Following last week's first defeat of the season, Audlem 1st XI got back to winning ways in the Cheshire Cricket Alliance with a comprehensive nine-wicket victory over Knutsford. However the 2nd XI were well beaten by Heaton Mersey Village, losing by six wickets.
In Division 3 it was a case of top versus bottom as the 1st XI entertained Knutsford. The visitors won the toss and decided to bat first. They got off to a good start as their openers put on 34 for the first wicket before James Siddorns struck. Fellow opening bowler Stuart Elkes got in on the act soon afterwards to leave Knutsford at 47 for 2. They added a further 18 runs before the introduction of off-spinner Lyndon Woodcock again proved a turning point of a game. Knutsford lost seven wickets for just 15 runs as the crumbled to 81 for 9. Stout defence from the visitors' last pair saw the score rise to 93 before Woodcock took the final wicket. He finished with 6 for 17 and was ably supported by Siddorns (2 for 27), Elkes (1 for 12) and Chris Shenton (1 for 8).
In reply, Audlem's opening batsmen Andy Capper and skipper Shenton made light of the target as they pummelled the visitors' attack to all corners of the ground. Shenton scored the bulk of the runs as they raced to 87 in just eleven overs, before Capper, trying for another big hit, was bowled for 18. Paddy Leese joined Shenton at the wicket and two overs later Leese (5 not out) hit the winning boundary. Shenton was unbeaten on 60.
Audlem gained 20 points to remain top and Knutsford gained 3 points and stay rooted to the bottom. With just two mores games to go, the 1st XI are 13 points clear of second placed Mossley and 20 points ahead of Kerridge, who are third. Kerridge visit Mossley next Saturday for what will clearly be a crunch game for both teams.
The 2nd XI travelled to Stockport for their Division 5 game to face top-of-the-table Heaton Mersey Village. Skipper John Wainwright lost the toss and HMV decided to bowl on what looked a difficult track. In addition the outfield had not been mown, making the length of grass more conducive to football than cricket. These factors, combined with a strong home attack kept all the visiting batsmen in check and restricted the runs. Audlem were eventually all out for 123 in the 45th over. Top scorer was Will Banfield with 22.
Things looked promising for Audlem for a while as HMV were struggling at 27 for 3 after eight overs. However Ahmed Navid soon changed the picture. He decided to take the aerial route and made a quick-fire 54. HMV passed the total in the 25th over, making 124 for 4. Banfield rounded off a fine individual performance, taking all four wickets for 51. HMV gained 20 points and now look a good bet for promotion, whilst Audlem gained 6 to remain in mid table.
On Saturday the 1st XI travel to Glazebury for their penultimate game of the season. The 2nd XI entertain Norbury and because there were an odd number of teams in Division 5, this will be the 2nd XI's final game this year. As we are now in September, both games start at 1 pm.
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