This week the Audlem Sunday X1 faced the prospect of their most distant away fixture at Burton CC on the Wirral.
The compensation for making the journey was the setting of the ground in the centre of the picture postcard village at the rear of the Gladstone village hall overlooking the Dee Estuary with the RSPB's Burton Mere Wetlands reserve in the foreground. A large contrast to the old days of Cheshire Alliance cricket when the journeys to the Wirral were always on the northern shore of the peninsular where most of the venues were surrounded by large chemical refineries, modern industrial estates or situated in cavernous playing fields with a portacabin changing room for multiple teams and a long hike to the designated playing field.
Due to two of our star players having to leave at about 6.00pm to attend a family party the captain of the day had to make the agonising decision to take to the field first. The wicket looked in excellent condition, the sun was shining and the team was full of batting talent but the prospect of fielding with two players missing during the latter stages of the game made the unpopular choice inevitable.
Young Jake Topping and Connor Howard soon found their line and length and began to probe the weaknesses of the Burton openers with the first wicket falling with 32 on the board. With Jake taking a break after only conceding 5 runs off 4 accurate overs young Bertie Hardy took over and devastated the host's early batting line-up taking 3 wickets for just 7 runs. Burton made a slow recovery and managed to set a competitive total off their 40 overs with Audlem ringing the changes using 9 bowlers on the day.
Set 177 for victory the Audlem batsmen soon got into their stride with both Usman Ghani ( 24 ) and Adeel Mahmood ( 36 ) dispatching the Burton attack to set up what appeared a regulation victory but the home team had other ideas as the pegged the game back with some tidy bowling and excellent ground fielding. With a steady fall of wickets and runs hard to come by the game went right to the wire with the last two batsmen at the wicket and the scores level with one ball left the ever dependable Dave Parkinson ( 32 not out ) hit the winning runs to secure a hard earned victory by the barest of margins. Valuable contributions from Jake Topping ( 14 ) Bertie Hardy ( 14 ) Michael Burton ( 10 ) and Andrew Burton ( 19 ) all helped the team along the way.
Audlem Cricket Club