1st XI come back to earth with a bump

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Following last week's resounding opening-day victory, the 1st XI travelled to Ellesmere Port full of optimism. Unfortunately they came down to earth with a bump, being well beaten by 7 wickets.

Skipper Chris Shenton lost the toss and Audlem were put in to bat on a damp wicket that looked as though it would favour the bowlers. Openers Shenton and Andy Capper coped well with the conditions until Shenton (17) was caught with the score at 27. Two more wickets fell without any further runs being added. Capper continued to nudge the score forward until he was caught for 16 to make it 40 for 4. Disaster again struck the visitors as Port snapped up two more wickets without the score changing. At this point the prospects for Audlem looked bleak, but the late order batsmen came to the rescue. James Siddorns (16) and Ollie Burney added 24 runs before Siddorns was caught. Following the loss of another quick wicket youngsters Burney and Simon Swift kept the scoreboard ticking over until Burney was caught behind for 15 to leave Audlem on 108 for 9. Swift and Lyndon Woodcock added 33 for the last wicket, but the innings came to an end in the 46th over when Woodcock was stumped for 15. Swift was left unbeaten on 39 with the scoreboard showing the visitors 141 all out. Port's star bowlers were Khan (5 for 34) and Betteridge (3 for 27).

When Port replied after tea, Audlem's opening bowlers, Jim Littlewood and Swift, set about their task very well. Each of them took a wicket to have both of the openers back in the clubhouse with 36 on the board. A debatable "not out" decision to a stumping appeal which, if it had been given, would have put the home side in deep trouble, changed the course of the game. That decision, together with a dropped catch soon afterwards, put Port firmly in control. The two recipients of the good fortune put on 88 for the third wicket before Colin Roberts was out for 43. Jim Anthony (51 not out) steered Port to victory for the loss of just 3 wickets. Littlewood was Audlem's best bowler with 2 for 52. Audlem gained 8 points and Ellesmere Port 20.

Next Saturday the 1st XI hope to get back to winning ways when they entertain Bramhall-based Trinity at the Gorse Croft. Play starts at 2pm.


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