Rich pickings for 1st XI against Mossley

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The 1st XI continued their winning ways with another maximum 25 point haul in the first of the season’s local encounters against Mossley as they won by 41 runs, steered to victory by Rich Wilson.

Skipper Chris Shenton won the toss and decided to bat.  Unfortunately, Andy Rothwell, Paddy Leese, Qhama Matthews, Tom Kural and Kemal Toraman were all back in the pavilion with the scoreboard showing 44 for 5.  Of these five, only Matthews (16) had reached double figures.

However, Wilson and all-rounder Simon Swift had other ideas.  Audlem’s top-rated batman, Wilson, came good after a disappointing start to the season, posting an unbeaten 89, including 12 boundaries and a brace of sixes.  He was ably supported by Swift who made 34, exhibiting some fine late cut shots.  The partnership totalled 112 runs and came to end when Swift was caught at short extra cover.   

Shenton, Neil Humphries and Stuart Elkes were unable to add significantly to the total, however the men from Bunsley Bank steered the run tally past 175 to ensure maximum batting points and set a tempting total for the visitors.  The innings ended on 184 for 8 from the allotted 48 overs.

Mossley began their innings in identical fashion to the hosts — losing their first wicket for 7 runs — this time opposition skipper Tony Brown gloving through to keeper Leese from Swift.  The visitors then rallied and Matthew Ben-Accom and Will Grisedale batted the visitors back into the game. 

It wasn’t until Shenton called on the services of Neil Humphries that Audlem got the break through, the left arm spinner snagging Grisedale lbw for 33.  Soon after, with the score on 56, Ben-Accom went with a fine one-handed catch from keeper Leese off the bowling of Swift. 

The fight back was stalled as once again Mossley resurged with some careful batting from Ryan Walker and Thomas Trevers.  However, Humphries once again got the break through with another LBW, this time dismissing Walker for 14. 

But the visitors weren’t done yet.  Gareth Cresswell and Trevers took the fight to the hosts.  With the score at 127 for 4 it was looking ominous for Audlem until Trevers (17) eventually fell caught behind to Toraman. 

When Cresswell (44) was trapped lbw by Humphries twelve runs later, Audlem sensed victory.  Nathan Stirk was stumped by Leese to become Humphries fourth victim.  Swift then mopped up the tail, clean bowling Rob Mellor and Peter Stirk.  

Finally, Ryan Speak was caught at slip by Rothwell bowled Swift to wrap up the innings on 143 and complete Swift’s five-wicket haul.  Swift, with 5 for 55 and Humphries, with 4 for 29 were Audlem’s most successful bowlers.

Audlem gained 25 points and Mossley 7.  As the top three all gained maximum points, Audlem remain in fourth place in Division 2, still 37 points adrift of third place.  Mossley slipped one place to the bottom of the division.

On Saturday the 1st XI travel to sixth-place Knutsford, who won their last match by nine wickets.