A mixed weekend for Alderley Edge First XI saw them hop to second place in the Cheshire County Premier League but also eliminated from the Cheshire Twenty20 competition after suffering their first defeat in the competition in almost three seasons.
The weather gods smiled on Sam Perry's men on Saturday at the Kingsway Ground with Alderley the only side in the division to post a positive result with the rest of the fixture schedule resulting in draws and abandonments due to the rain sweeping through the county.
Winning the toss and electing to bowl first Alderley's attack made short work of Cheadle's line up on a pitch tailor-made for their seam attack. Andrew Windle claimed the first four wickets to fall as Cheadle tumbled to 32-5, crucially including Cheadle's overseas player Andrej Yaksender first ball, securing a five-wicket haul (5-27) with the wicket of opposition skipper Josh Dooler. Richard Wilkinson secured his own five-fer (5-24) sweeping through the tail as the hosts were bundled out for just 69 inside 32 overs.
With rain falling during the tea break Alderley prepared to try and finish the chase quickly knowing rain could scupper chance of victory at any point as dark clouds slid past ominously either side of the ground. Ben Kohler-Cadmore (19) and Sam Perry (24) added 37 for the opening partnership to set Alderley on their way and after a further brief delay for rain the returning George Bell polished things off in quick time with a flurry of inventive reverse sweeps off the spinners to secure the 25 points for the visitors inside 17 overs which lifted them to within a point of leaders Didsbury.
At the same venue on Sunday another low scoring game in the Cheshire T20 Semin-Final went the way of the hosts in dramatic circumstances. Winning the toss for a second time Sam Perry elected to bowl first again with Jimmy Naylor immediately seizing the initiative for Alderley bowling Max Fisher with the second ball of the game.
Andrew Windle claimed two wickets in two balls (2-14) in successive games as the hosts sunk to 14-3 in the early stages before 40 form 33 balls from Cheadle's Australian Yaksender helped them to recover somewhat with Will Holmes also adding 18 from number 5 as the pair put on 50 for the fourth wicket. The introduction of Ed Foster with the ball stopped Cheadle in their tracks as he removed Yaksender before adding another three scalps to take 4-11 as youngster Liam Yahathugoda took 2-16 from the other end in support to restrict Cheadle to 115-9 from their 20 overs.
A knock of 25 from Perry opening up got the visitors off to a steady start with 32 from George Bell helping to push Alderley into a strong position at the half way stage. But the introduction of Cheadle spinners Josh Dooler and in particular Will Holmes began to slow up the Alderley chase as the finish line approached, crucially taking three wickets in the final over, including Subhaan Mahmood for 28, as Alderley failed to hit the 2-runs they needed from the last 7 balls of the innings to secure victory and a third successive final in a row. In securing a single off the final ball of their innings and finishing on the same score as Cheadle a super-over was triggered.
A couple of boundaries from Ben Kohler-Cadmore helped Alderley set a score of 14-1 from their super over but a pair of boundaries and some strong running from Cheadle's pair of Yaksender and Max Fisher helped the hosts to a score of 16 from their super over to claim victory and knock out the reigning champions of the previous two seasons.
Alderley's Second XI made it a 50-point weekend for the club with an 8-wicket victory over Romiley at Moss Lane on Saturday. After winning the toss and choosing to bowl first Alderley's attack dismissed the visitors for just 136 thanks to 5-31 from Alan Day backed up by 3-43 from George Valentine and 2-31 from Arthur Scrase with 48 from Conor Bergin providing the bulk of the Romiley total. In reply Day continued his hot streak with the willow striking 86 not out from just 74 deliveries to secure the win for Alderley in the 22nd over of the second innings.
On Sunday Alderley's Third XI fell victim to the weather with their fixture with Marple abandoned after several heavy showers at Moss Lane left them unable to resume after reaching 8-0 off 1 over of play, with each side taking two points.
Match report by Andrew Windle.