In yet another 'cliff hanger' Audlem's cricketers triumphed by the barest of margins .
This time it was a thrilling 1 run victory against Column CC from Shrewsbury in a match reduced to 30 overs per team due to a rain delay of over an hour before play could commence.
Skipper, Ollie Banfield lost the toss and was asked to bat first on a decent looking track that had been covered during the rain delay.
Disaster struck in only the fourth over when prolific opener, Steve Ellsmore who was one of last week's batting stars was clean bowled without troubling the scorer but young Michael Burton (51 retired not out) batting at 3 came in and produced a masterclass alongside Adeel Mahmood (30) in a second wicket stand of 55.
The visitors continued to take every scoring opportunity on offer with Usman Ghani and Marcus Taylor providing the bulk of the remaining scoring with 49 not out and 28 not out respectively.
Audlem were happy with their total of 170 for 3 at the tea interval as they had a fine array of bowlers at their disposal for skipper Banfield to call upon as required but little did they realise just how close the final outcome would be.
22 for 4 in the tenth over and wanting 103 runs for victory with only 8 overs remaining and just 4 wickets in hand the game looked over for Column but H. Birrell (51 not out) & C. Baby (44) somehow pushed the score along at the required rate with a mixture of big hitting and quick running between the wickets.
With just 10 needed off the last over talisman, Dave Parkinson was brought on to bowl & a boundary saving field was carefully set — disaster struck when the first ball of the over was dispatched for 4 off a misfield leaving just 6 runs off 5 deliveries needed and Column were now firm favourites but Dave managed to contain the belligerent pair leaving them requiring a boundary off the final ball but they could only manage a couple to give Audlem a 1 run triumph.
Column's early innings woes were down to Audlem's opening pair of bowlers , with young Jake Topping bowling with pace and movement in his 6 over stint conceding only 11 runs and at the other end Connor Howard working his magic claiming the first four wickets in his 5 over spell whilst only having 5 runs scored off his bowling.
Column managed to steady the ship thanks to opener T. Dermody (15) & T. Mann (25) giving them a platform for the late charge but both were run out by fine pieces of fielding from Usman Ghani and a direct throw from young David Cotterill .The other wicket taker was Steve Neale who finished with 1 for 36 off his 6 overs as the hosts closed on 169 for 7.
A special mention must go to Audlem's Sunday captain who always manages to get his team over the line in the tight games we are involved in. He does so quite often at the expense of his own game in an attempt to give maximum involvement to every team member. Ollie Banfield will not feature in the top of the batting averages this season but as a captain he is the undisputed number 1. Audlem's very own Mike Brearley.
Audlem wrap up their season next Sunday with a home fixture against Aston CC with a 1.00pm start
Audlem Cricket Club