Alderley Edge 1st XI missed a great opportunity to register a second successive win on Saturday, this time against triple champions Nantwich.
Brilliant bowling by Jason Whittaker reduced the reigning title holders to 24-4, but a recovery was launched almost single-handedly by Nantwich skipper Ray Doyle who made an outstanding 115, Whittaker finishing with 5-53 from 22 excellent overs.
Nantwich's total of 208-7 was more than they looked like getting, but should not have been an especially daunting target on a good batting surface. Unfortunately there followed an all too familiar top order collapse as six wickets fell in the first 15 overs, and although Charlie Reid (48) led a fightback with good support from the lower order, the final wicket fell with 9 balls remaining to leave Alderley with a disappointing 4 points.
Happily the gods smiled more kindly on Alderley on Sunday, when they registered a nail-biting one wicket victory against Sale in the 3rd round of the Cheshire Cup. Sale were restricted to 176-7 from 45 overs through a good effort from a weakened bowling attack, with Will Hardwick taking 5-33 on, sadly, his final appearance for the club.
After tea the advantage see-sawed regularly but Alderley captain Alan Day kept his composure to make 84 not out, and the winning boundary was hit by injured number 11 batsman Ben Lambert off the last ball of the penultimate over. A home match against Premiership leaders Neston now awaits in round 4.
The 2nd XI continue to fly the flag, their 6 wicket victory at Nantwich taking them into 2nd place in the league table. A half century from Oliver Wildig and 45 not out from big-hitting Ben Heades ensured that Nantwich's total of 190 was passed with the minimum of alarm.
Match report by Richard Davis.