23/07/16 v Middlewich. MCC 129ao, ACC 133/5. Win 25 points. [scorecard]
Middlewich visited Alvanley on Saturday. Glorious weather and great batting surface made the toss decision tough for Chris Charles, but the memory of a draw at Middlewich prompted him to have a bowl first. He himself benefitted immediately, finding Gills edge to the flying Si Gee behind the stumps – brilliant catch! Boyle soon followed, held well at third slip by Ste Charles.
Middlewich consolidated well for a while moving to 43 before Fisher picked up his first wicket. The stoic Clorley soon followed, victim of a great change of pace from Sophie Ecclestone and when she induced Abbas down the pitch soon after, Gee was up to the task and stumped him in a flash 61/5. Fisher picked up his second, Haughton trapped Lbw and Middlewich were floundering. Stu Price and Kallum Boyle mixed attack with astute defence to take their team to a relatively healthy 121/6 but a brilliant stumping by Gee following the introduction of Mike Rowlands put paid to it. Chris Charles returned to rearrange Price’s stumps and Alvanley were back in control. Andy Bennion took an excellent boundary catch to remove Zimmer, again off the excellent Rowlands and then Rowlands bowled Stubbs next balls to wrap things up at a very satisfying 129. Rowlands ended 3 for 15, Charles 3 for 36, while the left arm spinners, Ecclestone and Fisher bagged 2 each.
Alvanley’s response stuttered. Rowlands feathered a catch behind but the Ste Charles – Ian McDermott partnership looked confident enough adding 25 before Charles dragged on. Sam Baxter and McDermott worked hard to take the score to 51 when the latter again dragged on and when baxter followed soon after, the nerves were jangling at 64/4. Gee looked a little unlucky to be dismissed 4 runs later and Middlewich had the tails well and truly up!
Andy Bennion and Chris Wright were the 6th wicket pair, still requiring 62 to win the game. The pair batted calmly, gradually accumulating runs. Singles were stolen and the occasional boundary found as the pair inched home. Some aggression from the away team’s attack spurred the pair on as they got the final 20 runs in a rush. Wright ended 34 not out and Bennion 26 not out in a stand of 65, the win coming with 4 overs to spare.
16/06/16 at Barrow – rained off, 7 points
09/06/16 v Congleton. CCC 98ao, ACC 99/5. Win 25. [scorecard]
Alvanley made it 2 wins on the bounce on Saturday, beating Congleton by 5 wickets with 48 overs to spare after a morning of monumental efforts to get the game played following prolonged heavy rain.
It was a surprise to start on time at 1pm and and equally surprising to be bowling on a wet wicket having lost the toss. Jimmy Ecclestone and Chris Charles opened proceedings and it wasn’t long before Ecclestone continued where he’d left off last week, rearranging Leese’s stumps for 0. He was at it again in his 3rd over persuading Scowen to sky a catch to Ainsworth who pouched it expertly at point. 20/2. Blease and Higginbottom then added an assertive 28 runs but at 48 Ecclestone produced a brute of a ball to remove the latter. Blease followed in the next over, falling to an accidental bumper from Charles and caught by Chris Jones’ elbows and chest having nailed a pull shot! 48/4.
Goode decided to take Ecclestone on and planted him for a 4 and a six before leaving a ball that seamed back to take his off stump out. Next to go was Eyre, run out by Ecclestone – it was clearly his day! He confirmed this by bowling Cardell via his helmet and having Podmore caught brilliantly behind by Chris Wright to give him great figures of 6 for 54. Chris Charles weighed in to remove Williamson and at 73 for 9, Congleton were having a bad day. Their spirits were lifted by a stirring last wicket stand of 25, boosting the score to 98 before Rowlands struck with a brilliant caught & bowled to finish the resistance off.
In tricky conditions, Alvanley needed to get off to a good start. They did. Ian McDermott and Mike Rowlands batted really well as the ball moved around for Congleton. Dogged defence and opportunistic attack allowed them to add a valuable 51 for the first wicket before McDermott fell for an excellent 21. Jimmy Ecclestone could add to his lustre batting at 3 and when Sam Baxter and Chris Wright departed quickly, work still had to be done. Rowlands looked to be the man for the job but, belying his experience, he flogged a catch to long on, cranking up the nerve-o-meter on the balcony. It should be noted that his 35 runs were invaluable and made in tough conditions.
The new found ability to chase totals though is still in tact. Chris Jones and Andy Bennion nudged a succession of singles to calmly take their team home to 25 points. Barrow away next
02/06/16 at Upton. UCC 156ao, ACC 157/3. Win 25. [scorecard]
Alvanley traveled to a wet and windy Upton on Saturday to face a team that had won 5 in a row and were sitting in second place in the league. Chris Charles won the toss and elected to bowl first but might have regretted that decision as Upton took 71 runs off the first 11 overs! Upton did at least lose Sariman in this time but Stowell-Smith was hitting the ball like a man possessed. Fortunately for Alvanley this hitting came to an end when Jimmy Ecclestone rearranged his stumps. This was to be the beginning of an impressive passage of play for Alvanley as Ecclestone and Max Tonge put the brakes on and took regular wickets.
71/1 became 98 for 6 as both bowlers hit great lengths. Smart catching backed the bowlers up as both ended their spells with great figures. Ecclestone went 4 for 29 off 15 overs, while Tonge bagged 2 for 14 off his 7.
A score of 150 looked to be decent and Upton nudged their way towards it as troublesome lower order partnerships kept them in the game. Rob Fisher made sure these didn’t develop too much with stingy figures of 1 for 14 off 8. Andy Roberts 34 not out took the home team to 154 all out. A score that will have kept both teams interested.
Alvanley opened up with Ste Charles and Mike Rowlands. The new ball zipped around for the Upton bowlers and the Alvanley lads had to work incredibly hard to stick around. They did. They saw off the first 10 overs for just 13 runs but as they got used to the conditions, so the runs began to flow. 40 runs came off the next 10 overs as Charles found fortune down the ground and through the on side. Rowlands punched well through mid off and the score kept building. The 100 came up in the 28th over and the pair kept going until 123 when Charles fell LBW for a brilliant 62.
Ecclestone came and went but Si Gee added enough runs for the 3rd wicket to calm any nerves before he was magnificently snaffled at midwicket.
Chris Wright came in with 20 needed and calmly added the needed runs with Rowlands to take Alvanley to an impressive 7 wicket win. Rowlands can be extremely satisfied with his 60 not out in almost two and a half hours of hard graft.
Alvanley are in 4th spot at the league’s half way stage.
25/06/16 at home v Northwich. NCC 286/9, ACC 142/7. Draw 7 points. [scorecard]
Northwich won the toss and chose to bat first on a brilliant Alvanley pitch. They pretty much much smashed everything that was thrown their way right up until drinks – or rather Sam Stonely did. His 137 was quite magnificent, coming off just 73 balls and including 12 huge sixes. Alvanley had no answer and this was the building block of a massive 286/9 – the highest known 1st XI score at Alvanley. In the midst of it all there was at least some good work from the Alvanley players. Rob Fisher survived a flurry of early boundaries to recover to 5 for 56. Ste Charles also bowled six tidy overs. The declaration was delayed until 48 overs, leaving Alvanley 52 overs to respond.
A solid start from Ste Charles and Mike Rowlands was undone by Charles being found leg before and then a succession of batsmen getting in and getting out in double figures. This trend led to a disastrous situation of 75/5 off 20 overs – still a whopping 211 short! Mike Rowlands looked to be standing tall among the flurry of wicket but his efforts ended when he was bowled for a fluent 35. The instigator of the carnage was Andy Duffy who bowled a highly impressive 15 overs, 5 for 30.
Andy Bennion and Chris Charles came together to try and salvage a draw and batted for 31 overs together as Northwich tried everything to remove them. Charles finally nicked off with 9 balls remaining but Kenny Roberts and Bennion saw off the final efforts to secure the draw. Bennion ended with 33 not out and batted for 2 hours.
Not ideal but some pride was maintained in the face of some very good cricket from their opposition.
18/06/16 at Mobberley. ACC 199/9, MCC 174ao. Win 25. [scorecard]
Alvanley returned to winning ways on Saturday with a thrilling 25 run win over Mobberley after a month of frustrations.
A very wet pitch emerged from the covers and Mobberley asked Alvanley to bat first. Another new pairing of Ste Charles and Mike Rowlands opened the batting but found the going tough on a wet pitch and against decent new ball bowling. They worked hard to weather the storm and got to the 9th over when Rowlands got frustrated and chipped a catch to mid on. Jimmy Ecclestone came in at three and the 2nd wicket pair played really well, adding 56 with a gradually increasing tempo before Charles fell to a stopping ball – driving it to mid off for a satisfying 34. Ecclestone was trapped in front soon after for a pleasing 32 and when Chris Jones came and went, Alvanley had slipped from 75 for to 89 for4. Si Gee and Chris Charles did a great repair job. Gee worked singles while Charles flayed some powerful boundaries. The pair added 49 in 7 overs before Charles holed out for a sizzling 33 in 22 balls. Again, one wicket brought about another. Gee fell soon after and this time the repair task fell to Andy Bennion and Sam Baxter. They ran really well and added 39 to take the score to 178. Bennion went on to usher the tail and the result was an acceptable 199/9 in 50 overs. Bennion was out at the death for 37.
Mobberley’s opener clearly had a function to get to! They flayed sixes and fours from the outset! Chris Charles stuck to his areas though and had the overseas, Charlie Nield held at slip for a bullish 28. Spillsbury kept going, smashing his way to 61 with 3 sixes and 6 fours. Kenny Roberts came on and removed Nathan Wood and when Rob Fisher brilliantly held a catch of his own bowling to send Spillsbury packing 118/3 was not so bad! Ste Charles produced the ball of the day to make it 118 for 4 and two overs later persuaded Goodstat to hole out to Rowlands. 128/5.
Aqueel and Khan regained control for Mobberley but the spin twins were stacking up the dot balls and building pressure. The pressure persuaded Khan to pick out Bennion at long off and 4 balls later Charles took out Edwards’ leg stump. 148/7. Beresford-Ince was then brilliantly stumped off Fisher as the veteran spinner found considerable turn, leaving the last pair to find the winning 26 runs.
Aqueel burst to life but in going aerial hit a skyer up to long off. Ste Charles steadies himself and took the match winning catch to spark great celebration from the Alvanley players. Charles finished with 4 for 37 and Fisher 3 for 41 as Mobberley closed on 174 all out. A cracking game
11/06/16 v Brooklands. ACC 123ao, BCC 26/2. Abandoned. 7pts [scorecard]
Despite the incessant rain on Saturday, a decent portion of the game was completed but a tense climax was thwarted by one too many downpour.
Brooklands won first after a slightly delayed strt and predictably bowled first on a wicket that had got wet during Thursday’s cup game.
Andy Bennion and Mike Rowlands opened up and found things tough as swing seam and bounce all assisted the bowlers. Bennion was able to put some boundaries away and after 10 overs 34 for 0 was more than acceptable. He however was trapped by Jones for 23. Shortly after him Rowlands battling knock was ended by the accurate Hart. Left handers Ste Charles and Si Gee couldn’t come to terms with things and suddenly Alvanley were 42/4. Chris Jones looked up for the fight and stuck around well. At first he was helped by his captain Chris Charles (10) and then by Sam Baxter (17).
95 for 5 was a decent position on a day where everything was in the bowlers’ favour. 150 looked well on the cards but Baxter’s dismissal and a couple more loose dismissals saw the innings fizzle out. Jimmy Ecclestone looked in good touch for his 12 but a rain break did for him. The highlight was Chris Jones 31. He guided his team to a competitive 123. Further rain reduced Brooklands’ chase to just 18 overs but they were certainly game for it. The first over disappeared for 15 and the second for 6 as the Kiwi Duke in particular looked to assault the bowling. The ball was though still moving around the the third over saw both openers on their way, caught well behind and at slip. The game would have gone to a fascinating conclusion but for the the final say by the weather.
04/06/16 at Stockport. ACC 180/9, SCC 181/3. Lose 6 points [scorecard]
An Alvanley team missing six first choice players went down fighting at Stockport, but ultimately lost by 7 wickets.
Stand in skipper Ste Charles elected to bat first and new look opening pair Arthur Brummitt and Mike Rowlands settled in against a challenging new ball attack. Rowlands went early but Charles and Brummitt dug in to take the score to 48 before both departed in quick succession for 17 and 23 respectively. This was a fine effort for the 16 year old Brummitt. Mark Szymura came in at 4 and was assured and positive. He had usefel partnerships with the middle order and kept the score moving well enough. Contributions from Kenny Roberts, Max Tonge and Sam Baxter helped Szymura take the score to a very respectable 180/9 at tea. Szymura can be well pleased with his 44 off 55 balls.
In reply Kenny Roberts gave Alvanley real hope bagging two early scalps but the 3rd wicket partnership broke the hearts of the bowlers adding 104. This could have been a different story but a couple of dropped catches let the batsmen off the hook. Sophie Ecclestone chipped in with a wicket but Stockport came home in the 44th over with seven wickets in hand. Useful spells from Dave Summers and Max Tonge show that there is plenty of depth in this Alvanley squad who can take many positives from this defeat.
A heartbreaking defeat after dominating much of the game. After a great effort from the bowlers and a tidy fielding display Alvanley grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory by capitulating with the bat after a dominant start to the innings.
Alvanley chose to bowl first on a flat white pitch. The opposition openers came to attack but lost early wickets to Jimmy Ecclestone and Chris Charles in doing so. At 43 for 3 Alvanley were on top. A decent stand followed taking the score to 103 but spin twins Rob Fisher and Sophie Ecclestone were bringing the run rate down expertly. Pressure brought wickets and backed by great catching from Baxter and Gee in particular Alvanley had got into a great position. Fisher ended with 3 for 39 off 15 overs while Ecclestone bagged 2 for 33 of 14. A late flurry of boundaries elevated the score to 169. Jimmy Ecclestone’s fine opening spell gave him figures of 2 for 34 of 10 overs.
Alvanley’s response was initially emphatic. Andy Bennion and Mike Rowlands opened up with a positive stand of 69 in 12 overs before Bennion miscued for a run a ball 33. Rowlands and Ste Charles took the score to 90 for 1 and their team looked set fair to ease home. Fine bowling from Astbury though turned the game on its head. He took four quick wickets and the returning Joseph three of his own to leave Alvanley reeling on 137/7. The game then ebbed and flowed but the returning Abbas bowled perfectly at the tail. A series of yorkers did the job to leave Alvanley heartbreakingly 7 runs short. Chris Jones was last man out for a plucky 26.
More steal required in the batting.
26/05/16 at Middlewich League T20. ACC 102ao, MCC 67/8. Win [scorecard]
A damp, turning pitch made run scoring difficult in this 2nd of three T20 round robin game. Alvanley batted first and lost regular wickets as they struggled with the conditions. Only Mike Rowlands reached double figures (19) but 8s and 9s from most of the lower order got Alvanley to a respectable 102, given the conditions.
The bowlers were excellent, backed up by a complete fielding performance. Ste Charles’ 2 for 10 and Mike Rowalnds’ 2 for 7 topped the stats but the return to action of ‘prodigal son’ Lee Ainsworth is a great boost for the club. He grabbed two for 18. Middlewich finished 67 for 8.
Alvanley face Davenham in a fortnight at the Alv to complete the round robin.
22/05/16 v Oxton, Cheshire Cup. OCC 157/5, ACC 123ao.
Oxton won this Cheshire Cup encounter by 34 runs after rain had cut the game to 25 overs per side.
Alvanley chose to bowl on a drying wicket but had a few pros to knock over in an impressive Oxton top order. Fernando indeed perished in the first over, first ball as Chris Charles snicked him off to Sam Baxter at 2nd slip. A stand of 78 then followed as Worcestershire’s Choudry and Patel bedded in. They never really got away as once Mike Rowlands removed Patel, the game looked considerably trickier. The remainder of the batsmen struggled to get going as Rowlands, and then a combination of Sophie Ecclestone (1 for 13 in 5 overs) and Ste Charles kept the lid on. A few late blows boosted the score to 157 – probably around par.
Alvanley got off to a flyer taking 27 off the first 2 overs and 36 off the first 4. This came at a cost as both openers fell in succession, trying to take the game away from Oxton. From hereon there was a bit of a procession as Choudry found turn aplents. 57 looked like the end but a couple of stands between Jimmy Ecclestone and Ian Charles, then Chris Fletcher (15 not out) and Sophie Ecclestone, gave the home team some hope. Alas this was a false hope and the 10th wicket fell with ACC 34 runs short. Jimmy Ecclestones knock off 35 was of high quality and will hopefully kick start his season.
21/05/16 at Widnes. WCC 71/8. Match abandoned. [scorecard]
A brilliant bowling and fielding display was left unrewarded as the game at Widnes was abandoned at 6pm.
Alvanley chose to bowl first in a game reduced to 39 overs and were soon on the move as the excellent Chris Charles found Kirby’s edge. Andy Bennion did the rest at 1st slip. At the other end Jimmy Ecclestone took the new ball and did so with aplomb, keeping this tight whilst threatening the outside edge regularly enough. At 37 for 1 in 19 overs, Widnes were finding it hard to break the shackles. The change from seam to spin at both ends didn’t help the hope team. The scoring opportunities were still scant and the added threat of turn and bounce soon had the batsmen coming and going.
The master – Rob Fisher had the ball on a string, beating both edges of a succession of bats. At the other end, the apprentice – Sophie Ecllestone was gaining bounce and turn and soon had her first scalp as she teased Moore out of his crease. ste Charles did the rest with quick glovework. Sam Baxter’s sharp pick up and throw accounted for Ughardr and then it was Fishers turn to get some wickets. He sent 3 on their way thanks to sharp catches from Ste Charles, Chris Wright and himself. 56 for 7.
Sophie Ecclestone then tempted her second stumping victim down the pitch and at 71 for 8 with just 4 overs to go the game was firmly in Alvanley’s grasp. Rain prompted an early tea and with the ground struggling to cope, much mopping up was needed, which Widnes did enthusiastically to their credit.
The umpired then decided that a rule existed that meant the game had to contain 60 overs and abandoned the game at 6pm. This error will need further consideration. There was plenty of time for a result to be found.
Fisher ended with 3 for 19, Sophie Ecclestone 2 for 22, in what was an all-round excellent fielding and bowling display.
14/05/16 v Lindow. ACC 154/9, LCC 156/6. Lose, 6 points [scorecard]kindly sponsored by Leadership Support for Schools
Alvanley’s first poor performance of the season left them with their first defeat against a spirited Lindow XI.
Batting first on a bouncy pitch, Alvanley lost Jimmy Ecclestone early to an excellent slip catch. Mike Rowlands and Ste Charles went about a rebuild but Charles clothed a pull shot and when Chris Wright followed him back to the pavilion, Alvanley were under the cosh at 34 for 3. Sio Gee has felt good this season but has found ways of getting out. Again hew looked in fine fettle and he, in tandem with Rowlands began to take charge. The score looked promising at 83/3 but less so at 83 for 4. Rowlands had done the hard work getting to an excellent 46 but rather gave it away, top edging a sweep. Gee followed soon after for a welcome 39.
The rest of the inning went nowhere fast! Ian McDermott glued things together with a gritty 23 not out but nobody else (unusually) contributed. The innings fizzled out at 154 for 9. 40 short of par at least.
Chris Charles sparkled (as ever) with the new ball but lacked luck as he beat both edges time and again. He finally did for the obdurate O’Brien, expertly taken at 2nd slip by Sam Baxter. Rob Fisher came on early from the field end and soon removed Robinson and Taylor with some wiley left arm spin. Lindow were getting stuck also and a further Fisher victim left the visitors 64 for 4 of 27 overs. Venables looked unsure at first, but decided that attack would be his best option, launching 3 big sixes to turn the game in Lindow’s favour. A further twist came when the excellent Rowlands broke the 5th wicket stand by removing both partners. With 30 needed it was anyone’s game but the lower order were up to the task and Lindow ran in by 4 wickets in the end. Rowlands ended 2 for 34 while Fisher grabbed 3 for 31
The batters need to return to their higher standards at Widnes on Saturday, as Alvanley strive to break back into the top two.
07/05/16 at Middlewich. ACC 245/5, MCC 150/8. Draw 14 points. [scorecard]
Alvanley’s excellent start to the season continued with a dominant performance at Middlewich which saw them emerge 14-5 from a winning draw.
Middlewich invited Alvanley to bat first on what looked a flat slow track. Jimmy Ecclestone fell early to the seaming new ball and it was to prove a stuggle for the top order as the bowlers found enough movement to keep their tails up. Mike Rowlands and Ste Charles fought hard and and advanced the score to 52 before Charles edges behind When Rowlands fell just before drinks at 72 for 3, the game was well in the balance, with Middlewich’s slower bowlers maintaining good control. Rowlands should though be applauded for a patient and skillful 45. Si Gee and Ian McDermott followed soon after drinks and Alvanley were in trouble at 84 for 5 with just 22 overs left.
Chris Wright looked in tip top form and when he was joined by Andy Bennion the tempo lifted as cheeky singles were taken aplenty. They managed to score consistently at around 5 an over and were looking at setting around 190 as they both closed in on 50s. Wright’s second 50 of the season came off 57 balls and Bennion’s off 70.
The last 5 overs arrived with the score on 181 and suddenly the pair changed gear. They flayed the bowling to all parts adding 69 runs in those final 5 overs. Bennion charged to an imperious 99 not out (5 sixes) while Wright can be well satisfied with 62 not out. The pair added 161 unbeaten runs in 22 overs to take the score to an improbable 245/5.
Kenny Roberts got Alvanley’s bowling effort off to a great start bowling Webber and Boyle in his first two sets of six. Chris Charles was miserly and unfortunate at the other end and gave way early to spinner Rob Fisher as spin seemed to be the way forward. Fisher struck soon after and sent down five maidens to boot to start his spell. 36 for 3 became 64 for 4 as Fisher again rattled the pads in front of the stumps. Overs were running out though. Middlewich were showing plenty of fight and were proving hard to dislodge. Ste Charles got rid of the obdurate Parry and with hope fading Chris Charles returned to inject some hope with two quick wickets. Another Fisher scalp set up a tense finish but despite huge efforts from the Alvanley team a draw ensued as Middlewich closed on 150 for 8. 14 points for Alvanley will soften the disappointment. Fisher topped the stats with 3 for 29 off 15 testing overs.
Toft next on Thursday in the Cup and then Lindow visit Alvanley on Saturday
30/04/16. v Barrow is kindly sponsored by Leadership Support for Schools. ACC 163/8, BCC 102ao [scorecard]
Two games and two convincing wins for Alvanley as they share top spot with Widnes following their second 25 point haul.
Barrow won the toss and chose to bowl on a remarkably dry pitch considering the rain. The outfield however was a different story and run scoring was going to prove to be very difficult. Will Speakman was undone by the swinging ball in the 3rd over but a solid platform was then built as Mike Rowlands and Ste Charles dug in until the 14th over when Charles tried to break the shackles but picked out mid off. 19/2
Last week’s top scorer Chris Wright joined Rowlands and the pair added 34 before Rowlands vigil ended for 20 off 84 balls. 52 for 3 off 29 overs spelled trouble but Alvanley do bat deep. Gee followed a run later, adjudged LBW so Andy Bennion joined Wright. The pair immediately looked to score rather than survive and took the score to 73 when Wright perished on the edge for another well compiled inning of 34. 73/5.
Then came the match changing stand. Sam Baxter joined Bennion and the pair pushed the field back with aggressive intent and then expertly ran ones and two to post 54 in 11 overs. Baxter fell for 17 and with 5 overs left the score still looked precarious at 127/7. Bennion and Charles stepped on the accelerator, both hitting huge sixes and boosting the score to 163 – a very decent score considering the slow outfield. Bennion ended on 52 not out of just 54 balls.
Barrow’s reply began with runs leaking at Roberts’ end as he struggling to find his line at first. At the other end Chris Charles was extracting bounce, swing and seam movement that eluded most of the other bowlers. His outstanding opening spell accounted for De Silva for 0, well held at second slip by Baxter. 31 were then added by Reid and McClements before the latter inside edged to the waiting Gee. Barclay soon followed, giving Charles a third scalp caught & bowled. Better was to come as Reid edged Charles to his brother Steve at 3rd slip and at 45 for 4, barrow were in trouble. Charles then grabbed his ‘5-for’ with a beauty of an inducker. Rob Fisher was growing into his spell at the other end and a wicked arm ball trapped Hughes in front at 53/6. He then found Morrison’s edge, the catch very well taken by keeper Gee. Some resistance then followed by Harrison-Hooton and Dwyer until the former edged Fisher into Bennion’s hands at slip. Allen didn’t read Rowlands’ googly and wandered out of his ground, Gee did pick it though and took a wonderful stumping – the ball had traveled between pads and stumps!
Mal Barrow and Lee Dwyer looked like they might just pull off a draw, taking the game to the 48th over but the returning Roberts find his line and the edge of Dwyer’s bat to the grateful Gee (4th victim for him) to complete the win. Chris Charles ended with a superb 5 for 21 off 13 overs, Fisher 3 for 19 of 15 overs and Mike Rowlands 1 for 6 off 5.
A gritty performance from Alvanley with a large number of players contributing. Middlewich next
23/04/16 at Congleton. ACC 228/9, CCC 109ao. Win 25 points [scorecard]
A cracking start to the season for Alvanley saw them run out winners by a huge 119 run margin at Congleton.
Chris Charles won the toss and elected to bat first on a dry pitch under blue skies. Mike Rowlands and Will Speakman opened up and had to endure some seam movement with the new ball. This early seam movement in fact accounted for both of them as Rowlands nicked to the keeper and Speakman was bowled after looking in crisp form. 14 for 2.
Chris Wright joined Ste Charles to make his Alvanley debut and was away immediately with a four. This was a sign of things to come as Charles nudged singles while Wright played an array of shots. He raced to a 41-ball 50 with deft cuts and powerful clips to leg. The pair went past a century stand at better than a run a ball as Congleton tried a range of bowling options. Charles playing exquisite shots as always nailed down a fifty too and the pair looked to be taking the away team to a monstrous score before Wright holed out at deep extra for a wonder debut 74. This included 5 sixes. This 3rd wicket pair added 129 and were to be reunited soon after as Charles missed a turning ball. Indeed the turning ball became an influential feature of the game from hereon. Alvanley lost a clutch of wickets to Copeland and were flirting with parity at 160 for 7 off 34 overs.
Chris Jones, in at 7 was joined by his captain and the pair began to rebuild. The skipper was in fine touch, playing Copeland with ease in striking 24 in 21 balls. The pair took the score to 194, but crucially there was still 10 overs left when Charles holed out. Andy Martin was up for some diligent blocking, taking the innings to the 46th over, when he was yorked, it was left to Jones and Kenny Roberts to get the team to 50 overs. They did it by taking a single of nearly every ball – highly intelligent batting. Roberts ended 13 not out and Jones a highly valuable 27no. 228 was a very decent score.
Congleton began their reply well, posting 37 for the first wicket but never really scoring quickly enough to alarm Alvanley. Chris Charles ended this stand by removing Leese with a snorter and followed up by rearranging Aussie Scowan’s timbers soon after. The early introduction of Rowlands was a masterstroke. He struck early and was bowling with great control to intelligent fields. 56 for 3 became 57 for 4 as Charles set a trap for Goode which he obligingly complied with – brother Steve taking a crisp catch. Andy Martin weighed in with two valuable scalps – bowling accurately for his 2 for 13. With Rowlands grabbing another the scene was set for Ste Charles to finish the job. His 3.4 overs saw him trap 3 for 11 and next Saturday he will get the chance to complete a hatrick as he bowled Copeland first ball to complete the rout with 10 overs and 119 runs to spare.
Rowlands ended with 2 for 29 off 15 frugal overs and Chris Charles 3 for 26 of his 12.
Barrow next at Alvanley on Saturday while Corwen visit on Sunday in the Village KO.
21/01/15 – Village KO draw 2016