Alderley Edge's First XI continued their recent upsurge in league form on Saturday with a thumping 9 wicket win over neighbours Toft at Moss Lane to l move them to third in the Cheshire County Premier League table.
Winning the toss, Toft skipper Jimmy Lomas elected to bat first with the visitors moving to 48-2 in the early stages of the innings. The introduction of Stephen Parry with the ball for Alderley had an immediate impact with the left armer removing fellow Lancashire player Rob Jones for 11 with a fine catch off his own bowling and then dismissing the in-form Robert Sehmi for 36 to slow Toft's progress at 102-4.
An extraordinary passage of played then followed with Toft's score on 107 the visitors lost 4 wickets for no runs scored, including two wickets in two balls for Ed Foster, to tumble to 107-8. 15 not out from number 8 Andrew Jackson lifted Toft to 130 before Parry closed the innings claiming his fifth wicket bowling number 11 James Hodgson in the 39th over with Foster claiming 3-31 in another good display with the ball.
Alderley's batsmen were convincing in their reply, openers Calum Rowe and Sam Perry looking in total control in compiling 73 for the first wicket. With Perry falling for 34 Rowe continued through to complete an unbeaten 63 in partnership with Foster who hit a composed 27 not out with the hosts securing 25 points with over 35 overs of the game to spare. The victory, Alderley's fourth in a row, moved them to within 21 points of current leaders Chester Boughton Hall with the mid-point of the season approaching next weekend against Cheadle.
In the reverse fixture at Booths Hall Alderley's Second XI took the lion's share of the points on an afternoon where over 500 runs were scored by the two teams. Winning the toss, Jon Usher elected to bat first with openers Jonny Scurrah and Ben Lambert building a big opening stand of 147 before Lambert fell for 50 with Scurrah departing soon after for 84 with the score on 153-2. Numbers 3 and 4 Emma Lamb and Ollie Pooler picked up the pace to push the visitors past the 200 mark. With Lamb dismissed for 22, Pooler continued apace notching 54 from just 46 balls powering Alderley on to an imposing 261-5 from their 50 overs.
Alderley started well with the ball in keeping Toft to 88-2 with Scott Craig proving the mainstay for the hosts with 66. Alderley rallied to dismiss Toft's middle order with a burst of 3 wickets for 3 runs, including Craig and number 4 Joe Stanley who made 48. Despite the wobble Toft's strong batting line up continued to creep towards their victory target with some big hitting from number 7 Najeeb Rawufi bringing his 50 from 43 balls.
With his dismissal, the 8th Toft wicket to fall with the score on 247, Alderley sniffed a chance for victory but were unable to remove final pair Daniel Gibbon and George Muirhead with the hosts 12 runs short of victory. A good all round performance with the ball saw wickets shared around for the Alderley attack with Scurrah, Lamb, David Johnson and Charlie Boddy all taking two wickets each as the visitors took 15 points from the contest to Toft's 7.
On Sunday Alderley's Third XI secured a 96 run victory over Hyde at their Werneth Low ground. Winning the toss and batting first Alderley made their way to 41 before the first wicket fell. From that point forward the Alderley innings was dominated by a superb 121 not out from George Bell at better than a run a ball including 8 fours and 4 sixes. Bell's efforts left the visitors with a total of 213-6 from their 45 overs, Kian Hunt taking 3-19 for the home side. Bell then starred with the ball in taking 4-20 to dismiss Hyde for 117 in the 32nd over with Ben Kirsch, Will Valentine and Joey Chong each taking two wickets in support. Opener Mark Koehler made 32 in the solitary score of note for Hyde.
Match report by Andrew Windle.