Audlem's cricketers were full of runs yesterday. The 1st XI convincingly won their game at Offerton by 173 runs, to continue their undefeated start to the season and move into third place in Division 3, whilst the 2nd XI had Division 5 leaders Appleton clinging on for a draw.
The 1st XI travelled to Offerton with a weakened bowling attack, so skipper Chris Shenton decided to bat on a green wicket after winning the toss. His decision was soon vindicated as he and Andy Capper put on 59 runs for the first wicket. Shenton and Paddy Leese took the score to 106 before Shenton was out for 63, caught on the long-on boundary. Leese followed soon afterwards, but Tom Measures (27) and Tom Thorley added 69 for the fourth wicket. Another wicket fell quickly before Thorley (64 not out ) and Andy Jinks (10 not out) added 40 quick runs enabling Audlem to declare at 225 for 5 off 44 overs.
In their reply, Offerton were put on the back foot immediately as both of their openers were dismissed without a run on the board. Struggling at 24 for 4, the home side's loss of wickets was stemmed by youngsters Chris Ollier and Lee Scholes. They slowly ground out runs before Shenton brought himself on to bowl for the first time in two seasons. He soon dismissed both batsmen to break the back of Offerton's defence. Bowlers Lyndon Woodcock and Richard Robinson mopped up the tail with Offerton all out for 82. All Audlem's bowlers took wickets with Graham Jones (3 for 27) being the top wicket taker, Woodcock (2 for 21) and Robinson (2 for 17) Shenton (2 for 7) and Dave Adlard (1 for 16) all supporting him. Audlem gained 25 points and Offerton 3.
After a week's break, the 2nd XI put in a much-improved performance against unbeaten Appleton, following their opening day defeat. Audlem batted first and posted a competitive total of 178 for 5, built round dependable opener Norman Hindle, who scored a finely-crafted 77 not out. He was supported with a well-struck 54 by Rob Johnson as the two of them added 102 for the second wicket. Stand-in skipper John Eve was able to declare the innings at 178 for 5 after 46 overs, leaving the visitors 46 overs to reach the target.
In their reply Appleton were put on the defensive straight away, as opening bowlers Roy Wild and Kris Hardwick took three quick wickets. The middle order batsmen dug in and thwarted the home bowlers, with a steady partnership between skipper Aamir Rashid and Tom McIntosh which formed the springboard for the eventual run chase. The reintroduction of bowlers John Chadwick (4 for 33) and Wild (3 for 20) put the brakes on the scoring and wickets fell at regular intervals. The visitors were hanging on for a draw at the end with Rashid 71 not out. Ultimately Audlem ran out of overs as Appleton reached 141 for 8. Audlem gained 14 points and Appleton 6.
Next Saturday the 1st XI entertains Glazebury, whilst the 2nd XI makes the long journey to Hazel Grove to play Norbury.
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