Danny Lamb hit a superb unbeaten century on Satuday as Alderley Edge first XI chalked up their first win of the season in the Cheshire Premier League in emphatic style overcoming Didsbury by 7 wickets.
Adam Worrall won the toss and elected to bowl in muggy conditions at Wilmslow Road and things were nip and tuck in the first innings of the game with a flat pitch offering little assistance to the bowlers but Alderley's attack persevering to build pressure on the home side to take regular wickets.
Home skipper Matt Gregson anchored the early part of the innings with 45 departing with the score on 70-3. Charlie Reid claimed the key wicket of Nick Anderson, caught behind for 44, to leave Didsbury at 151-5 and with the visitors on top. Number 6 Sam Leech fought back with an unbeaten 57 in partnerships of 47 with Jack Hastings and and 59 with Hashir Khan to leave the home side on 258-7 from their 55 overs. Keiran Elliott, Richard Wilkinson and Charlie Reid each finished with two wickets for Alderley.
Alderley's openers started at a feverish pace in reply before losing Alan Day with the score on 30. Cheshire opener Calum Rowe was watchful in the early part of the innings, adding 43 with Jonny Scurrah for the 2nd wicket before combining with Danny Lamb in what proved to be the game winning partnership. Coming together with the score on 73-2, the pair maneuvered the home side's bowling and ran aggressively taking advantage of Didsbury's large outfield to accelerate the scoring rate.
Rowe's departure for an excellent 86 left Alderley with exactly 50 needed for victory and signalled the beginning of Lamb's onslaught on the home side's attack. Hitting 46 of the 50 required the Lancashire star showcased his full range of shots and was particularly severe on Didsbury's captain Gregson whose spin bowling was dispatched out of the ground on 3 occasions as Alderley completed their chase 3 wickets down. Lamb finished unbeaten on 131 from just 101 balls hammering 16 fours and 6 sixes.
On a day for Didsbury's bowlers to forget Taiyyib Khan took 1-19 from 7 overs before pulling a hamstring and taking no further part with the ball.
Alderley's second XI did not fare as well in the reverse fixture at Moss Lane falling to a 113 run loss to a strong Didsbury outfit. Winning the toss and batting first the visitors racked up 212 before being bowled out in the 49th over with David Johnson restricting scoring towards the end of the innings removing top scorers Steve Whiteside (69) and Mark Burns (39) with figures of 4-42. Jon Usher claimed 3-46 on a rare outing with the ball.
In response only three of the home side's order registered double figure scores as the Alderley innings was blown away for 99. Number 3 Adam Wildig and number 4 James Davidson, added 27 and 29 respectively in the hosts biggest partnership but the rest of the order could only muster 35 between them to be dismissed in the 34th over, Ben Tumilty claiming 5-23 for Didsbury.
On Sunday Alderley's third XI continued their recent good form with victory over visitors Nantwich. After losing the toss and being asked to bat three of Alderley's top five were dismissed in the teens before 48 from number 6 Nathan Pugh propelled the home side to 146 all out. Nantwich started brightly with a strong opening partnership but the dismissal of opener Jacques for 46, one of 4 wickets for George Valentine, left the door open for the home side. Sid Kumar (3-22) and captain Harry Elms (2-31) swept up the Nantwich tail 14 runs short of victory, number 9 Alistair Simcox hitting 22 from number 9 in a brave last-ditch effort.
On Thursday evening Alderley's First XI T20 team hosted Bollington at Moss Lane in their second group game of the round-robin phase of the tournament. The visitors won the toss and elected to bat but were soon under pressure after tight opening overs from Keiran Elliott and Charlie Reid. Bollington's number 3 Jack Ward did his upmost to pick up the pace with 40 off 43 balls but found contributions from the other end limited as Alderley's attack continued to squeeze the scoring rate. Number 6 Tom Horsfield cut loose with four 6's in his 54 from 33 balls but the momentum of the innings was lost with his dismissal, the visitors closing on 132-6. Tom Foreman claimed 2-42 for Alderley with the ball.
Bollington put themselves in the hunt with the ball reducing Alderley to 33-2 in reply before George Bell and Richard Wilkinson added 56 for the third wicket to put the hosts in control. Wilkinson went on to complete his half century, finishing with 56 from 43 balls (including three maximums) in the company of Ed Fluck who smashed 30 from just 15 balls to take Alderley past the finishing post four wickets down with 13 balls remaining. Alderley will now face Timperley in a qualifier for the next round of the competition on Thursday evening at Moss Lane.
Match report by Andrew Windle