Alderley Edge CC first XI slipped further behind ECB Cheshire Premier League leaders Chester Boughton Hall following defeat to third placed Nantwich at Moss Lane on Saturday.
Stand-in skipper Charlie Reid lost the toss with the hosts asked to bat first on a greenish pitch following several days of heavy rain in the area. Alderley's openers negotiated the first ten overs steadily, contending with probing bowling from Nantwich's opening pair of Jimmy Warrington and Ollie Freckingham. The dismissal of Alan Day for 21 gave an inroads to the Alderley order that the visitors had been struggling to find, but from that point the rot quickly set in with the home side's middle order blown away to leave them on 51-6. Number 7 Tom Foreman provided some resistance with 21 from 48 balls but it wasn't enough to post a competitive total with the hosts' innings wrapped up with the total on 92 in the 41st over. Warrington finished with 5-35 from his 17 over spell for Nantwich.
In response Alderley started brightly with opening bowlers Richard Wilkinson and Hamish Winter-Irving reducing the visitors to 26-3 including the dismissal of Irish international wicketkeeper-batsman Niall O'Brien and a superb catch in the slips by Reid to account for Henry Dobson. Nantwich's number 4 and 5, Ryan Brown and Luke Robinson, ensured there would be no further drama in their chase contributing 38 and 46* respectively. Robinson was in particularly destructive mood accumulating his runs off just 24 balls including two huge 6s, one which sealed victory for the visitors in the 15th over of their innings for the loss of 4 wickets. The result gave Alderley just 1 point leaving them in second place trailing leaders Chester by 32 points.
A disappointing Saturday for Alderley was completed with Nantwich also victorious in the second XI fixture at Whitehouse Lane. Having won the toss and elected to bowl, the visitors took regular wickets to leave Nantwich at 63-4 before a 144 run partnership for the 5th wicket between Jack Batson and Jake Pearson boosted the home side's total allowing them to declare after 48 overs on 216-7. Ollie Hall was the pick of the Alderley attack with 4-41, David Johnson with a tidy 3-19 in support. In response the visitor's innings never really gathered any momentum with several double figure scores from Alderley's batsmen without a match-winning partnership emerging. Alderley were bowled out for 131 with Ollie Pooler contributing the lion's share with 49 from 52 balls including three 6s.
Chris Smith's 3rd XI provided the high point of the weekend completing a comfortable victory, in between the showers, at Grappenhall on Sunday. Batting first the hosts were restricted to a total of 104 by steady bowling from Alderley with Siddant Kumar and Ashray Bhamidipati both claiming 3 wickets. After a couple of early setbacks the visitors cruised to a 7 wicket win led by Henry Stevinson who contributed a polished unbeaten 60.
Match report by Andrew Windle.