Cricket: First team have plenty to celebrate as Flintoff proves the main attraction

Over the last few seasons Alderley Edge Cricket Club have improved season by season, building up a solid platform for growing success. Attractive First XI play continues to attract talent, continuous success of the Junior section is now contributing to all senior teams, and a great family feel about the club makes Moss lane the place to be.

All parts of the club have started the season with improvements from last year. Adam Worrall's 1st XI remain unbeaten, Jonathan Usher's second team have started strongly with only one loss to top of table Neston, the Veteran's are unbeaten, the Juniors have won all their games, and the third team are finding their feet in the Premiership.

Alderley Edge CC had plenty to celebrate over the weekend as they triumphed in both league and cup. With many Saturday games rain affected Alderley capitalised with a 4 wicket win over Timperley, earning them a crucial 25 points. Skipper Worrall won the toss and elected to field first, a vital decision as the Alderley openers ripped through the Timperley top order.

Windle in particular proved too good for Timperley as he finished on 4 for 27. Wilkinson also got into the action with a critical late spell (4 for 23) helping bowl Timperley out for 107. Alderley chased hard, with rain closing in: Currie fired a quick 23 and Rowe scored 26 off 29 deliveries to set up the win. Wickets soon fell but Day (14*) steadied the ship to bring AECC home in the 20th over.

Sunday was a big day all round with Lancashire player Jordan Clark available again and ex England and Lancashire favourite Andrew Flintoff in the starting line-up. Oulton Park were asked to bat first against this strong bowling attack in front of a predictably decent crowd. Clark got an early breakthrough but Oulton Park rallied against some fast and aggressive bowling. Ex Cheshire Minor Counties opener Daniel Leach battled hard until he was ran out for 24.

Main attraction Flintoff was asked to bowl and although he was hit for six early on he soon dusted off any cobwebs. He finished his 7 over spell with 0-26, proving he could still get the ball through with some pace and certainly some bounce!.

Australian Smilie took the main plaudits with some fine bowling, finished with 3 for 26. Clark and Day both picked up 2 wickets each leaving Oulton Park on 141 for 9 off 41. Again Alderley started strong, with the top order all getting starts without capitalising (Rowe 27, Day 26, Sawas 27). The game seamed destined for Flintoff and Clark to see the boys home however it wasn't to be and AECC fell to 99 for 5 and then 112 for 6. A late rally from Worrall (26) settled the nerves and although he was out late on, Alderley sealed the win by 3 wickets with 5 overs to spare.

The second team were not so lucky with the weather, a winnable game washed out. AECC won the toss and bowled first, in a reduced overs game Timperley batted 48 overs to reach 200 and max batting points. New boy Alex Heaton made an early impact with his first wicket, Daniel Fesmer ended 4/45 from 15, and Ed Fluck bagged a pair. The rain break reduced the Alderley innings to 30 overs. Ollie Hall scored a quick fire 50 before skying a ball off Dickinson. Rain ended the day with Fluck and Steel at the crease with 73 on the board from 11 overs: the win was on.

The 3rd XI won a tight game against Bramhall at Moss Lane by 2 wickets on Sunday. Electing to field, Bramhall were bowled out for 169. At one stage, the visitors had been in a strong position at 123-1, but the strength from Junior section pulled through. Henry Scanlon bowled an excellent spell to give him an impressive return of 5-11. The emerging Junior Sid Kumar, coming into the game 3 overs for 0 runs, offered valuable support with 3 wickets.

Alderley's innings started like a train, with Harry Elms (48) to the fore. However, the middle order disappointed and it was left to Rhys Mallard to lead the side home with a nerveless 22 not out that ensured victory for the home side with four overs remaining.

At the weekend Worrall's team play a crucial top of the table clash against Nantwich.Match report by David Scanlon.

Alderley Edge Cricket Club, Andrew Flintoff, Cricket