Alderley Edge first XI secured a draw against top of the table Timperley at Moss Lane on Saturday but will rue opportunities to have forced a closer finish. The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first looking for a significant total in the knowledge their bowling spearhead Jack White was not fit to bowl in the game. Alderley's Keiran Elliott struck a significant blow in the first over of the innings removing ex-Gloucestershire batsman Grant Hodnett without scoring, one of four victims on the afternoon for Elliott who again led the home attack. Furquan Shafiq and Abhishek Kilkarni made a stand of 119 for the second wicket to put Timperley in the driving seat, aided by some poor bowling and fielding from the home side in the middle overs. The introduction of Charlie Reid's spin helped to curtail the scoring rate, principally with the removal of Shafiq for 84 from 89 balls. Kulkarni continued at a slower rate in holding the innings together, dismissed for 69 off 134 balls. From a position of 193-3, following Kulkarni's removal, Alderley fought back in the latter part of the innings to restrict the visitors to 265-9, Reid finishing with 3-70 from his allocation of 17 overs.
Alderley raced out of the blocks in reply, Calum Rowe striking 2 maximums in scoring 22 from just 16 balls in a frenetic opening 5 overs. Timperley struck back through Chris Page (2-64) and Shafiq (2-46) to reduce the hosts to 66-3 from where number 3 Sam Perry and captain Adam Worrall made a stand of 102 to put Alderley back in with a shout of winning the game. Worrall eventually fell for 51 and with Perry following soon afterwards for a well-played 80 Alderley were finding the winning target a taller order at 192-5. The introduction of Timperley skipper Nathan Brown halted the scoring of the lower middle order and with 3-40 from his 9 overs Alderley struggled to build the momentum needed to take them to their victory target. Charlie Reid remained unbeaten on 20 with youngster George Bell showing a cool head in securing the draw taking 14 from 12 balls with 10 Timperley fielders around the bat in the final overs of the game for Alderley to close on 228-8, 36 runs shy of victory. Timperley took 14 points from the fixture, retaining top spot in the Cheshire County Premier League, to Alderley's 9.
In the reverse fixture Alderley's second XI also managed to salvage a draw with last wicket pair Chris Smith and captain David Johnson remaining unbeaten to deny Timperley victory. Alderley won the toss and elected to bowl first reducing the hosts to 54-2 in the early stages but 73 from opener Aaryan Godhamgaonkar helped set a platform for the home side's middle order to exploit. 47 from number 5 Jamie Matthews and 45 from number 6 Matt Fletcher helped Timperley recover from from 133-4 to close on 236-8 from their 50 overs. James Bateman was the pick of Alderley's attack with 3-82, Ollie Pooler claiming 2-30. Alderley's innings started brightly with opener David Wright hitting a brisk 33 but following a partnership of 56 for the 2nd wicket with Oli Wildig, top scoring for Alderley with 66, there were no contributions of note from the visiting side. With 75 still needed for victory when Alderley's final pair came together survival was the main objective and both Smith and Johnson stuck to the task to hold on to deny the home side victory claiming 7 points to Timperley's 15. Jordan Ruff was the pick of the home attack taking 4-55.
On Sunday a strong Didsbury outfit strengthened their hold on top spot with a comfortable 6 wicket victory in the end against Alderley's third team by who started the day in second spot. Although Alderley were hamstrung by availability issues and could only field nine players, they gave a highly creditable account of themselves at Wilmslow Road, at one point threatening what would have been a special victory. On a true pitch and lightning quick outfield, Alderley eased to 118-1 in the 26th over before tailing off to close on 161 all out, James Micklethwaite's 5-27 leaving Didsbury a manageable looking target. However, a fine opening burst from George Valentine saw the hosts reduced to 39-3, but Dave Tubby kept calm and with impressive shot selection put together stands of 57 with Taiyyib Khan and an unbroken 70 off 50 balls with Chris Elsden, ending the game with a soaring maximum cutting short a thankless task for Alderley's nine fieldsmen.
Match reort by Andrew Windle.