Alderley Edge 1st XI gave their early season form a huge boost on Saturday with victory over Hyde who began the day at the summit of the Cheshire County Premier League. Opposition captain Tom Partridge won the toss and elected to bowl first and quickly had Alderley's top order in trouble at 8-2. Calum Rowe and Stephen Parry calmed things slightly in advancing the hosts to 46 before Parry departed for 18.
A lower middle order collapse of 4 wickets for just 14 runs left Alderley in a precarious position which brought together Ed Fluck and Tom Foreman. Fluck's 29 and Foreman striking a counter-attacking 47 from just 50 balls lifted Alderley to 95-8 but seemingly still some way from a competitive total. With Fluck's departure number 10 Blair Campbell continued the momentum Alderley had built hitting a quickfire 25 from 27 balls to continue the attack.
By the time Campbell was dismissed Alderley had worked there way to 156 all out in 44 overs but in being bowled out 10 overs early, had handed those extra overs to Hyde for them to chase Alderley's total over 65 overs. Ex-Alderley man Jason Whittaker enjoyed his return to Moss Lane claiming 4-43 for Hyde with Cole Turner and George Balderson claiming two wickets apiece in a good display with the ball.
Hyde's opening pair began watchfully as they made their way to 39-2 in a cagey opening period of the second innings. George Balderson and Elliot Young added 60 for Hyde's third wicket with the pair surviving a number of dropped chances in the field. But Young's dismissal halted the visitors scoring and with number 5 David Fitzsimmons and number 6 David Fisher both departing without scoring Hyde found themselves at 105-5.
The control Parry brought again to the Alderley bowling attack allowed skipper Adam Worrall to rotate his options in the hunt for wickets and when Balderson's patient innings ended (34 off 103 balls) with the score on 130-7 what looked to be a routine chase for the visitors was becoming anything but. Opening bowler Jake Hill returned to claim the crucial scalp of Whittaker and with Danny Cranmer following shortly after with the score stuck on 130 Hyde now needed 27 runs with just one wicket remaining.
As evening drizzle began to fall, Foreman returned to have the final word with the ball, dismissing Hyde overseas player Glenn Hannah to give Alderley a superb backs to the wall victory by 15 runs. Parry was again excellent in leading the host's attack with 4-22 from his 17 overs, Richard Wilkinson claiming 3-54 and youngster Jake Hill 2-26 in another encouraging performance with the ball.
In the reverse fixture at Werneth Low, Alderley's Second XI made it a 50 point weekend for the club with a convincing victory over Hyde's second string. Winning the toss, Alderley skipper Jon Usher elected to bowl first with the home side responding with a strong start on the back of opener Ben Balderson's 53 carrying Hyde to 103-2. Alderley hit back with George Bell's 3-57 removing the home side's middle order but with the hosts still making their way to a good total. With Hyde well positioned on 190-4 boosted by 36 from number 5 Phil Balderson, 2 wickets apiece from Toby Pickup and Ben Lambert and a run out from Bell curtailed things for the home side who finished on 202-9 from their 50 overs.
Alderley suffered an early loss in reply with opener Will Valentine dismissed with the score on 16 but fellow opener Bell, enjoying a great all round performance, and number 3 Jonny Scurrah hit a superb 134 run partnership for the second wicket to break the back of the chase. Scurrah was eventually dismissed for 64 from 80 balls but Bell continued to finish undefeated on 84 from 97 balls as Alderley reached their target with 8 wickets in hand. Dan Fesmer hit 34 from just 31 balls to help the visitors reach their total with over 13 overs to spare.
Match report by Andrew Windle.