By Geoff Seddon - 25th April 2012 8:59am
Audlem’s cricketers struggled on the rain-affected opening day of the Cheshire Cricket Alliance 2012 season, with the 1st XI losing heavily and the 2nd XI eventually saved by the weather.
The 1st XI’s Division 2 season got off to a disastrous start with a humbling defeat at Holmes Chapel as they lost by 97 runs.
Skipper Chris Shenton lost the toss and Chapel’s captain Martin Rebbeck decided to bat first to make the most of the conditions before they inevitably deteriorated. Simon Swift got Audlem off to the perfect start by taking the first wicket without a run on the board. Unfortunately, things went downhill from then on as next four batsmen all posted double figures with Jonny Price scoring 50 not out. A late rally by Swift, who finished with 5 for 36 curtailed Chapel to 129 all out.
Audlem’s innings never got started in worsening conditions as they collapsed to 32 all out. Only opener Andy Rothwell reached double figures, scoring 14 including a four and a six. The home side’s fielding was impeccable and included two superb, one-handed, diving catches. Opening bowler Matt Funge decimated the visitors with 7 for 7 off just 9 overs.
Chapel gained 25 and Audlem 5. Despite the heavy defeat, Audlem didn’t lose ground to most of the teams in Division 2 as only two matches were played.
The 2nd XI’s start to the Division 4 campaign was rained off, with visitors Rylands in a strong position.
Skipper John Wainwright won the toss and decided to put the visitors in to bat. Unfortunately, the decision backfired as Rylands’ openers put on 43 for the first wicket. After that, wickets began to fall at regular intervals, with Lyndon Woodcock being the pick of the bowlers. Rylands were eventually all out for 137, with opener Andy Lowe top-scoring on 65. Woodcock finished with 5 for 48.
Audlem’s reply was very slow in the worsening conditions with Rylands bowlers getting on top. When both captains agreed that conditions were too bad to continue, Audlem were 12 for 3 off 14 overs.
Rylands gained 8 points and Audlem 5. As with the 1st XI, little ground was lost as only one match in the division was completed.
On Saturday the 1st XI hope to kick-start their season when they entertain Hazel Grove-based Norbury at the Gorse Croft. The 2nd XI take the long trek to play Stalybridge St Paul’s. Both matches start at 2.00 pm.
Tuesday 20th Mar
Town Hall (Audlem Public Hall)
Audlem Car Park
Audlem Car Park