub fielded.
When Anwar bowled McCluskie, Bacup had got to just 44-4 off 18 overs as the unchanged bowling pair reeled off five maidens in eight overs as wickets fell. Sub pro Cheetham was still in though and, while not looking an accredited batsman, he picked up singles and twos, and found useful partners in Matt Thompson and Church’s nemesis of a fortnight earlier, Andrew Spencer.
Thompson was pouched by Fergusson off Bentley again for a breezy 12 which had got the board ticking over again and, with five overs, left 32 were needed.
A beefy pull for four by Spencer off Anwar meant it was down to 16 off two but an extraordinary cover-driven six by Spencer off Bentley meant four off the last six balls, delivered by Anwar, was the equation.
With no further addition, Spencer was brilliantly caught in the outfield by the tumbling Mehmood off the second ball.
Then after Cheetham took a single, Thompson was bowled off the fourth delivery.
Ben Lord hit the penultimate ball for a single and Cheetham swatted to mid-wicket and got home – just, with the diving Gaskill unable to reach the stumps with ball back in hand – for the second run to win Bacup the game and complete the double over Church.
ENFIELD also were off to a late start,just before 4pm, but their loss gave leaders Lowerhouse a chance to extend the gap at the top.
Zahir Afzal (4-70) and Liam Jackson (2-52) were the Enfield bowlers as Lowerhouse set 125 in their 25-overs.
Enfield struggled and were 9-2 with captain Adam Bracewell and Ash Gowers back in the pavilion. However, contributions from pro Werner Coetsee (20), Liam Jackson (15) and a solid 34 from Joe Wrigley meant Enfield needed 14 off the last over to secure a victory.
Lowerhouse pro Francois Haasbroek kept it tight though as the the Liverpool Road side opened up a seven point gap at the top from second-placed Accrington. Enfield stay in 10th spot.