It was back to more traditional cricket weather for the Saturday and Sunday teams after playing the previous weekend's fixtures in sweltering conditions. The Sunday game at Fenns Bank was abandoned without a ball being bowled as the rain that had been threatening all morning finally arrived just as the players turned up at the picturesque Iscoyd Park. The Saturday team had more luck as the wicket had been covered throughout Friday's intermittent showers and the outfield was largely unaffected.
This week's visitors to The Gorse Croft were Audley who were only just below Audlem in the league table so a tight game was expected. The hosts didn't get off to the best of starts with prolific opening batsman Dan Butler back in the pavilion for a first ball duck after electing to bat first. An excellent second wicket partnership between Richard Wilson ( 66 ) and Andy Rothwell ( 17 ) added 63 in good time and a third wicket stand with Tom Measures ( 15 ) took the score to 127 but as the accelerator was applied wickets began to tumble in pursuit of a defendable total. Allrounder Dave Parkinson ( 28 ) managed to stabilize the situation and put together some valuable partnerships with the lower order and eventually post a respectable total of 188 all out. This was some 20 to 30 runs short of what the captain had envisaged at the start of the innings but with his bowling attack at full strength was hopeful of a favourable outcome to the match.
Audlem's bowlers were ready for the challenge and made run scoring for the visitors very difficult to put them behind the clock by taking regular wickets at key intervals. Despite most of the batsmen getting decent starts only the belligerent Richard Beckett ( 48 ) was threatening the home team's total but on his dismissal the innings came to a swift conclusion 20 runs short to hand Audlem a hard fought victory. Callum McIlveen and Simon Swift both claimed 3 wickets but veteran spinner Neil Humphries again caused havoc delivering his 8 overs for 26 runs whilst claiming 4 wickets. ( all the wickets were from the top 6 in the batting order )
Since joining the North Staffs and South Cheshire League the club has made every effort to upgrade it's facilities as ground inspections take place every season. During last winter works were carried out to form a ladies changing room & modernise the toilet facilities plus improving the entrance to the ground complete with a safe car parking area away from the playing area. Drainage work was also done to problem sections to the outfield and all end of season reparations to the playing square completed.
Despite receiving good marks reflecting the work carried out it was noted that our scoring facilities are well short of what is required so during the coming close season the club propose to rectify this by building a new score box with a remote digital display unit with direct access to live scoring on match days. All the work is carried out by a small band of volunteers from within the club and valuable help from friends and neighbours. If anyone has any materials which they think might be of any use please contact us as we are always on the look out. We will also be looking to sponsorship again next season so please get in touch if interested.
Next Saturday Audlem play hosts to Cheadle ( Staffs ) whilst the Sunday X1 travel to Wistaston with both games scheduled for a 1.00pm start.
Audlem Cricket club
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