Alderley Edge First XI inflicted another hammering at Moss Lane on Saturday following in their recent form of dismissing sides for under three figures with Neston the visitors on Saturday in the Cheshire County Premier League.
With the start delayed due to persistent drizzle, Neston won the toss and elected to bowl first in a match reduced to 48 overs per side. In a break in usual proceedings, it was Alderley's batting line up who found themselves in trouble as Neston's overseas seamer Rowan Shelton picked up 3-53 to leave the hosts rocking at 86-5 after a number of the top order got in to the teens before getting out.
Ollie Kenyon battled hard from number 6, resisting the Neston attack for 45 deliveries to see Alderley to 98-7 before falling to spinner Luke Jones (2-22). At 100-8 Alderley were staring down the barrel of a short afternoon but with eleven overs left to bat number 10 Andrew Windle enhanced his all-rounder credentials with a battling knock of 33 not out to pull the momentum back in favour of the home side.
Beginning by seeing out the remaining overs from Neston's speedster Ash Davis, who finished with 3-35, Windle paired with Ben Lambert to add 30 in an unbroken final wicket stand. The pair ran smartly and defended stoically as the slow outfield restricted boundary hitting but began to play more expansively as Neston's players became visibly more frustrated as the partnership developed. With the veteran facing 59 deliveries and Lambert resisting the Neston attack for 30 balls, the pair saw out the remainder of Alderley's allotted overs to close their innings on 143-9.
After tea, Alderley were straight into their work with the ball as Kiwi James Naylor took two quick wickets to leave the visitors on 2-2 in the early exchanges. Opposition captain Simon Stokes tried the arial route to get his side out of trouble before Windle joined the party with the ball to have Stokes caught behind for 19 thanks to some smart glove-work from stand-in wicketkeeper Sam Perry. Ed Foster replaced Naylor, striking twice to further reduce Neston to 49-5 in claiming a handy 2-17 from 6 overs.
Windle then completed a good day at the office bowling Luke Jones through the gate and luring the dangerous Chris Hackett into a drive to mid-off where Will Valentine took a tidy diving catch for the seamer to finish with figures of 3-22 from 14 straight overs, half of which were maidens. Naylor returned to claim his third wicket of the day, ending the 52-ball resistance from Shelton as Neston slumped to 70-8 and when Charlie Reid took two wickets in two balls to remove Tom Thorne and Number 11 Chris Finnegan, Alderley sealed victory by a huge 71 run margin with the visitors dismissed for just 72 in the space of 30 overs.
Alderley's Second XI again put in an impressive batting display in the reverse fixture at Parkgate after winning the toss and batting first. Alderley's opening pair of Andrew Kennedy and Liam Yahathugoda got things off to a strong start with an 85-run stand for the first wicket before Kennedy departed for 41 with Yahathugoda completing his half century before falling for 58. Number 4 Callum Wilson also registered 58 as Alderley continued to pile on the runs with the icing on the cake applied by Tejas Rao striking 67 from number 5 as Alderley reached 253-7 from their 50 overs, Guy Bradshaw and Harley Pritchard leading Neston's efforts with the ball, both taking 3 wickets.
In the second innings 85 from opener Rohith Muthuvelu got the hosts off to a strong start in the company of number 3 Guy Bradshaw who hit 45, but for Alderley it was the story of father and son duo Dil and Liam Yahathugoda as Dil claimed 2-28 from a rare 12 overs and Liam claimed 3-43 as Alderley manoeuvred into position for potential victory before 32 from Chrissy Lacey and 11 not out from skipper Dan Wakefield halted the visitors who took 14 points from the drawn match to Neston's 8 with the hosts closing on 207-7.
On Sunday Alderley's Third XI also got the better of a drawn game at home against second-placed Marple. After being asked to bat first, 47 from opener Henry Stevinson set Alderley up nicely with 49 from wicketkeeper Christian Smith and 45 not out from Mike Higginson lifting Alderley's total to 180-9 from their 45 overs, Scott Saxelby taking 5-48 as the pick of Marple's bowlers.
In the second innings, 46 from number 3 Matt Leech set the platform for Marple's chase before he became one of three wickets for Ashray Bhamidipati. In a nail-biting finish a final partnership of 37 from Greg Marsland and James Reeve gave Marple a sniff of victory but Alderley's young attack showed good composure to close out the innings with the ball to leave the visitors 4 runs short of their victory target for the loss of 8 wickets giving Alderley 14 points from the draw to Marple's 8.
Match report by Andrew Windle.