Alderley Edge moved into the last eight of the Cheshire Cup with an exciting victory over Premiership leaders Neston at Moss Lane on Sunday.
Neston recovered from a poor start to reach 212-8 from 45 overs, Alderley's outstanding bowler being leg spinner Ethan Harding who took 3 for 34.
Alderley started well in reply but the innings became bogged down due to fine bowling from Neston's Andy Clarke, who had previously top-scored with 52 not out. Charlie Reid than batted brilliantly with the lower order to finish unbeaten on 53 and earn Alderley a victory with just two balls to spare, setting up a Quarter Final clash with local rivals Macclesfield.
Alderley's recent good league run came to an end on Saturday with a 27 run defeat against another local rival Toft, a team who have had the 'Indian sign' over Alderley in recent years. After Alderley's opening bowler Jason Whittaker fired out the first four Toft batsman with less than 50 on the board, a steady recovery led by captain Drummond, supported by Jones and Stubbs, allowed Toft to reach 187-9 from their 55 overs.
Unfortunately, against talented spin bowlers Jones and Lomas, bowling on a helpful pitch, Alderley's reply was soon derailed as they slumped to 55 for 7. From this seemingly hopeless situation, a strong fightback was launched by Calum Rowe and Andrew Jackson, who took the attack to the opposition.
When Jackson was out for an excellent 42, Rowe carried on with the tail-enders, eventually being last man out for a superb 89, by far the outstanding individual innings of the day. The fact that the other nine batsmen amassed only 25 runs between them put his and Jackson's efforts even more into perspective!
No such 'hoodoo' problems for the 2nd XI, who maintained their challenge for the title by crushing a very strong-looking Toft side at Moss Lane. A second successive century from Ollie Wildig and 80 from Dave Leonard set up a formidable total of 264 for 4, before Toft's highly rated batting was ripped apart by the pace of Chris Cook to set up a huge 140 run victory.
Match report by Richard Davis.