Cricket: Alderley set league form back on track with Oulton Park win


Alderley Edge First XI bounced back from two disappointing defeats in the Cheshire County Premier League on Saturday with a strong seven-wicket win at Oulton Park.

Winning the toss and electing to bat first, the hosts made a solid start to their innings reaching 109-2 with skipper Martin East hitting 63 and number 3 Jimmy O'Sullivan striking 33. Another fine spell of bowling from Ed Foster changed the course of the game though with the seamer collecting 5-31 to trigger a collapse which saw the home side lose their last 7 wickets for just 27 runs. James Naylor and Charlie Reid both collected two wickets apiece as Oulton Park were bundled out for 149 in the 43rd over.

In the second innings Foster and Sam Perry added 52 for the first wicket before the former became one of two wickets to fall to spinner Andrew Dufty with Alderley falling to 94-3 as the hosts fought back with the ball. But Perry carried his bat for a composed 60 not out to add the remaining 56 runs with Richard Wilkinson who continued his good form with the bat hitting an unbeaten 33 to see the visitors to their target.

On Thursday evening Alderley progressed in the Cheshire Cup after agreeing to a T20 fixture to complete their first round tie at Urmston. The hosts elected to bowl first after winning the toss but Alderley set a stiff total of 153 on the back of a destructive 85 not out off 61 balls from opener Sam Perry, Ollie Kenyon's 29 from 26 in the middle order and finishing with a flourish on the back of George Valentine's 22 from 21 deliveries.

A run-a-ball 37 from skipper Lee Jackson helped Urmston off to a strong start in reply and 23 from Gautam Narayanan in the middle order kept the home side up with the asking rate but Alderley's attack struck regularly, chiefly through Dan Fesmer (2-15) and Will Valentine (2-25), to leave Urmston 16 runs short closing on 137-7.

In Second XI action on Saturday a depleted Alderley side was dismissed for 89 after visitors Oxton won the toss and elected to bowl first at Moss Lane. Oxton skipper Richard Fennah's 4-28 rolled over the hosts' top order with Mike Baker and Gabe Wilson both taking two wickets in support as the Wirral side finished their work in the 35th over. In reply, 51 not out from opener Will Clayton and 28 from Grant Hughes broke the back of the chase for the visitors to cross the finish line for the loss of two wickets, both taken by Alderley seamer George Valentine.

On Sunday Alderley's Third XI emerged with a draw against a strong Nantwich side at Whitehouse Lane. Winning the toss and electing to bowl first Alderley dismissed the hosts inside 45 overs with Alfie Usher claiming 3-34 and Stan Price and Katie Haszeldine both grabbing two wickets in a strong showing with the ball as the hosts were shot out for 173, opener Callum Pearson top scoring with 38. In reply Alderley couldn't quite muster the runs for victory but knocks of 28 from Usher, 30 from Toby Orr and 27 from Tejas Rao helped the visitors to stave off the host's attack to close on 133-8 to take 7 points to Nantwich's 12.

Match report by Andrew Windle.