Cricket: Victory at Oxton gives Alderley top spot

12th August (1)

Alderley Edge First XI climbed to the summit of the Cheshire County Premier League on Saturday after securing a vital win away at Oxton while their rivals at the top of the table faltered.

After winning the toss Oxton chose to bowl first on a tacky surface and in blustery conditions that lasted throughout the day on the Wirral. Ben Kohler-Cadmore continued his recent purple patch with a blistering 80 off 75 balls, putting on an opening stand of 109 with skipper Sam Perry to give the visitors the early advantage.

From their early smooth sailing Alderley's middle order conspired to enter choppier waters losing 5 wickets for the addition of just 21 runs as spinner Jordan Collier turned in a strong performance with figures of 5-47 from 17 overs. Collier claimed the key wicket of Perry for 45 as Alderley fell to 134-6 and with Chris Stenhouse taking 2-46 in support the visitors found scoring opportunities in short supply. Number 7 Charlie Barnard held back the tide for 57 balls in compiling 15 and with the tail chipping in Alderley accumulated 176 before being dismissed in the penultimate over.

In response Oxton's openers began aggressively in racing to 30 off the first 5 overs before the returning Chris Sanders struck to remove skipper Luke Filer and Charlie Barnard trapped Michael Dobson to leave the hosts on 35-2. Number 4 Jack Corran's 40 provided the mainstay of the innings before he too fell to Barnard who capped an excellent spell of 3-15 off 17 overs to help keep Oxton's chase in check. James Naylor put in a key 11 over spell from which he was unlucky to pick up only two wickets as Alderley continued to pick off the hosts line-up as they fell from 91-2 to 110-7.

Sanders returned for a second spell, quickly rearranging the stumps of Oxton's numbers 8 and 9, but a spirited final wicket partnership of 27 between Toby Brown and Chris Stenhouse continued to give the home side hope before Sanders completed victory bowling Stenhouse to collect 4-35 from just over 10 overs giving Alderley victory by 27 runs. With Didsbury, who topped the table at the start of the day, only managing a draw at Cheadle and Hyde suffering a heavy defeat at home to Widnes, Sam Perry's team sit top of the league by a point with 5 games of the season now remaining.

Alderley's Second XI continued their strong recent run of results with another victory at Moss Lane, this time over Marple by a 6-wicket margin. Winning the toss Marple chose to bat first with 57 from opener James Crisall and 43 from number 3 Mike Schofield giving them a strong start to reach 74-1.

Two wickets in quick succession to young spinner Alfie Usher prompted a fightback from Alderley's bowlers as Marple stumbled to 98-3 with three wickets for George Valentine and one each for Sam Woolf and Liam Yahathugoda helping the home side continue to land timely blows on the Marple order whose innings closed on 174-7 from their 50 overs thanks to a crucial 24 from number 6 Alex Nuttall.

Alderley's reply began strongly with an opening partnership of 72 between Alan Day (33) and Liam Yahathugoda who top-scored with 49. A couple of wickets for Ed Saxleby helped keep Marple in contention as Alderley reached 126-3 but veterans Ollie Kenyon (41 not out) and Dil Yahathugoda (28 not out) used all their experience to apply the finishing touches to the chase as the hosts made it home with three overs to spare.

On Sunday Alderley's Third XI suffered a tough afternoon at Didsbury going down by 149 runs. Winning the toss and batting first the hosts posted an imposing 260 from their 40 overs on the back of skipper Andy Mashiter's 63 with strong supporting knocks of 56 from Alex Young and 50 from Ben Renison.

Alderley showed good application to bowl out the home side with Jeremy Dunn taking 3-38 and Charlie Boddy collecting 2-23 from their 5 overs. In the second innings Alderley's reply never got out of first gear with only 39 from opener Ashray Bhamdipati causing a dent in the target as 4-23 from Raheem Tariq did the bulk of the damage for Didsbury who polished off Alderley's innings in the 38th over.

Match report by Andrew Windle.