Alderley Edge 1st XI suffered their first league defeat of the season on Saturday by the narrow margin of 6 runs, in a match that will have the entire team wondering how they failed to win.
Put into bat, Bowdon were reduced to 24-4, 43-5 and 113-8 before a stand of 92 for the 9th wicket between Ashling and Tully took them to a final respectable score of 206 all out.
For Alderley, Chris Cook took 4-47 and Tom Foreman 3-26. This total looked well within the grasp of Alderley's powerful batting line-up. Especially when in-form openers Calum Rowe and Alan Day put on 82 for the first wicket. However, 3 wickets then fell in 7 balls, and while at various points in the remainder of the innings Alderley looked favourite to get the runs, 6 batsmen got past 20 without any going on to make a truly match-winning score.
In the event, Bowdon's pacey former first-class opening bowler Chris Ashling proved a bit too hot to handle for the lower order, and he and Bowdon Chairman Dominic Ball, out of retirement for the match, both bowled superbly to take 5 wickets each and close Alderley's innings on 200 all out.
So Alderley's push for the league title may have faltered slightly, but with half a season to go the team are still serious challengers.
Match report by Rick Davis.