Alderley Edge first XI finished their Cheshire County Premier League season with a narrow 2 wicket defeat to neighbours Cheadle at Moss Lane on Saturday to leave the home side with a sixth place finish. Winning the toss, Alderley skipper Adam Worrall chose to bat first on a pitch offering early movement to the Cheadle attack. The home side's top order struggled to impose themselves on the moving ball being restricted to 76-4 in the first 20 overs with opposition skipper Dan Brown leading the way with 3-40. Alderley's middle order re-gained the initiative on the back of Ed Fluck's 52 from 50 balls and Worrall's 64 from 66 as the home side took advantage of the improving conditions, targeting the Cheadle spinners in particular. Quick fire runs from Charlie Reid (24) and Harry Elms (29) helped carry the hosts past the 200 mark and up to a useful 228-8 from their 55 overs, Will Holmes and Josh Dooler finishing with 2 wickets apiece for the visitors.
At the beginning of the second innings the Alderley opening pair of Keiran Elliott and Andrew Windle found conditions just as conducive as their counterparts had earlier in the day and taking full advantage they quickly had Cheadle in deep trouble at 45-6 with Elliott claiming 3 wickets, Windle taking 2 and Adam Worrall claiming a wicket with his first delivery of the season having handed over wicket-keeping duties mid-way through the innings to George Bell. The seventh wicket partnership between Josh Dooler and Dan Brown proved to be the definitive combination of the match with the pair adding 130 with Alderley ruing a number of missed chances to part them. Worrall shuffled his bowlers in search of a breakthrough without success before Elliott returned to claim Dooler lbw for 54 to pick up his 4th wicket of the afternoon and 48th of a successful season with the club before returning to Melbourne. At 175-7 Cheadle still required over 50 runs at an asking rate of 9 an over but with Brown now into the 70s and continuing to find scoring opportunities, Cheadle remained in the game. Number 9 Adam Dooler added a crucial 21 to keep the hosts in the hunt and with a dropped catch and two boundaries conceded in the final over Cheadle chased down the runs required with one ball of the game to spare.
Jon Usher's second XI finished on a brighter note with a 55 run win over bottom-placed Macclesfield at Victoria Road. Having struggled to raise a full eleven earlier in the week the team was boosted by the inclusion of former England star Andrew Flintoff, lining up alongside son Corey also making his debut for the second team. Winning the toss and batting, Alderley number 3 Jonny Scurrah notched up 51 with Dan Fesmer striking a superb 95 from number 5 to hold the innings together and take the visitors total beyond 200. A breezy 17 from Flintoff senior, batting at 7, took Alderley up to 226 all out from 48 overs, Patrick Tuner led the hosts attack taking 5-43 from 12 overs.
Alderley's youthful bowling line up soon had the hosts in trouble at 35-3 with captain Alex Griffiths leading the way in the early part of the second innings with a spritely 23 from 15 balls. From there on number 4 Tom Isherwood played something of a lone hand, notching up 86, but when he was the 8th Macclesfield wicket to fall with the score on 165 Alderley did not let the game out of their grasp, bowling out the hosts for 171 with over 8 overs to spare. In a good all round performance with the ball, each of Alderley's bowlers claimed a wicket with James Bateman, Ollie Pooler, Corey Flintoff and Josh Chalk taking two wickets apiece. The result saw Alderley finish in 5th spot in the Second XI Premier League, a highly creditable position given the availability of players throughout the summer.
Match report by Andrew Windle.