by Chris Shenton
Audlem travelled to the beautiful Swynnerton park to take on Checkley 3rds on Saturday. On a hot sunny day and to the dismay of some team mates skipper Chris Shenton won the toss and decided to bowl.
After 8 overs of toil from opening bowlers Swift and Mcilveen with no reward this looked like a bad toss to win. However the introduction of spin at both ends turned the game on its head. After reaching 30 without loss Humphries took two quick wickets to put Audlem in control. Despite the best efforts of opening batsman Carrigan (24) Checkley just couldn't find runs easy to come by. Quick bowler turned spinner Dan Butler came into the attack and produced 8 excellent overs finishing with 3 for 11. Ably supported by veteran Humphries 2 for 24 and Swift 2 for 20 Audlem restricted Checkley to 109 for 9 off their 40 overs. Audlem were exceptional with ball and in the field with Mike Barlow and Kemal Toraman leading the way with some stunning saves.
Audlem opened up with Butler and Andy Rothwell and they moved serenely to 40 without loss. With a quick victory looking likely for Audlem players started to relax, which proved costly. Rothwell (24) and Butler (21) fell in quick succession and suddenly wickets started to fall with regularity. 40-0 soon turned into 85 for 5. Thankfully keeper Parkinson and skipper Shenton took Audlem to within 4 of victory only for both to fall lolloping to end the game in style. Humphries eventually got the away side over the line taking Audlem to 111-7 and a comfortable enough victory.
The win moves Audlem up to a close third in the league, just two points off second. Audlem entertain Sandbach this weekend, a 1pm start at Gorse Croft. As always, the bar will be open and all are welcome
by John Wainwright
The cancellation of Sunday's fixture against Burton CC (Chester) meant that Audlem had to find alternative opponents at short notice and with some searching the fixture secretary managed to source a game. Audlem travelled to Northwich to take on Winnington Park with a weaker than usual team due to unavailability of key players and a few late withdrawals.
On arrival at the ground the home captain informed the visiting skipper that his starting X1 were much stronger than usual due to their second team having no league game the previous day and made the suggestion that the visitors forgo the toss and allow the hosts to bat first. The request was politely turned down and on calling correctly at the coin ceremony the visitors took first knock on a good batting wicket and huge outfield. Audlem made decent progress throughout the innings against a good bowling attack and managed to post the respectable total of 167 for 8 off their allotted 40 overs.
Tea was taken alfresco as is the norm these days on the steps of the huge mock Tudor clubhouse with the adjacent Tata Chemicals works as backdrop alongside the nearby industrial estate... a far cry from the home comforts of The Gorse croft.
On resumption Audlem managed to keep the home batsmen in check for a while but the strength in depth of the batting line-up told in the end with the middle order batsmen scoring at will to bring the game to it's inevitable conclusion and take the game by the margin of 7 wickets. A special mention to young Reuben Irvine making his debut in senior cricket who performed admirably in the field and even managed to stem the flow of runs in his over towards the end of the game.
Next Sunday Audlem return to The Gorse Croft to lock horns with old friends, Poppyfields from the West Midlands
John Wainwright ( Audlem Cc )