By Tom Sherratt
Knypersley remain at the top of the table, ten points clear of Porthill after a dominant display against Elworth, winning by 115 runs. Openers Jonathon Cumberbatch (101) and Dan Ball (86no) set the tone for Knypersley after being put into bat, posting 197-1 from 45 overs. In reply Elworth never got going with the bat and lost wickets at regular intervals, being dismissed for 82, Dan Cummings took 5-26, while Nayyar Abbas collected figures of 4-14.
Porthill steadied the gap at the top with an equally impressive performance at home against Stone in a 137 run victory. Porthill got off to a slow start and slumped to 48-3, but John Hancock stabilised the innings with 123 not out, as they closed their innings on 200-5. In the second innings Stone then crumbled to 63 all out, Rao Ifthikar Anjum was the pick of the bowlers with 4-32, supported by Dan Hancock (3-18).
Longton slipped from second place, with a one wicket defeat at home against Checkley who moved into third. After the home side had work their way to 151-7, with Dave Wheeldon (40) top scoring, Checkley lost wickets regularly in the run chase. When the away side fell to 126-9, Longton looked in the driving seat, but Richard Cooper (41no) and number 11 Andrew Cooper (6no) set about chasing down the target. The total was successfully captured in the 55th over, while Craig Barker was the pick of the bowlers for Longton with 5-44.
At the foot of the table Wood Lane lost by two wickets at home against Whitmore. The home side were put into bat and were dismissed in the 54th over for 188, Deane Jervis top scoring with 49. In reply Whitmore got off to a steady start and looked in trouble at 117-7, but lower order runs were enough to guide them over the line with two wickets to spare. Wood Lane now sit 21 points adrift of Hem Heath and safety.
Hem Heath were victorious as they entertained Audley in a huge game at the bottom, winning by 86 runs. The home side were put into bat and managed to set Audley 197 to win, Fida Hussain top scoring with 40 not out. Audley’s run chase got off to a poor start being reduced to 36-3 and it never recovered as they were dismissed for 110, and sit a single point behind Hem Heath.
Burslem gained the winning draw as they travelled to Leek. The away side batted first and were dismissed for 179, recovering from 0-2, Nadeem Malik collected figures of 5-74. Leek then never got going with the bat and were holding on for the draw at the end of the innings as they closed on 107-7.
Little Stoke still sit at the top of the table with an impressive eight wicket win against Sandyford. Naveed Arif (4-20) blew away Sandyford’s top order as they were reduced to 25-5, Jonathon Barnett (33) and Mark Leese (23no) did start to rebuild the innings but they were dismissed for 107. In the second innings Joseph Smith top scored falling two short of his half century, but Richard Adams (35no) and Daniel Richardson (17no) saw their side over the line in the 41st over.
Cheadle kept tabs on Little Stoke with a seven wicket victory against Ashcombe. James Sellers collected figurers of 5-37 for Cheadle as the away side fell from 80-3 to 87 all out. Darren Plant at the top of the order then guided his side to the target in the22nd over with 32 not out as others played their shots around him for the loss of three wickets.
Betley sit third after a 72 run victory against bottom of the table Barlaston. With runs throughout the innings Betley managed to post 186-9, Chris Henderson top scoring with 46. In reply the home side were reduced to 114 all out in the 45th over.
Meakin slipped from second place as Alsager picked up a valuable victory, beating the away side by 44 runs. Sean Price hit 65 as Alsager were all out in the 47th for 147, while Karl High picked up 5-21. Meakin, despite Peter Wilshaw’s 58 were dismissed for 102, Gareth Rowe collecting figures of 6-45, being supported by Paul Newnes with 4-22. Meakin fall to fourth, while Alsager move three points clear of Sandyford and the relegation zone.
Moddershall beat Meir Heath by four wickets. Matt Goodwin and Kashif Bhatti shared the wickets both claiming five wicket hauls as Meir Heath were all out for 102. It took Moddershall 50 overs to reach the total, Khalid Malik top scored with 31.
Silverdale had a comfortable 127 run win against Blythe. Stephen Jones dominated the Blythe bowling attack as he smashed 124 from 113 balls, while nobody else made it into the 20s, as Silverdale were finally dismissed for 222. In response Blythe got off to a poor start being reduced to 21-4, and were unable to find a way back into the game. Mitchell Spencer (5-38) and Glynn Moore (4-30) bowled the majority of the overs for Silverdale as Blythe were all out for 95.
Top of the league Newcastle & Hartshill comfortably beat Oulton by seven wickets. The league leaders put the away side into bat and it soon paid off dismissing them for 69. Nasir Malik was the pick of the bowlers with 4-27. In response Newcastle & Hartshill reached the target in the 26th over, captain Simon Wood (28no) and Jonathon Gidman (11no) seeing the side over the line.
Stafford sit in second place with 69 run victory as they travelled to Weston. The visitors got off to a great start with an opening partnership of 102, before Gur Seaton was bowled for 53, and Greg Massingham soon followed for 57. Stafford built on their solid start and managed to post 233-6. Weston lost wickets at regular intervals in reply as they were reduced to 164 all out. Stafford are 11 points off top spot, with a two point gap to third place Norton, while Weston are just six points out of the relegation zone.
Norton remain in third with a seven wicket home win against Rode Park & Lawton. The home side restricted Rode Park to just 114, with only Jonathon Gallimore getting to grips with the bowling attack hitting 52, as Gimany Gregoire taking 5-24. It took Norton until the 29th over to knock of the target as Mark Graham hit 42.
Caverswall are just six points behind Norton after picking up maximum points with an 82 run victory against Bignall End. Most of Caverswall’s batsmen got starts without going on, but they still managed to post 190-8, Joel Quick collected a five wicket haul for Bignall End. Bottom of the table Bignall End got off to a slow start and never recovered as they were reduced to 108 all out from 58.4 overs.
Bagnall picked up a crucial 78 run victory as they travelled to Endon, moving to within six points of safety. The visitors set Endon 140 to win, after Asif Ahmed Khan had hit 48. It was then the Mathew Brazier show, as he collected figures of 6-15 from 13 overs as Endon were blown away for just 61.
Leycett beat Kidsgrove by four wickets as they successfully chased down 143. Tom Lawton took 4-47 as Kidsgrove were dismissed in the 48th over. Chanaka Wijesinghe then led the way with the bat for Leycett as he guided his side to victory in the 50th over with 7 not out after a middle order collapse.
Crewe stay top, with a 40 run victory away at Oakamoor. George Harding was star of the show, as he hit 48 in the first innings, helping his Crewe side recover from 2-2, as they were dismissed for 164, Eddie Brookes taking 5-40 for the home side. Harding then opened the bowling and collected figures of 5-71, as Oakamoor rebuilt the innings from 3-3 with Jack Hassall hitting 60. It was not enough to stave off defeat, his side bowled out for 124.
Eccleshall in second place comfortably beat Leek Moorlands by 154 runs. Nathan Hinton hit 69 as Eccleshall declared on 233-8 after 52 overs. Cameron Sinclair was the pick of the bowlers in the second innings as Leek were reduced to 79 all out. Eccleshall now sit five points behind Crewe.
Woore also kept tabs on Crewe with maximum points against Stone SP, with an eight run victory. Woore stuttered to 139, recovering from 45-5 Taz Hussain top scoring with 38, as Andrew Winfield and Wasim Kahn took four wickets each for Stone. In reply Stone got off to a poor start, Richard Whitehead steadied the ship with 72 not out, but ran out of partners as they closed in on victory.
Hanford eventually won comfortably at home against Church Eaton with a 50 run victory. The home side won the toss and decided to bat which at 34-5 looked to be the wrong decision, but Faisal Mahmood (52) was supported by Matt Lawrence (29) and Sam Clements (31no) as they recovered to 190, Matt Burslem was the pick of the bowlers with 6-38. Despite Andy Greaves’ 78, Church Eaton suffered a middle order collapse with four ducks as they were bowled out for 140.
Fenton travelled to Forsbrook and came away with a 98 run victory. Brian Simms top scored with 53 not out as the visitors set Forsbrook 176 to win. Eddie Plant then took 5-5 from 13 overs as Forsbrook were blown away for 77 in the 49th over.
Wedgewood secured a four wicket away win against Norton-In-Hales. The home side won the toss and decided to bat first, opener John Woodfield carried his bat for 58 as they posted 149; Adrian Lello Snr taking 5-51 for Wedgewood. The away side then passed the target in the 37th over, Oliver Holland top scoring with 59.