Another excellent bowling display paved the way on Saturday for Alderley Edge 1st XI to record their second successive league victory.
Playing against newly promoted Urmston, Simon O'Brien and Chris Cook both made early breakthroughs, but it was the stranglehold imposed on the middle of the innings by fine spells from Tom Foreman and Charlie Reid which put the visitors under pressure. This allowed O'Brien to blast out their lower order in his second spell, ending with the excellent figures of 6-37 and leaving Urmston 128 all out.
With plenty of overs available and a reasonable batting surface, this should have proved a straightforward target for Alderley, but the innings never achieved any real fluency, and Urmston's highly promising young leg spinner Parkinson put in a testing unbroken spell.
Even so, Alderley always looked fairly well in control in the run chase, with Calum Rowe's 42 being the mainstay of an eventual 4-wicket victory and another 25 point haul.
A very different game took place in the 2nd XI's visit to Urmston, whose famously flat batting track once again provided a run-fest – sadly, the majority of these went to the home side who ran up a daunting 316-5 with some explosive hitting. Alderley chased with great character, Ollie Hall (80), Ben Heades (69) and Dave Leonard (57) all cashing in, but with five 'ducks' also in the innings, the target proved too great and the innings closed on 263 all out.
The future of the club looks decidedly rosy as on Sunday the re-formed 3rd XI played their opening match of the season under new captain Chris Smith. This resulted in a convincing 130 run victory at Ashley, who were 108 all out in response to Alderley's 238-4 declared.
Perhaps the most satisfying aspects were the performances of the three Under-14 players in the team, with Eddie Fluck and Sam Perry top-scoring with 62 and 46 respectively, and Ollie Pooler being the leading bowler with 3-16. Some of the more 'seasoned' performers also had a good day: Marc Chan and Will Chalk both contributed 40 and Patrick Hatchman on his re-appearance smashed 31 not out from 11 balls.
Match report by Richard Davis.