After a disappointing loss last week, Alderley Edge First XI gave their title chances a boost by dispensing with fourth placed Timperley in resounding fashion on Saturday at Moss Lane.
In his second game as stand-in captain Charlie Reid won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first. There was a tight period of play to begin the game with Alderley's potent opening attack of Hamish Winter-Irving and Richard Wilkinson restricting scoring opportunities for Timperley's top order who survived the opening 10 overs for the loss of just one wicket.
Andrew Windle produced a miserly spell of seam bowling upon introduction to the attack, removing the dangerous Grant Hodnett and Tyrone Lawrence to leave Timperley at 56-3. The visitor's number 3 Abhishek Kulkarni batted through the innings to finish unbeaten on 38 but with Wilkinson and Winter-Irving operating in short bursts from the other end Kulkarni regularly lost partners, the visitors succumbing in 45 overs for a total of 118. Wilkinson finished with 4-44 and Winter-Irving 3-38 for the home side.
Alderley raced out of the blocks in reply, openers Calum Rowe and Alan Day both aggressive in punishing anything loose from Timperley's attack. The pair reached 70 before Day was stumped for 39, at which point Rowe accelerated the scoring to see Alderley home for the loss of three wickets with a superb 65 not out off just 61 balls. Cheshire seamer Jack White took 2-50 for the visitors in a losing cause.
In the Second XI fixture at Timperley, Alderley skipper Jon Usher lost the toss and was asked to bat first. Young opener George Bell responded well for the visitors compiling 42 at the top of the order with Jonny Scurrah who hit a brilliant 96 from number 3. The two propelled Alderley to a total of 204-9 off their 50 overs, Shahnawaz Khan taking 4-31 for the hosts. With the ball Alderley found the returning James Bateman in great form removing Timperley's top 4 before the score had reached 50. Bateman claimed 5-40 off 11 overs and teamed with Mark Warnes who returned 4-17 (his ten overs including 5 maidens) to roll the hosts over for 142 in the 35th over. Khan followed up his impressive spell with the ball by top scoring with 45 for Timperley.
In the Third XI fixture on Sunday, a weakened Alderley side was swept aside by Bramhall at Moss Lane. Asked to bat first, Chris Smith's side could only muster 58 which the visitors knocked off without any alarm.
Alderley CC Second XI Crowned T20 Champions
Alderley Edge's Second XI were victorious at the Cheshire County Cricket League Second XI Twenty20 finals day at Oulton Park on Sunday defeating the hosts in the first semi-final before crushing a dangerous Chester Boughton Hall side in the final to claim the trophy for the Moss Lane outfit.
In the opening game of the day Alderley faced hosts Oulton Park in the first semi-final. Having won the toss and elected to bat first Oulton Park used home advantage on the small playing field to muster 164 from their 20 overs. Dan Fesmer was economical in opening the bowling providing 1-23 for Alderley, James Bateman and David Johnson taking 2 wickets apiece to leave Edge chasing what they believed was an under-par score at the half-way stage.
At 16-3 Alderley found themselves with a more difficult chase than they had envisaged, however opener Ollie Pooler stood firm striking 36 from 26 balls to keep the innings on track. Ollie Wildig provided the middle-order firepower striking 6 maximums in his quickfire 69 off 41 balls. When Wildig fell with 30 still required Oulton Park sniffed an opportunity but they were rebuffed by composed batting from Alderley's number 8 Pete Lydon who hit a crucial 21 not out off 19 balls. The final flourish was left to Fesmer who hit the winning boundary off the first ball of the final over to take Alderley into the final.
Having beaten a strong Didsbury outfit in their semi final, Chester Boughton Hall stood between Alderley and the trophy, Chester a difficult proposition having claimed the trophy for the last two years and backed by vociferous travelling support. Alderley skipper Jon Usher won the toss and chose to bowl first. Chester were unable to come to terms with the variety and precision of the Alderley attack which struck ruthlessly to leave the reigning champions on 51-5, James Bateman accounting for 4 of the first 5 wickets to fall in returning 4-15 from 4 excellent overs. David Johnson and Ollie Pooler combined with sharp wicket-keeping from Usher to suffocate Chester's middle order with 2-18 and 3-25 off their respective 4 over spells. An unbeaten 23 from number 9 Sam Mallows allowed Chester to limp over the 100 run mark, eventually being dismissed for 103 with 10 balls of their innings remaining.
Alderley suffered an early setback in their chase with Adam Wildig dismissed on 14-1 but fellow opener Ollie Pooler saw the side home in emphatic fashion with a dominant 55 not out off 28 balls to which Chester had no answer. Finishing the game by plundering 26 runs from the 12th over of the reply, Pooler took Alderley to the title for the loss of just 2 wickets to register the first piece of silverware for the season for the Moss Lane club.
Photo: Alderley CC Second XI.
Match reports by Andrew Windle.