An unbeaten century from Alderley Edge's Sam Perry was the stand-out performance as the First XI defeated current champions Nantwich at their Whitehouse Lane ground on Saturday by a mammoth nine wicket margin. Winning the toss, home skipper Ray Doyle elected to bat with the game beginning in cloudy conditions following morning rain in South Cheshire.
Alderley started strongly with the ball reducing the hosts to 11-1 before rain intervened causing a 30 minute delay in proceedings. Upon resumption Alderley continued to keep the scoring rate in check with Ed Foster (3-46) and Richard Wilkinson (2-18) in particular exerting pressure on the Nantwich middle order.
The home side's innings was anchored by opener Henry Dobson who batted stoically for 92 sharing in two partnerships of 45 runs with number 6 Ben Johnston and number 7 Phil Stockton before becoming the sixth wicket to fall with the score on 201, one of three wickets for Alan Day. Some lower order hitting in addition to the short straight boundaries at the ground helped the hosts push their total up to 243-9 from their 55 overs.
The second innings began in bright sunshine after the clouds had cleared and Alderley's opening pair were soon making hay after a watchful few overs against Nantwich's attack. Calum Rowe and Sam Perry put on 81 for the first wicket before Rowe departed for 53.
Perry then combined with number three Ed Foster in a 163 run partnership to expertly manage the remainder of the run chase, gradually reducing the run rate required before the pair saw Alderley over the line with four overs to spare in a flurry of boundaries off the hosts' demoralised bowlers. Perry completed a composed hundred off 150 balls and finished unbeaten on 106 with Foster hitting an excellent 76 not out. The 25 point win consolidated Alderley's second place position in the Cheshire County Premier League behind leaders Chester Boughton Hall.
On Sunday Alderley's First XI were in Cheshire Cup action against neighbours Toft at Moss Lane. Skipper Charlie Reid won the toss and decided to bowl first with Alderley's opening attack starting strongly in reducing the visitors to 9-2 including the wicket of Toft captain Jimmy Lomas. Toft struggled to recover from their poor start with Alderley striking regularly with the ball.
The largest partnership came from the middle order pair of Henry Hughes (25) and Ewan Williams (25) who added 43 for the 4th wicket. Wickets were shared around as the hosts kept on top of the visitors batting to hold them to a modest total of 150 from their 45 overs, Jonny Scurrah taking 3-20 and Tom Foreman 2-31 as the pick of the bowlers. In response Alderley's openers George Bell and Sam Perry guided the hosts to 49 before the first wicket fell with Perry adjudged lbw for 32.
A partnership of 26 between Bell and number three Ed Foster followed before Foster was well caught in the covers by James Drummond. Bell then completed a solid half century, taking Alderley home with 59 not out in the company of Ed Fluck who finished just short of his own half century with an unbeaten 49 off 41 balls. Alderley's 8 wicket win takes them through to the next round of the cup competition where a trip to New Brighton awaits.
Alderley's Second XI completed another double-winning Saturday with a four wicket win over Nantwich at Moss Lane. Winning the toss, Nantwich skipper Andy Newton chose to bat first but the visitors were soon in trouble at 20-3 as Alderley's opening pair of Jonny Scurrah and Dan Fesmer put the home side on top.
A partnership of 40 for the fourth wicket between James Westhead (31) and Callum Pearson (29) helped lift the visitor's score to 70-4. Number 7 Scott Wardley top scored for Nantwich with 34 which boosted their total beyond the 100 mark, eventually being bowled out for 135 in the 43rd over in the face of Alderley's strong performance with the ball.
Jonny Scurrah (3-23) and Emma Lamb (3-34) led the way for the hosts with Archie Vaughan and Dan Fesmer collecting two wickets apiece in support. Nantwich's bowlers responded in the second innings to ensure the run chase would be a closely run thing, but 54 from opener Scurrah and 22 from number 5 Joey Chong kept Alderley on track. Youngsters Vaughan and Harry Elms added the final 26 required to take Alderley home in the 47th over to give the hosts victory by 4 wickets.
Another 3rd XI hundred on Sunday helped Alderley to post a score of 215-9 from their 45 overs on their visit to Sale after winning the toss and batting first. This time it was opener Tejas Rao in the runs hitting an excellent 101 from 102 balls, James Dodds taking 3-54 for the hosts. Sale chased down the runs required for the loss of three wickets boosted by opener Viraj Sorathia who fell just short of his own hundred with a knock of 99 not out from 132 balls with Archie Vaughan, Sam Woolf and Chip White each taking a wicket for the visitors.
Match report by Andrew Windle.