Alderley Edge First XI took the lion's share of the points from a top of the table clash in the Cheshire County Premier League at Neston on Saturday racking up a daunting 331-6 but being unable to bowl the hosts out to force a win on a flat pitch on the Wirral peninsula.
Winning the toss Neston elected to bowl first and saw their Australian overseas bowler Chris Dixon claim two wickets in the opening overs to leave Alderley at 21-2. With Ash Davis giving the Neston attack a constant pace threat from one end Sam Perry and Richard Wilkinson played watchfully to see the visitors out of trouble adding 110 for the third wicket before Wilkinson departed for 63 off 80 balls having wrestled the momentum in Alderley's favour.
Tom Foreman picked up where Wilkinson left off and with Perry the pair began to strike out at the host attack which was being shuffled regularly in the hot conditions. With some very good running between the pair the Neston fielding became a little more ragged and Perry moved to a very well made hundred with a mix of crisp boundaries and hard running to the boundary fielders on the large Parkgate ground.
As Alderley pressed on past the 280 mark-both batsman began to target the boundary more frequently off the returning Davis (3-62) who eventually claimed the wicket of Perry for a season-high 143 via a well taken running catch in the deep by Luke Camden; and Foreman for 75 off just 63 balls. There was still time for Charlie Reid to rack up a quick 26 from only 16 balls as the visitors finished their innings with a flourish closing on 331-6.
Alderley struck in the first over of Neston's reply with Camden choosing the wrong delivery to shoulder arms to Richard Wilkinson but with the pitch flattening in the continuing sunshine Alderley's bowlers had to work hard for their chances. Captain Dane Williams played steadily in accumulating 65 from number three, but with the wickets of other batsmen trying to force the pace falling at the other end Neston didn't really mount a serious challenge to Alderley's total.
The dismissal of Simon Stokes, who had played some lusty blows in making 58 from 55 balls gave Alderley a potential sniff of victory with 5 overs remaining but Neston's 7 and 8 saw out the remaining overs despite some close appeals from the Alderley attack, Wilkinson finishing with 2-37 and James Naylor 2-41 on a tough afternoon for the bowlers with Alderley taking 13 points from the fixture to Neston's 7.
On Sunday Alderley's firsts progressed to the second round of the Cheshire Cup with a convincing 7-wicket win over Bollington. Winning the toss Alderley skipper Sam Perry elected to bowl first with Alderley's attack responding by closing out the visitors for 154-7 off their 40 overs, George Valentine claiming 3-16 and James Naylor and Dan Fesmer each picking up two wickets as only Bollington's number 3 Keegan Fortune made a significant impact on the scorecard with a knock of 54.
Alderley raced to their target in 25 overs as a rapid 59 off 41 balls from opener Ben Kohler-Cadmore broke the back of the chase and a tidy 32 not out from Ollie Kenyon saw the home side over the line.
Alderley's Second team bounced back from the previous weekend to record a 5-wicket win over Alvanley at Moss Lane on Saturday. After being asked to bat first Alvanley responded with a 75-run opening stand with Henry Young hitting 42 and keeper Andy Bennion notching 28. But the introduction of Dil Yahathugoda into the attack changed the course of the innings as the veteran collected 6-20 with Alan Day providing good support in taking 2-39 as the visitors closed on 157-8 from their 50 overs.
In reply captain Andrew Kennedy carried his bat for an unbeaten 63 from 137 balls with Day, Callum Wilson and Shabz Qasim all making contributions in the twenties to get Alderley to their target with ten balls to spare.
Match report by Andrew Windle.