Despite yesterday's rain, Audlem 1st XI managed to get the local derby played at nearby Haslington. In the end the Cheshire Cricket Alliance Division 2 game finished in a draw. The 2nd XI wasn't so lucky as the home game against Northwich was abandoned without a ball being bowled – both teams received 5 points.
The 1st XI made the short journey to Haslington on a miserable wet day expecting to play very little cricket. However, much to everyone's surprise, the playing surface was perfect and after only a short delay Haslington skipper Jonathan Phipps won the toss and chose to bat. After a solid but slow start Audlem made the breakthrough, having opener Dave France caught and bowled by Simon Swift. Will Storey soon followed also bowled by the impressive Swift, leaving Haslington in trouble on 28 for 2. However, senior players Sam Trevor and John Clayton steadily built a partnership and took the score along to 69 before Woodcock made the vital breakthrough, having Clayton caught at square leg. Two more wickets soon followed leaving the home side on 81 for 5. Trevor was still battling solidly and when the explosive Anthony Phipps joined him at the crease, the boundaries started to flow. The score quickly moved on to 124 before Trevor became another of Swift's victims for 57. Three more quick wickets followed, including Phipps, who was sensationally caught on the boundary by Jim Littlewood for 30, to leave the hosts on 136 for 9 with seven overs still to bat. However last man Richard Brown and youngster Matt Farnell frustrated Audlem's bowlers to see Haslington through to the last over adding 24 important runs before Swift claimed his 6th wicket of the innings.
With 160 needed off a reduced 37 overs, Audlem made a poor start when Andy Capper was trapped lbw by Brian Tennant in just the third over. With Anthony Phipps sending the ball down with real speed, Rich Wilson and skipper Chris Shenton did all they could just to survive. Although the scoring was slow, they managed to see off the new ball and, with wickets in hand, they started to attack as they sensed victory. They shared a fifty partnership before Wilson was caught and bowled by Tennant for 14. Jim Littlewood then combined with Shenton as Audlem continued to attack. With the score on 68 Shenton was out for 31. Tom Measures joined Littlewood at the crease as the visitors continued to chase the runs, but when Littlewood (24) was caught down the legside off spinner Matt Farnell and Paddy Leese was bowled by Phipps, Audlem's chances of victory disappeared. It was left to Measures and youngster Ollie Burney to see Audlem through to close ending on 125 for 5.
Haslington gained 11 points and Audlem 8, which sees Audlem remain in 6th place in the table.
On Saturday the 1st XI play host to Rostherne whilst the 2nd XI travel to Frodsham. Both games start at 2 pm.
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