7/7/17 v Christleton CCC 193/9, ACC 197/4 Win 25 points. [scorecard]
At last Alvanley fired all their guns and turned their recent run of form around to complete a 6 wicket win.
Asked to field first in more searing heat the bowlers began well, bowling tightly and well backed up in the field. With Hassan trying to hit everything out of the park, it was a matter of time that he would hole out and he did. Caught at long off by Mike Rowlands of Chris Charles. Gittens soon followed caught by Ste Charles of his brother’s bowling. Joseph and Batjwa took the score on to 73 but never looked ahead of the game. Rowlands snicked Batjwa to Bennion at slip and when Joseph edges Lee Ainsworth to Keeper Wright the game had swung round at 73 fort 4. Marks was comprehensively bowled by Ainsworth 2 runs later.
A decent stand followed as should be expe3cted on this belting pitch. Morgan-Jones and a series of partners ran well and put the occasional ball to the boundary. Despite another great spell from Ste Charles, Christleton got their score reasonably competitive at 193/9 at tea.
Alvanley changed the top of the order and it paid dividends. Andy Bennion and Mike Rowlands opened up and were soon into their stride. Bennion hit his first 4 balls for 4 and the pair added 30 in the first 3 overs. Rowlands then took the mantle on and his raced past his partner with a series of powerful shots in a wide variety of locations. The pair passed 100 in the 20th over when Bennion got a decent ball to edge off for a busy 43. Rowlands passed 50 soon after and the momentum continued until he was out for an impressive 75. 134/2.
Whitley ensured there was to be no respite for the bowlers playing crisply for 27 but is was left to Chris Charles (18no) and Chris Wright (8no) to bring the 25 points home with plenty of overs and 6 wickets to spare.
30/6/17 v Hale Barns HBCC 227/7, ACC 99ao Lose 3 points. [scorecard]
Alvanley slumped to a third successive defeat on Saturday, this time a poor second half saw them fall well short in a run chase that should have been within their reach.
Hale barns batted first on a scorching day and despite some lusty blows, never really got away from Alvanley who stuck to their guns. In particular the middle and late over were well delivered by Lee Ainsworth, Jimmy Ecclestone and Ste Charles but with wickets in hand the visitors were able to chance their arm and posted a par score of 227/7.
Alvanley’s reply might well have suffered from 3 hours fielding in the heat but 99 all was inexcusable. Both openers and Si Gee fell early and when Wright misjudged a pull, only Jono Whitley was looking like sticking around. He briefly found an ally in Andy Bennion as the pair added 27 but the veteran was caught trying to break up the field. The procession resumes with only Whitley scoring freely. He went to a well deserved 50 but fell soon after still trying to chase the win. A brace of run outs summed the innings up and a line should be drawn ahead of a next week’s first game of the second half of the season.
23/06/18 at Mobberley. MCC 176/9, ACC 134ao [scorecard]
The week got worse on Saturday. Missing several key players, Alvanley traveled to Mobberley and bowled first on a baking hot day. New ball bowling from Ouzounidis and Charles brought two early wickets, both to Charles but a minor recovery took Mobberley to 40/3 when Ouzounidis snicked Rose to the keeper.
60 for 4 – Ste Charles this time put Alvanley in control and the run rate was down on what would be expected for the conditions. The innings meandered with odd wickets falling and runs drizzling steadily. Ste Charles’ 3 for 49 was the pick of the bunch but Jimmy Ecclestone’s accuracy never let the batsmen dominate. Mobberley closed on 176/9
A chase like this should be achieved 10 times out of 10 but on this occason wickets fell far to regularly. Ste Charles fell immediately but Whitley and Rowlands looked reasonably comfortable until the former inexplicably hit a full toss to cover. Rowlands then lost his patience driving at a ball that wasn’t there to drive and nicking behind for 25. A steady procession followed as the visitors fell to 51 for 5. Bennion and McDermott carried things forward to 79 before Bennion fell for 17 and after this only Chris Charles looked like scoring runs. His powerful 32 was only ended by the most bizarre of stumpings which ended the game and sent the promotion hopefuls home with thinking to be done.
21/06/18 at Neston in the Joseph Holt T20 Quarter Final. ACC 132/6 (20 overs), NCC 136/3 (19.3 overs)
So near yet so far. Alvanley’s courageous T20 team took Premier League hotshots Neston to the brink on Thursday and came within an inch of finals day, ultimately losing out in the last over.
A beautiful evening and flat (if a little low) pitch & stunning outfield was the perfect backdrop for this big game. Alvanley elected to bat first and started steadily against the new ball which consisted of spin at one end and extreme pace at the other! Mike Rowlands and Jono Whitley added 37 for the first wicket before Rowlands missed a straight one for 17 at a run a ball. The theme repeated itself as Andy Bennion joined Whitley. A run a ball took the Alv to 64 when Whitley was trapped in front for a promising 33. Bennion went in the 70s for 16 trying to lift the rate but as so often the case the rest of the innings was built around Si Gee, Cameos came and went but Gee stitched the innings together to end 33 not out as the away team closed at 132/6. Slightly under par perhaps?
Neston got away to a quicker start than Alvanley passing 50 for no wicket before Ste Charles produced a jaffer to remove Gill. After the powerplay, Chris Charles elected to squeeze the single and protect the boundary. he did this well, supported by his bowlers and some crisp fielding. Gradually, despite few wickets going down, the squeeze had an effect. Jimmy Ecclestone and Mike Rowlands bowled in tandem to bring the game back to 50:50. 22 runs were needed from 3 overs and it took a brave shot for 6 and an under edge for 4 in the 18th over to take the game back to Neston. Another twist in the 19th over saw Chris Charles bowl tight enough to leave the last over requiring 5 to win. It was a shame that this came via an edge in a game that otherwise oozed quality from both teams.
Alvanley will try again next year, knowing that they have a very decent T20 outfit.
16/06/18 v Lindow. ACC 193/8, LCC 195/5. Lose 8 points. [scorecard]
Alvanley’s first poor performance of the season on Saturday meant that they were unable to reclaim top spot going down by five wickets at home to Lindow after posting a modest 193/8.
The toss lost, Alvanley were asked to bat on a pitch that was as good as pitches get. Accurate bowling from the visitors didn’t allow the hosts to get away and after shackling Ste Charles, Matthews got his reward by bowling the opener. Jono Whitley got a great dellivery very next ball and Alvanley were behind the game at 18 for 2. Mike Rowlands has had a number of ‘starts’ and looked in the mood for runs. He and Si Gee added 49 and got the team to level pegging when Rowlands was caught in two minds and was caught at mid off. This was the story of the innings as the home team got to within sight of being ahead, they lost a wicket. Chris Wright and Ian McDermott both kept Gee company for a while as he passed 50 yet again. 104 for 5 with just 13 overs to go felt way short of what would be needed though. Andy Bennion added rapid 19 but when he and Szymura departed it was going to be down to Gee and the tail to salvage a decent score. Gee batted beautifully, in Chris Charles he found an ally and the pair battered some rapid runs. Gee eventually perished in the deep for a superb 70 but Charles kept going. Supported well by Shewring the skipper blasted 34 not out to take the team to 193/8 at tea.
The Lindow inning got off to a flyer with boundaries conceded all round the wicket! Indeed 43 came in the first6 overs but crucially Ul Zahan was picked up at mid on off Chris Charles’ bowling to give Alvanley some hope. it was 12 over until the next wicket with Herriot being bowled by the relentlessly accurate Shewring but some normality had been restored to the run rate. This brought in Major Khan. He just swings from the hip and smashes the ball as hard as possible. He did so half a dozen times but was picked up at deep mid wicket by Whitley off Charles and Alvanley were sniffing a chance.
Waldron was the key man but he was standing firm. Ste Charles took out Matthews and 115/4 with 20 overs to suggested a game in the balance. Shewring had a huge, confident appeal to remove Tyler at this stage but alas it was rebukes. The 5th wicket pair then added a rapid 72 to take the game out of Alvanley’s hands. There was time for Rowlands to trap Matthews in front but with 5 overs to spare the winning runs were smote and Lindow deservedly won.
Alvanley will reflect on being 30-40 runs short with the bat and just slightly off colour with the ball in a week where they needed to be at full throttle.
14/06/18. Final T20 Group match at Northwich. ACC 150/3, NCC 76ao. Win [scorecard]
The T20 Group stage has come to an end and top of the pile in group 2 is Alvanley. Victory at Northwich on Thursday made it 3 from 3 and progression to the quarter finals for two years in a row.
Alvanley won the toss and Batted first a dry firm track at Northwich. Used to scoring quickly in the powerplay Alvanley’s openers were struggling to get the ball off the square. Only some mighty heaves from Rowlands were able to reach the rope and when he departed the rate slowed up completely. Only some good running and deft placement allowed the score to progress at all and at 10 overs 48 for 1 was a poor start.
Si Gee and Andy Bennion suddenly found their mojos and more importantly the boundary. The latter stages of their 95 run stand oozed power and when Gee was out at 126 for 2 for well made 36 the balance of the game was back in the middle. Bennion’s flourish, ably assisted by Jono Whitley allowed Alvanley to end on a reasonable 150/3. Andy Bennion 55-ball 67 not out was the mainstay but Whitley’s rapid 16 not out was at least noteworthy.
Northwich began at pace with Cherion smacking 12 off the first over but Billy Ouzounidis stuck to his plan and had two wickets in the blink of an eye. With Ste Charles bowling beautifully at the other end, Northwich were well shackled in the powerplay and indeed, their first 10 overs mirrored Alvanley’s for runs but for the loss of 4 wickets. Two of these wickets fell to Jimmy Ecclestone. He went on to get a third in an extraordinary spell of 4 overs 3 for 4! Following Ste Charles at the other end, Mike Rowlands found enough turn to explore his variations and he always looked like taking wickets. He saw of the lower order expertly to bag figures of 4 for 22.
Captain Chris Charles joined in the fun to end the game in the 15th over as the home side subsided to 76 all out.
Alvanley, quarter finalists now for the second year in a row, must travel to Neston next Thursday, knowing that a cupset there will take them to finals day
09/06/18 at Tattenhall. TCC 99ao, ACC 102/6. ACC win 25 points. [scorecard]
Saturday first. A visit to Tattenhall with 3 seamers missing from the line-up didn’t faze Alvanley. In fact, on debut, Mike Roberts proved a more than capable replacement. The seamer who has waited patiently for many years for his chance, delivered with a terrific new ball spell, taking 2 wickets for 23 runs in 10 testing overs. New ball partner bowled equally well but kept missing the edge, his figures were characteristically frugal though.
After plenty of overs of seam, spinners Dave Shewring and Ste Charles got the nod and both found great control straight away. The pitch was OK to stay in on but was proving difficult to score quickly on and occasional turn help these spinners as they worked into their spells. Umer and Afzal took the score to 55 in 24 overs but Afzal succumbed to Charles, well caught by McDermott, Shewring combined well with Whitley at slip to remove Afzal and there followed a procession of wickets. Only Hassan showed any resistance as the two spinners bowled superbly, well backed up by a faultless fielding display. At 99 Shewring delivered the coup de Grace and tea was taken.
Alvanley faced the accurate seam of Brock and spin from Forster and soon lost Ste Charles to a ball that took forever to arrive. Rowlands played some meaty shots and got 22 quickley to take the game to bowlers before being caught at cover. Forster bowled well, and after a stand taking the score to 59 between Gee and Whitley, he persuaded Whitley to become over ambitious. When Gee was needlessly run out for an impeccable 31, Alvanley just needed to stay calm and work the ball around. However two wickets fell quickly and suddenly pads were being strapped on hurriedly. With 20 needed Andy Bennion and Sam Baxter played in a restrained, disciplined manner to take their team home with 4 wickets and 21 overs to spare.
02/06/18 v Weaverham. WCC 135ao, ACC 139/1. Win 25 points [scorecard]
After last week’s reversal at Brooklands, Alvanley bounced back with an emphatic win at home to Weaverham on Saturday. Chris Charles won the toss and chose to bowl first on a white, hard wicket which finally appeared from the covers once the rain stopped at 1.30pm
Charles and Ouzounidis enjoyed the bounce and soon enough, Ouzounidis found the top of Fascione’s middle stump. He also saw Hanif off and at 24 for 2 the signs were good. Kev Douglas had other ideas and he launched a powerful assault. With Eaton at the other end carefully accumulating the total soon rose to 83 in 19 overs. The introduction of spin had already applied the breaks and on 83 Ste Charles found away through Douglas’ defence to send him back for an excellent 53.
From heron in it was Charles’ stage. With Dave Shewring performing at his miserly best at the other end, the pair strangled the life out of the innings. Charles found joy on both edges, cleverly mixing up deliveries but always remaining consistent in line and length. His wicket of Eaton, well caught at slip by Whitley was crucial and apart from a few lusty blows by the tail, the innings somewhat subsided. Charles ended with well deserved 6 for 38 while Shewring bagged his 2 victims for just 14 runs of 9 tight overs. Ouzounidis 2-23, a crucial restraining spell from Ecclestone and some top catching (and stumping) from Gee and Ecclestone meant that proceedings ended in the 41st over at 135 all out.
Ste Charles couldn’t add runs to his wickets but after his loss the next pair batted beautifully. Mike Rowlands and Jono Whitley played with power and finesse but also ran aggressively to construct a destructive, unbeaten 127 partnership that took their team to the required 139/1 in just 22 overs. Whitley ended 78 not out with 14 fours and a six coming in just 62 balls. Rowlands added 46 not out to get his season up and running.
31/05/18 v Davenham Holts Bewery T20 Group 3. ACC 170/6, DCC 132ao. ACC win [scorecard]
Alvanley strode to the top of their group following a strong all-round performance against Division 1 Davenham. Alvanley’s mascots for the day Ieuan and Eleri Morris, won the toss!! and Chris Charles chose to bat first on a very good looking pitch.
Mike Rowlands and Andy Bennion were charged with taking advantage of the powerplay and it was Rowlands who was quickly into his stride, striking two leg side fours and then clearing the fence for a maximum. He departed for a brisk 22 which brough Lee Ainsworth to the crease. He and Bennion added 66 runs in a flash with some well judged twos and a series of boundaries from Bennion. Ainsworth fell for 10. Si Gee was next in and the he rotated perfextly to start with allowing Bennion to swing from the hip. He passed 50 and then really put the foot down racing to 88 with 9 fours and 5 sixes off just 54 balls . With five overs remaining he finally succumbed at 126/3.
Si Gee made sure the platform wasn’t wasted, running aggressively and smiting 3 thunderbolt sixes in his bombastic 30 not out of 21 balls. The team ended their 20 overs on 170. This was at or around par on this belting pitch and a top drawer second half was going to be needed to win the game.
Billy Ouzounidis open up for Alvanley and he struggled early on to control the swing. His length was immacualte though and early pressure from him and Ste Charles brought about a run out, coolly executed by Jimmy Ecclestone. Chris Charles ran Gough out soon after and the message was clear from Alvanley, Davenham were going to have to earn every run.
Charles was quietly putting together a terrific powerplay spell going at just 6 an over. Ouzounidis, sights adjusted, profited as his spell grew. Hunt threatened carnage but Ouzounidis was up to the task and removed his middle pole. Ashley followed next ball and at 43 for 4 Davenham were in trouble. Hornby holed out to McDermott in the deep off the excellent Ainsworth but there followed a busy partnership the kept Davenham in touch. Their 40 run sortie was ended when both perished in the deep. Wright and Bennion took the catches and Ainsworth and Rowlands were rewarded for bowling to their fields.
With wickets and overs running out the last thing you need is Chris Charles entering the attack. He saw off the last wicket and what was a perfect bowling and fielding display had brought about a 38 run win.
26/05/18 at Brooklands ACC 83ao, BCC 87/2 Lose 0 points. [scorecard]
Alvanley lost their first game in all competitions on Saturday as they slumped at Brooklands who replaced them at the top of the table.
A poor pitch was evident at the toss and the home sipper had no hesitation in asking Alvanley to bat first.
Wickets fell as some balls seamed, some flew and some crept low. Add to this two skilful medium pacers and the task was looking tricky indeed.
Rowlands, Charles and Whitley all fell quickly and when Brummitt, Wright and Ecclestone joined their colleaugues in the shed for just 22 runs, it seemed like a very short game was panning out!
Chris Charles fell at 29 but a couple of partnerships between Andy Bennion (17) and Lee Ainsworth (10) and then Bennion and Dave Shewring (17) at lest took the score past 50 and in to the relative riches of 83 all out.
The talk at tea was very positive as Alvanley’s bowlers would surely be a handful on this pitch.
So they were. Chris Charles had Bagshaw bowled 3rd ball, Hart dropped 1st ball and trapped LBW 2nd ball. 4 for 2!
The crucial batsman Carroll came in next and was caught behind first ball!! 4 for 3! ….except he wasn’t. The umpire called no-ball and Carroll was reprieved. Cunliffe the edged behind off Charles to survive the unanimous appeal and it really seemed unlikely that Brooklands would get past 20.
The most outrageous innings then followed. Carroll deemed the situation dire enough that he started to swing at every ball. He missed plenty but he also connected sweetly with 13 balls which all went for 4 or 6. He ended up scoring 73 of the 83 required and if there has ever been a clearer difference between two teams than this player in this game……
19/05/18 v Warrington ACC 221/8, WCC 129/7. Draw 14 points [scorecard]
If you are going to fail to make it five league wins in a row, then a convincing winning draw is acceptable. Alvanley played some terrific cricket to grab 14 draw points as they maintained there hold of top spot with decent draw at home to Warrington.
Warrington asked Alvanley bat first on a cracking pitch. Early signs were encouraging as both Ste Charles and Mike Rowlands looked untroubled. It was therefore a surprise to see Rowlands walking off having played the wrong line. 17/1.
The next hour and a half belonged to Charles and Jono Whitley. This pair exuded determination and energy, running well and putting the odd ball to the fence. The stand grew and so dod the rate as Alvanley found themselves well placed at 120/1 with 20 overs to go. Warrington’s bowlers never looked ragged though and kept the fight going. Whitley fell the ball after raising his bat for a lovely 53 but Charles kept going with Gee before he fell at 143. His 70 was exceptionally aesthetic and extremely well paced, full of the range of shots the drive bowlers to distraction.
The cavalry were then dispatched to help Gee to up the ante. It was Gee that stayed (almost) to the end whilst a number of cameos helped the cause. Gee looked peerless for his 48 which included to flat and powerful sixes. 221 was about par at tea.
The spell after tea looked like a different game as Chris Charles looked a real threat with the new ball. His 8 over spell took out 3 batsmen within 8 overs for just 5 runs. 23 for3.
Dave Rudd at 4 suddenly broke free of the shackles and played a flurry of big shots to race to 40 and the game, whilst in alvanley favour was close to parity. Why he decided to take a run to slip will be for only him to know but needless to say, he perished. Ouzounidis removed two other batsmen and at 90 for 6 the shutter were put up. The last 20 overs were turgid and frustrating as the away team applied themselves to earn a draw.
Charles, Shewring and Ouzounidis all bowled with energy and skill but ultimately the pitch won and 14 points had to suffice. Warrington ended 129/7
13/05/18 at Pontblyddin (NVKO Reg 1/4F) PCC 204/4, ACC 205/5. Win [scorecard]
Alvanley progressed to the regional semi finals with an excellent run chase at Pontblyddin on Sunday. The host looked to have posted a very decent score with 204/4 in their 40 overs. Mike Rowlands was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 38.
The reply was emphatic. The Charles brothers added 110 for the first wicket. Chris fell first for 57 at a run a ball. Brother Steve went on to anchor the innings. Any nerves were settled by Chris Wright with an energetic 41 not out as the team coasted home with 9 balls and 5 wickets in hand. Man of the match Charles ended with 72 to add to his 57 not out the day before.
Its Hawk Green next at Alvanley in the semis.
12/05/18 v Runcorn. RCC 117ao, ACC 118/2. Win 25 points. [scorecard]
Alvanley’s fine start to the season continued with a convincing win at Runcorn on Saturday. Chris Charles won his first coin toss of the season and asked Runcorn to make first use of a good looking track.
Charles immediately looked threatening, gaining bounce where others didn’t. Ouzounidis at the other ended threatened the outside edge but the only edges were of the thick variety and he went wicketless off 8 accurate overs. Indeed the breakthrough came from a run out. Lewitt didn’t reckon on Sophie Ecclestone’s having a ‘bullet arm’ and so he perished by yards coming back for a second. Ecclestone got the second breakthrough with here bolwing inducing catch in the ring. The 3rd wicket however threatened to get Runcorn into the game and at 76 for 2 a score of 150 looked possible but tight bowling from Ecclestone, Lee Ainsworth and the returning Charles meant the home batsmen had to take risks. The bowlers profitted as wickets fell aplenty. Ainsworth 2 for 11, Charles 3 for 11 and Rowlands 3 for 14 cashed in as Runcorn subsided to 117 all out in 42 overs.
Alvanley came out playing shots after tea and Rowlands looked crisp at the crease for his 13 runs until he as brilliantly caught and bowled. Jono Whitley joined Ste Charles and the pair skillfully rode the new ball and scored consistently to take the total to 80 in 21 overs before Whitley fell for a pleasing 24. Ste Charles grew in confidence as each over passed. His cutting was great to watch and he strode to 50 with a volley of fine strokes. He and Si Gee eased their side home inside 27 overs and by 8 wickets for a most comprehensive win.
05/05/18 v Romily. ACC 105ao, RCC 67ao Win 25 points. [scorecard]
Alvanley made it three wins out of three with a thrilling low scoring success over Romiley on Saturday.
The pitch was dry and firm and the weather framed a glorious scene as the ground looked at its very best, so the scores that followed came as a complete surprise. Chris Charles loses all the important tosses and today was no exception and Alvanley had to bat first. A slow outfield saw the batsmen struggle to score against an accurate bowling attack and sharp fielding team. 12 runs off 13 overs illustrated the point. Add to this the wickets of Rowlands Charles and Whitley (the latter can be considered somewhat unlucky) and this was not the start Alvanley wanted in such a big game. Jimmy Ecclestone then nicked a drive to make it 16 for 4
Si Gee was joined by Chris Wright and the pair added 30 in relative comfort when Gee inexplicably hit the worst ball he had face into cover’s hands! Wright and Bennion took the score to 69 when Bennion’s forceful approach became his undoing.
When Wright (24) and Charles (another unlucky dismissal) departed the game looked all over but another mature innings from Ainsworth, supported by sensible batting from Ouzounidis, at least took the home team to past 100. 105 in fact. All out after 46 overs.
A rousing rallying cry from Skipper Chris Charles fired up the troops at half time and the Alv came out fighting. Billy Ouzounidis got the initial breakthrough, rearranging Astley’s stumps. At the other end Charles unplayable. His ball to Badrock was as good as it gets and after troubling the stubborn Rolph ball after ball his finally dislodged him with another ‘peach’. It was Charles that took out the overseas Burrill but this time with a great pick up and throw to run him out. 28/4.
The sapping outfield meant Charles’s spell was cut short by fatique and there followed a remarkable spell of just 11 runs of 14 overs delivered by Lee Ainsworth and Dave Shewring. Indeed Ainsworth, in 7 overs only conceded 2 runs off the bat! He picked up the next three wickets and when he tired Charles returned to turn the screw. The pressure benefited Shewring who finally tempted J Badrock (3 off 45 balls) to play a big shot. The well placed Ainsworth took a great catch at long on. 53 for 8. Barbers first ball brought about a scoop-sweep and as he came back for a second run, Ste Charles bullet throw got there first and he fell first ball for 1!
Hooton played a couple of handsome drives which brought Alvanley’s focus back to the job in hand and so it was left to Shewring to deliver the coup de gras. He found Garner’s edge and Gee’s gloves to spark wild celebrations in front of a sizable and appreciative crowd.
Charles ended 2 for 25, Shewring 2 for 22 in 12.1 accurate overs and Ainsworth 3 for 5 off 7 overs.
A remarkable game where bowlers and fielders from both teams must take the plaudits.
28/04/18 Alvanley v Northwich. NCC 140/8, ACC 143/4. Win 25 points [scorecard]
Alvanley made it two win from two games to become the leagues early table toppers. Following a 6 wicket win at home to Northwich on Saturday.
Northwich surprised everyone by choosing to bat first on a pitch that had been wet following a rainy Friday. Ian Charles had performed miracles to get the ground playable. Northwich struggled against accurate and probing new ball bowling from Chris Charles and Billy Ouzounidis. The batsmen to their credit battled hard and preserved their wickets for well over an hour when the newly introduced Ainsworth prised Walker out. Great work behind the stumps from Chris Wright. 41 for 1 had taken 25 overs to amass but Cherion was starting to play a few shots and a score of 130+ was always going to be decent with such a slow outfield.
Sophie Ecclestone replaced her brother from the field end the game came to life. Runs flowed a little more readily from the other end but it was from Ecclestone’s end that wicket began to fall. She lost her fine leg to encourage the sweep and trapped Cherion leg before. Chris Charles brilliantly ran Joe Walker out and when Ecclestone bowled Plant 130 was looking a long way off. Northwich’s middle order ran well and the occasional boundary took the score along into three figures, Further wickets and a run out for Ecclestone kept her team in control though and at 50 overs Northwich closed on 140/8. Ouzounidis returned to grab a late wicket but the star turn was Sophie Ecclestone. For the second week running she bagged 4 wickets. They came from 13 overs and went for just 31 runs.
Alvanley began positively with Ste Charles and Mike Rowlands playing some crisp shots and running aggressively. 28 was posted by the pair in 10 overs when both departed in the space of 5 balls.
Jono Whitley and Ian McDermott settled the nerves with a similar stand before the latter stepped in front his stumps having looked well in control for 15.
There followed a reassuring stand of 57 between Whitley and Jimmy Ecclestone. Both looked imperious playing in the ‘v’ and well organised in defence. Whitley was eventually bowled for a 47-ball 36.
With rainclouds gathering Andy Bennion was sent in to hurry things along. He and Ecclestone added a brisk unbeaten 33 to take their team home with over 10 overs and 6 wickets to spare. Ecclestone ended with a really impressive and promising 36 not out while Bennion finished 20 not out.
21/04/18 at Christleton. ACC 139/9, CCC 115ao win, 25 points Scorecard
Alvanley began the season with a hard fought victory at Christleton having been tested thoroughly with bat and ball throughout the game.
A glorious day and a pitch that was impressive given the recent deluges greeted the teams and decent amount of spectators. The toss was important and was duly lost by Chris Charles. His batsmen had to take first go and were faced with swing and seam from the outset. It was no suprise that early wickets fell and Saif picked up Mike Rowlands and Ste Charles both caught behind. Jono Whitley and Si Gee made things look a little easier before Arsalan removed Whitley and then Jimmy Ecclestone both leg before. 22/4
Chris Wright joined Gee and the pair looked busy, taking ones and twos. Boundaries were rare given the soft outfield. The pair added 79 crucial runs as the score passed 100 but Wright lost his off stump 1 run later and when Andy Bennion and Chris Charles both perished early, at 107/8 the scoreboard had tipped back Christleton’s way. Si Gee’s innings of 51 would prove to be the standout innings of the day. His timing and placement were impressive as was his ability to cope with the moving ball. Equally important was Chris Wright contribution, rotating the strike skillfully for his 22. Lee Ainsworth (21no, 2 sixes) had two decent partnerships – with Billy Ouzounidis and Sophie Ecclestone, to take his team to 50 overs and to boost the score to a decent 139/9. Christleton’s two opening bowlers took all 9 wickets to fall.
When the home team came out to bat Hassan came out swinging. He connected with a few to race to 25 before Chris Charles had him caught at deep point! Charles followed up with two more quick wickets while Ouzounidis was bowling without luck at the other end. He stuck at it to remove the dangerous Batjwa though and Alvanley assumed control at 69/4.
England star Sophie Ecclestone was introduced and she bowled with great control. She took two wicket in here first three overs without ever looking like she was going to go for runs.
The game ebbed and flowed from here on in. Wickets fell and runs were eked out. At 102/8, the game could have gone either way, Ainsworth grabbed his second wicket but a particularly wayward over took Christleton to 115/9 and the tension was building. Ouzounidis proved to be the ‘go to’ man, returning to re-arrange the stumps to take his team to a cracking 25 points.
Lots of room for improvement but great to start with a win.
Lee Ainsworth found the ball was still moving around and he had immediate success having Barber caught behind by the the outstanding Wright, substituting for Gee. Van Eden soon followed, somehow caught by Ecclestone at point and when Edwards edged to Whitley, 44 for 3 was at least encouraging. More playing and missing followed but huge credit to George Barber who dug in for the most dogged of 35 not outs. He took his team home despite a further wicket for Rowlands by the seemingly comfortable margin of 6 wickets. Ainsworth ended with 3 for 35.
10/06/16 v Bredbury. BCC 133ao, ACC 100/9. Draw 7 points [scorecard]
Alvanley’s game against Bredbury on Saturday was a game of three halves!
Bredbury batted first on a wet pitch – heavy rain had poured down the slope and under the covers overnight.
Alvanley showed plenty of fight to win this tricky fixture at Tattenhall with a second half that showed all their finest qualities.
Tattenhall asked Alvanley to bat first and with an an experienced, accurate attack, it was clear that run scoring was going to be difficult. Rowlands was trapped in front in the first over but there followed a serene period where Ste Charles and Jonno Whitley were comfortable without ever breaking free. Whitley perished at 30 for 2 and there followed a similar stand between Charles and Chris Wright and at 70 for 3 a base was being established. Wright was replaced by Gee and all this time Charles was accumulating steadily until he reached a gritty 50. He fell soonafter and there followed a bit of a procession. As overs were running out the batsmen tried to up the rate but found the going difficult. Si Gee stood alone stroking a relatively assured 31 before perishing in the deep. A few scurried runs from the tail took the score to 142 and left the game in the balance at tea.
This notion was proved wrong by Alvanley’s opening bowlers. Their height exploited previously undiscovered life in the pitch and they regularly hit splices and gloves. Billy Ouzinidis removed Sadler in his first over and the second wicket pair found both Ouzinidis and Charles a real handful. Prince went next find Wright’s hands at cover and when Kettle went LBW to Ouzinidis, Tattenhall were reeling at 15 for 3. Windell followed next bowled by the excellent Ouzinidis whose opening spell yielded 3 for 15. Charles switched ends and brother Steve slotted into the ‘into the wind’ end. His accurate start was rewarded with the key wicket of Coppack who edged to Gee. 26 for 5. Chris Charles then gave Harding at ‘going over’ and after a couple of high blows, removed his middle stump. Ste Charles tempted Gibbon to hit to cover and 35 for 8 was a dream scenario for the Alv.
A stubborn resistance followed led by Dobson but Jimmy Ecclestone found a way of ending a 40 run partnership, trapping Forster in front. Rowlands provided the coup de grace and at 89 all out Alvanley could be well satisfied with a gritty win and a gutsy performance.
01/06/17 at home Barrow in the J Holt T20 Group stage. ACC 159/8. BCC 151/6. Win [scorecard]
Alvanley and Barrow played out a fabulous game of T20 cricket on a glorious evening, in front of a sizable crowd and and a cracking pitch.
Alvanley chose to bat first and got away to a dream start as the first over disappeared for 12 as Mike Rowlands enjoyed pace on the pink ball. Andy Bennion too started well spanking his first ball for 4 and after 4 overs the pair had added 55 runs! Bennion was first to depart, attempting to emulate an enormous six, but losing his off stump for 27. Rowlands was not finished and drove with immense power to rattle to 46 before running himself out!
The remainder of the innings came in fits and starts with Wright, Gee, Ainsworth and Chris Charles all reaching double figures. 159 for 8 was deemed around about par, so work to do.
Ste Charles and Billy Ouzinidis provided their captain with the perfect start bowling with control and with their field settings in mind. The start was made even better by Ben Aveyard’s brilliant piece of boundary fielding being too good for Metcalf who was run out out without facing. The powerplay got even better for Alvanley when Ainsworth nicked off the prolific De Silva to the grateful Gee behind the stumps. The powerplay yielded just 31 runs for two wickets. Ainsworth made further inroads in the 7th over removing Reid but the next partnership was likely to test Alvanley. Johnson joined McClements and the pair batted positively to take the game back to the bowlers. In the midst of this Rowlands snook in a very tidy spell of 4 overs for 25, but the pair remained at the crease and when a flurry of sixes tipped had the game slightly towards Barrow, it took a steepling boundary catch from Bennion to calm the nerves. Death bowling of the highest order then came from Chris Charles and Billy Ouzinidis and the Barrow effort ended 9 short. A thrilling game went Alvanley’s way and sets up a group decider at home v Boughton Hall on the 15th June.
27/05/17 at home v Northwich. ACC 202/9, NCC 206/6. Lose 10 points. [scorecard]
Alvanley and Northwich fought out a thrilling game at Frodsham Road on Saturday, a game whose fortunes swung dramatically one way and another until in the final over the last twist saw the visitors run out winners.
A belting pitch housed this game and Alvanley were grateful to have first bat on it. Mike Rowlands and Ste Charles batted with caution at first against an accurate spin / seam combination operating with the new ball. Gradually they worked the ball into gaps to lift the rate and then came some crisp bounadries as drinks came with the pair still in command at 91/0.
The 28th over saw the first wicket as Charles was stumped over balancing for a typically aesthetic and hard working 40. Chris Jones looked to up the rate with a couple of fine sweeps, a theme continued briefly by Andy Bennion. The loss of these two, in the same passage of play as Rowlands saw a stark change in fortunes at 142/4. Rowlands’ 67 was excellent, full of wholesome drives and clever placement and included 9 boundaries.
Wickets continued to fall, more a case of throwing wickets away rather than demanding bowling or conditions. 148/6, 155/7 and 163/8 were well below what is expected – slapped wrists awaited the middle order. Arthur Brummitt belied his youthful age with a highly mature 21 not out, well supported by a disciplined 20 by Lee Ainswoth. At least 200 was achieved but this was 30 below par in these conditions
Northwich began confidently against probing new ball bowling from Chris Charles and Ainsworth, with Tapsfield in particularly fine form. A quick change to spin brought an instant reward as Ste Charles persuaded Cherion to find Ben Aveyard’s hands at deep square. The score moved smoothly to 70 when from nowhere, Jimmy Ecclestone executed a brilliant run out to remove Wathwickarge. Anoth hefty stand followed as Glyn Cherion joined tapsfield. Charles tried all options to part them but determined batting won this period of play. Control was never lost and the overs suddenly began to run down.
The return of Answorth and Charles swung the game round Both the mainstays were dismissed by sharp catches in the corden. A period of play followed where ball dominated bat. Evans and Walker struggled in dimming light and edges were falling just out of reach at least once an over. The corden moved ever closer and Chris Wright was rewarded with a sharp catch to snaffle Evans. 176/5 with 6 overs left!
More tight bowling brought the equation down to 13 off two and when Wright ran out Dufty, 11 was needed off the last over. Ainsworth had bowled beautifully but he was to be on the end of the final twist. Walker, until now circumspect, pressed the gamble button and struck the jackpot, nailing a 6 and two fours to win the game.
Work to do for Alvanley who welcome some key players back this coming week against Barrow in the T20 on Thursday and and Tattenhall on Saturday
Alvanley travelled to Barrow in a top of the table clash on Saturday knowing a win could see them leapfrog the hosts in to top spot. In a game reduced to 37 overs per side due to early rain, Alvanley won the toss and elected to bowl first on what looked like a good Barrow wicket. After a flurry of early boundaries, Sophie Ecclestone made the breakthrough, removing Reid for 34. This brought McClements to the crease and he proceeded to play positively on his way to 54 before being removed by Michael Rowlands. The rest of the Barrow batting order played around this and after a few lusty blows near the end, they closed on 176 for 8, Sophie Ecclestone finishing with 3 for 36.
In reply, Alvanley got off to a slow start and lost Ste Charles early on. Barrow bowled accurately and with some good fielding managed to put the brakes on the Alvanley innings completely. Wickets were lost trying to increase the run rate in search of victory but the shackles couldn’t be broken. The task was too great with the reduction in overs so Simon Gee and Sam Baxter calmly batted out the remaining overs, with the innings closing on 80 for 6. Iroshan De Silva was the pick of the Barrow bowlers with 3-17 with Mike Rowlands making 24 for Alvanley. A disappointing day with the opportunity to go top of the league on the line, Alvanley will look to bounce back to winning ways when they welcome Northwich this week.
13/05/17 v Stockport. ACC 205ao, SCC 176/9. Draw 15 points. [scorecard]
Alvanley faced bogey side Stockport on Saturday on a good track at the Alv but likely to offer some assistance to the new ball bowlers. This proved to be Stockport who won the toss and asked Alvanley to have first hit. Probing new ball bowling was expertly repelled by Mike Rowlands and Ste Charles and they eased to 27 in 8 overs when surprisingly Rowlands edged behind for 17. Charles carried on with Ian McDermott to 41 before he was bowled for 19. Chris Wright joined the fray and the the 3rd wicket pair added runs carefully and with few alarms and at drinks, 90 for 2 was a good platform. Drinks brought about a refreshed bowling attach and McDermott (20), Wright (30) and Baxter (4) all fell before the score had gone much past the 100.
103 for 5 was a problem with just 18 overs to go and 200 seemingly par score. There followed a crisp stand of 79 between Si Gee and Andy Bennion. Both spotted singles and twos and put the ball over the rope regularly enough. Bennion fell for 35, just before Gee raised his bat for an important 50. The tail wagged enough to get the team past 200, with the last wicket falling in the last over at 205.
Stockport had to face some excellent new ball bowling from Chris Charles and Billy Ouzinidis. The former was so unlucky not to take at least a couple of scalps. Ouzinidis on the other hand removed both openers for a well deserved spell of 7 overs 2 for 14. Alvanley’s taller bowlers seemed to get more life and movement out of the pitch and the batsmen regularly played and missed. Ste Charles nipped in with a cracker to remove Jatoi but a stand of 73 put the game back on an even keel. The key wicket was Danny barber who had hit a run-a-ball 58 before Rowlands’ legspin trapped him in front. A strange passage followed where the game seemed to be ambling to a tame draw. Then from nowhere, a flurry of shots came and the away team strove for the win. With shot came wickets and Rowlands and Ste Charles benefitted from the field end while Lee Ainsworth was bowling a highly skillful spell at the road end. His 14 overs passed the edge of the bat with such regularity that he was almost unplayable. his two late wickets (he deserved many more) put an end to Stockport’s victory hopes and set up a tense finish as an array of slips and short legs sought the final wicket for an Alvanley win. Alas it never came and a winning draw was the reward for an excellent day’s cricket.
06/05/17 at Brooklands. ACC 117ao, BCC 118/6. Lose 4 points [scorecard]
Alvanley suffered their first defeat at the hands of Brooklands but made a good fight of the second half after an indifferent first half.
After getting their wish at the toss, Alvanley were happy to bat first on a pitch that looked like it would be slow and may break up. Ste Charles and Mike Rowlands opened up but apart from the odd play and miss, looked in good touch adding 20 for the first wicket when Charles was adjudged not to have edged the ball on to his pad and was sent on his way LBW. Rowlands suffered a similar fate given out caught behind and when Chris Wright trudged off, Alvanley were in trouble at 35 for 3. Jonno Whitley was making the game look easy with a number of fluent drives but wicket continued to fall. Gee flipped a catch to midwicket and Jones was bowled cheaply. Whitley, eased into the 20s but then got the ball of the day, as hart got one to rear at him from a length. Bennion soon followed and at 50 for 7, the game looked gone. Chris Charles was joined by Jimmy Ecclestone, both batting for the first time this season. They carefully covered the variable bound and lateral movement and gradually nudged the score up. Ecclestone got too ambitious and joined the procession of batsmen caught in the ring, but Lee Ainsworth carried on his good work in keep his captain company. Charles was in control, defending well, running cheeky singles. Ainsworth added the mightiest of sixes to edge past 100 but his soon perished, caught behind. A few lust blows from Charles took the score to 117 before he was bowled for an excellent 40 and an early tea was taken.
Brooklands came out swinging in their reply. Too ambitiously really as Charles found steep bounce and the edge found the flying Gee to complete a brilliant catch and get Alvanley rolling. The flogging continued and the score careered to 43 for 1 in the 7th over without Alvanley doing much wrong. This approach became Brooklands’ undoing as wicket began to fall. Rowlands struck with his first ball, the excellent catch completed by Ste Charles. Lee Ainsworth introduction brought speedy rewards as he sent down a series of impressive overs. This combination reduced Brooklands to 55 for 5 – game on!
A stand between Hart and Hart frustrated Alvanley for a while but half chances and near misses littered this passage of play. Eventually luck went with Alvanley as Jimmy Ecclestone found the edge. 75 for 6! AJ Hart continued to ride his luck, interspersed with some fine shots and he, in combination with the gutsy Law, nudged their way to the win. Credit to Alvanley bowlers but to win games like these, the tough chances have to be taken. Lesson learned
Stockport are next, followed by Hawk Green away in the NVKO on Sunday and Christleton in the T20 Cup on Thursday 18th
28/04/17 at home Mobberley. MCC 157ao, ACC 158/3. Win 25 points [scorecard]
Alvanley made it two out of two with a second convincing win of the season, this time cruising past Mobberley’s 157 for the loss of just 3 wickets.
The toss was again secured by Chris Charles and again he chose to bowl in cool conditions. Billy Ouzinidis swung the ball from the outset and the removed Morris’ off stump in the 3rd over to get his team off to a flyer. This brought in Aussie Nick Butters and he made his intentions clear from the outset, advancing at the bowlers and playing big shots. The second picket pair added a breezy 40 before Butters tried a bit too hard and Ouzinidis duly rearranged his stumps also.
Jimmy Ecclestone and Lee Ainsworth replaced the openers and as last week found wickets came freely! Ecclestone struck with his second ball and by the 23rd over, the visitors were reduced to 75/5 as these two tall seamers found enough swing and seam to trouble the middle order.
A troublesome stand followed but superb ground fielding, in particular led by Ste Charles and Chris Jones meant control was maintained. Ainsworth persevered to dismiss the dangerous Aqueel, well pouched by Ecclestone in the deep but the next pair took the score to 153 and respectability. Ecclestone though had other ideas and added another brace to give him for for the day. Ouzinidis grabbed a late wicket too as the innings closed at 157all out after 47 overs.
Alvanley began quickly with Ste Charles looking in top form and Mike Rowlands flogging boundaries in a hurry. He though perished at mid on for 25 and Charles soon followed adjudged caught behind for 15. Jonno Whitley and Chris Wright steadied things for while, taking the score to 74 before Wright used his leading edge to perish at mid on.
The rest was consummate and forthright! Last week’s 9 wicket man Aqueel was repelled and the rest of the attack dismantled and Whitley and Si Gee batted powerfully and skillfully to impose an unbeaten 84 stand on their opponents. Both imperious on the drive and ingenious in stealing singles, it was a pleasure to watch. Victory was realised with 19 overs and 7 wickets to spare. Gee 40 not out and Whitley 54 not can be happy with their contributions and their form.
Brooklands away next!
21/04/17 away at Christleton. CCC 212/10, ACC 214/4. Win 25 points. [scorecard]
Alvanley began the season with an emphatic 6 wicket win at neighbours Christleton. A glorious day and fabulous outfield and pitch greeted the teams and Skipper Chris Charles decided that the best course of action would be to invite the home team to bat first.
Alvanley’s opening bowlers – Charles himself and Billy Ouzinidis began well hitting good lengths and giving little away. Lively ground fielding backed the bowlers up and after 16 overs the score had limped to 26 for 0. It was a change of bowling that brought wickets. Lee Ainsworth quickly settled and looked dangerous. He bowled Wells for 11 and could have had more on another day. His frugal spell ended and Jimmy Ecclestone took his place. Bowling a full length and getting some movement off the pitch, Ecclestone tore through the middle order. He reduced the home side to 88 for 7 with cracking figures of 5 for 31 off 10 excellent overs. 3 of his victims found the bucket hands of Lee Ainsworth. Ste Charles had chipped in with a wicket, well snaffled at slip, but there was to be a dramatic twist in this innings. The lower order decided to take a chance and throw the bat. It worked the last 13 overs more than doubled the score as O’Connell, Abiden and Shazad all contributed to take the score to a par 212. Ouzinidis returned to grab two late wickets.
Alvanley needed a solid start and how the openers delivered! Mike Rowlands and Ste Charles looked well in control against the new ball and scored quickly enough to keep the rest of the team calm. The pair added an imperious 105 before Charles snicked off an 42, including 7 classy 4s. Rowlands went on to a solid 50 but fell to an otherwise fruitful hook shot for 53 soon after.
Debutant Kiwi, Jonno Whitley was joined by Chris Wright and the pair consolidated well. Whitley looks a fine player and his 17 showed plenty of promise for the season ahead. There were to be no jitters. Wright and Si Gee upped the ante and score freely to post 60 for the 3rd wicket before Gee fell for a classy 27. A few tight overs meant that the game was going to go down to the last few overs but Wright and Andy Bennion were in control. They found the boundary and scampered singles of take their team home with 3 balls and 6 wickets to spare. Wright’s 43 not out was mature and pull off crisply times shots. A fine victory then for Alvanley against a determined Christleton team, it should also be noted that the game was played in a good spirit.
Alvanley host Mobberley next week, hoping to build on this promising start.
Alvanley CC is delighted to welcome Jonno Whitly to these shores. He joins us for the Summer from New Zealand and is a middle order batsman. Also over from New Zealand is former ACC Junior Ben Aveyard, a stylish young player with bags of potential. Lee Ainsworth also rejoins after a year’s sabbatical working and another returner is Billy Ouzinidis who comes back after a year at Neston. Welcome too to Michael Weale and Mark Enwistle, both batsman joining the club for the first time.
Stagsuits, a company based in Chester that supply’s interesting suits for stag parties, is the new 1st XI Sponsor. They have supplied training / T20 Cup kit for the 1st XI. Our heartfelt thanks go out to them!