The Second XI story so far...

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Fans from all over the world have complained about the lack of information on the cricketing progress of Audlem 2nd XI this summer. The question has arisen whether this is because of a lack of playing success, but nothing could be further from the truth. Naturally as a pensioner your correspondent no longer has sufficient time to submit a regular report, but here is what has happened so far...

Problems with the weather

7 of the first 12 fixtures were severely affected by the weather and it was difficult to realistically judge how the side was performing but since the onset of summer (July 17th) results in the last 5 matches have propelled the seconds (once again) to the top of the table, 13 points clear of the 1st elevens of Mellor and Norbury.

The Holmes Chapel match

Saturday's performance against Holmes Chapel typified the spirit and ability of the team. Audlem scored 221-8 after electing to bat with typical contributions from John Wainwright (32), Mike Bircher (35) and Leo North 19 not out. Youngster Reg Farnell hit an excellent 62 and his sidekick Charlie Hine followed his two previous innings of 67 not out and 69 with an attractive 30. The fact that the team bats through to number 11 has once again been invaluable this year and with seven strike bowlers the all-round strength of the side fully merits the current lofty league standing.

Holmes Chapel battled well to reach 170-3 before a stunning run-out from Reg Farnell removed Nick Walker for 63 (revenge for his own dismissal by the same player) and this saw the visitors subside to 198 all out. Rob Mottershead's accurate pace, the aggression and hostility of the Ali brothers and the ebullience of Hine and Farnell make life uncomfortable for any side facing the Audlem attack.

Team changes

Creditably the side continues to perform despite the huge losses of captain Danny Thorburn (complicated break of the little finger) and spinning all-rounder Lyndon Woodcock who recently suffered a sickening double fracture of his leg. We wish both a complete and speedy recovery.

Team management

Off the field, managing all-rounder Paul Thorburn ensures a competitive eleven for every fixture (no small task when looking at the problems faced by many of our opponents) and, as ever, man for all seasons John Wainwright has once again prepared a pitch that must be amongst the best in Cheshire. This Saturday, however, the 2nds travel to the Derbyshire border for the first of two crucial meetings with Mellor CC. Five games to go and a second successive title?