Only four weeks after sitting in 2nd place in the Cheshire County League Premier Division, Alderley Edge 1st XI now found themselves in the bottom half of the table after defeat by keen local rivals Toft on Saturday.
Alderley's score of 236-9 from 55 overs looked very respectable, but could have been considerably more as an excellent partnership between Alan Day (85) and Calum Rowe (47) had taken the score to 145-1 before a dramatic mid-innings collapse reduced the team to 156-6.
However, a useful 44 from Tom Foreman gave a final total that looked not far below par. Unfortunately some of Alderley's bowling and fielding, in the first part of the innings especially, fell short of their highest standards. Toft were always ahead of the clock, and despite some late wickets for Simon O'Brien, an immaculate 85 not out from England Under-19 player Robert Jones saw Toft home fairly comfortably by 5 wickets.
Things did not get any better on Sunday when Alderley visited Chester Boughton Hall in Round 3 of the Cheshire Cup. Early dropped catches allowed Chester's batsman to run up a huge total of 295-8 from 45 overs. Alderley made a brave effort to chase this daunting target, with Mark Currie and Adam Worrall both making fluent half centuries, but as wickets started to fall the run rate proved beyond the lower order batsmen and Alderley were finally dismissed for 253.
The out-of-form 2nd XI were well beaten by Toft, but the 3rd XI marched on with a 53 run victory against Cheadle Hulme Ladybridge, star of the show being Jonny Scurrah who made a brilliant 124 not out and shared a partnership of 168 with Angus Muir that allowed captain Chris Smith to declare after 32 overs on 228-4. Despite an aggressive 80 from Hussain, Ladybridge were bowled out for 175, undone by girl power with Katie Haszeldine taking 4-48.
Match report by Richard Davis.