Audlem 1st XI had a comfortable 10 wickets victory as they entertained fourth-placed Holmes Chapel in the Cheshire Cricket Alliance Division 2 south Cheshire derby. In Division 5 the 2nd XI drew at Kerridge, requiring just three more runs to win.
After an extremely wet week, it was a sunny Saturday afternoon at the Gorse Croft and, on what looked a tricky batting track skipper Chris Shenton won the toss for the first time this season and elected to insert the opposition.
Holmes Chapel made a steady start against opening bowlers Simon Swift and Stuart Elkes before Swift had Nick Lyons lbw in the 11th over with the score on 34. Soon after Elkes had the other opener Will Reynolds also lbw, leaving Chapel in trouble on 38 for 2. Spinner Lyndon Woodcock was brought into the attack in only the 13th over and soon had the ball turning prodigiously.
Andy Thorburn and Mike Gill batted well and after batting sensibly for a few overs then Thorburn suddenly exploded and hit two massive sixes off Woodcock. The score had moved to 84 for 2 when Jim Littlewood replaced the accurate Elkes (1 for 24 in 12 overs) and took a wicket with his first ball, having the dangerous Thorburn caught behind for a well-made 29.
When Gill fell to Woodcock with the score still on 84 it started a dramatic collapse that saw the visitors all out for just 121 in the 41st over. Woodcock and Littlewood did the damage, both taking four wickets. Highlight of the innings was a spectacular diving left-handed catch by youngster Ollie Burney to dismiss batsman Andy Gilligan.
After tea Audlem openers Shenton and Andy Capper went out to bat expecting a tough session on a bowler-friendly pitch. Thirty overs later the game was over with both openers remaining unbeaten and giving only one chance late on when the game was over. Only captain Neil Almond bowled with discipline, conceding just 12 runs in 10 overs.
Shenton crafted his way to 50 before letting loose, hitting four sixes on his way to 84 not out. He was ably supported by Andy Capper, who scored a steady, chanceless 24 not out as Audlem passed the winning post. Audlem gained 20 points and Holmes Chapel 4.
The 2nd XI travelled to Kerridge and played out an exciting draw. Kerridge batted first and were all out for 173 in the last of their 48 overs. John Chadwick was Audlem's most successful bowler, taking four wickets. When Audlem started the run chase, skipper Toby Banfield was out cheaply. However, good knocks from John Wainwright (36), Andy Rothwell (47) and Paul Thorburn (21) kept the target in sight.
With four overs left Audlem needed just sixteen runs to win. However, tight bowling from Kerridge meant that twelve were still required off the last over, with only two wickets remaining. Despite Audlem's efforts, they scored just ten of the required runs to finish on 171 for 8. Kerridge gained 12 points and Audlem 9.
Next Saturday the 1st XI travel to table toppers Frodsham whilst the 2nd XI entertain Styal. On Sunday the 1st XI travel again, this time to Langley to play in the league cup. All games start at 2 pm.
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