There were mixed fortunes for Audlem's cricketers on Saturday. The 1st XI won an exciting game against Capenhurst in the last over to stay top of Division 3, but the 2nd XI, following two consecutive wins, played second fiddle to Trinity in their Division 5 encounter.
1st XI skipper Chris Shenton won the toss and decided to bat first on a good batting track. He and Andy Capper put on 17 before Shenton was out for 10. Capper scored 11 before he followed him back to the pavilion with the score on 33. In-form batsmen Paddy Leese and Tom Measures regained the initiative as they attacked Capenhurst's bowlers. They added 121 for the third wicket until Leese was lbw, having scored 59. Measures was joined by Paul Dean and they took the score to 205, when Measures was caught for 67. Shenton declared the innings after 47 overs soon afterwards at 207 for 4, with Dean not out 34.
Capenhurst's reply got off to a bad start as Stuart Elkes took two quick wickets to leave them 8 for 2. However a forceful third-wicket stand between the Tilby brothers, Neil and Graham, put the visitors in the driving seat. They took the score to 105 before Graham out for 20, caught by keeper Dean off Shenton's bowling. Lyndon Woodcock took the valuable wicket of Graham when he was just one short of his century, with the score at 130. Capenhurst appeared to be cruising to victory at this stage, but Shenton and Woodcock had other ideas, reducing them to 163 for 9. A dogged last-wicket stand between David Skentelbery and Kevin Pearson kept the visitors in sight of an unlikely victory until, with just three balls remaining, Woodcock trapped Skentelbery lbw for 14. Pearson was left undefeated on 11 as Capenhurst were all out for 195. Shenton finished with 4 for 33 and Woodcock 4 for 45. Audlem gained 25 points and Capenhurst 7.
Following confirmation that Wirral had withdrawn their team from Division 5 and had their results expunged, Audlem's 2nd XI started the day in third place. However, their promotion hopes suffered a setback against Trinity on a blustery day in Bramhall. Skipper John Wainwright won the toss and elected to field using an all-spin attack. This decision looked to have backfired as openers Brian Sellars and Pete Sandland piled on the runs in quick time. However, once the breakthrough had been made the brakes were soon applied to the scoring, with wickets falling at regular intervals. Trinity were eventually all out for 121 in 42 overs. Roy Wild once again bowled a nagging line and length to finish with fine figures of 5 for 53 in 21 overs. He was well supported by John Waldron with 4 for 59 from 18 overs. Wicketkeeper Tim Ruscoe had an excellent game with three stumpings.
Unfortunately, Audlem's reply never got off the ground after four wickets fell with the score on 13. Wickets continued to fall as the home side's bowlers took complete control. However, controlled batting by all-rounder Waldron (23) and Paul Thorburn (20) ensured that the game was much closer than seemed likely earlier on. Audlem were eventually all out for 101. Trinity gained 25 points and Audlem 7, which appears to keep them in third place, although not all of the results are in yet.
On Saturday the 1st XI travel to Ellesmere Port, whilst the 2nd XI entertain Capenhurst. Both games start at 2pm.
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