Alderley Edge 1st XI's faint hopes of landing the CCCL Premier league title were extinguished on Saturday in a good game against the highly talented Chester Boughton Hall team, who have reached the finals of the national T20 knock-out for the second year running.
Batting first, Chester got off to a flying start as Alderley's seamers were unable to contain the opening batsmen, especially the prolific Warren Goodwin who made 95. However, the introduction of Richard Wilkinson and Sean Sturrock at the half way stage got Alderley back in the match, as Chester lost 8 wickets for under 100, finishing on a very useful but not impregnable 252-9.
Alderley set about chasing this total with great determination, but a mid-innings slump after opener Calum Rowe was out for 64 appeared to remove all hope. However, an excellent half-century stand for the 8th wicket between Sturrock and debutant Adam Dismore brought a victory tantalisingly close, only for both batsmen to be bowled in the same over from Goodwin.
Alderley still pursued the target but unfortunately lost their last wicket with 9 balls remaining, giving Chester the win by a 19-run margin.
The 2nd XI's four-match winning run came to an end against the very strong 2nd XI from the same club, but on Sunday the 3rd XI celebrated back-to-back championships when defeating Alvanley by 6 wickets.
Set to chase a challenging score of 194 from 40 overs, Alderley got home in the last over thanks to important contributions from Paul Heaton, Mike McGrath and Henry Stevinson, whose 3 wickets and beautifully constructed 44 not out earned him the man of the match accolade.
Match report by Rick Davis.