By Tom Sherratt
Longton consolidate their position at the top with a six wicket victory against Whitmore. The league leaders won the toss and asked the Whitmore to bat first, and restricted them to 126, Craig Barker collecting figures of 7-47. In reply Tom Redfern (20no) and Stefan Rduch (11no) saw their side over the line inside 36 overs.
Knypersley closed the gap to seven points as they jump into second place, beating Hem Heath by 113 runs. Jake Thompson set the stall for his side with a fine 106, supported by opener Jonathon R. Cumberbatch (77) as Knyspersley declared with the score on 228-4 after 53 overs. In the second innings Hem Heath lost Mathew Hagan with the first ball and it didn’t pick up as they were dismissed for 115, leaving Fida Hussain stranded on 49 not out. Knypersley shared the wickets around but it was Kevin Cockerton who collected 4-23.
Checkley remain in third, after they successively chased down 200 with five wickets remaining at home against Porthill Park who drop to fourth. John Hancock (50) top scored for the visitors as they posted 200-6 from their 55 overs. In response Checkley got off to the perfect start with an opening stand of 168, Josh Cartledge being dismissed for 94 as Nick Hunt played the supporting act. The home side then lost a few wickets but Hunt (69no) and Dan Knight (15no) guided their side to the target.
At the other end of the table Wood Lane picked up another crucial victory to move away from the drop zone beating Elworth, who sit bottom, by three wickets. Samiullah Kahn took 5-30 for Wood Lane as they reduced the home side to 125 not out, captain Peter Barnett top scoring with 50. In reply only Jamie Jervis (43) got to grips with the bowling for Wood Lane, but Maz Shah, the only other batsman to make double figures, saw his side over the winning line in the 55th over. Elworth are now 16 points from safety.
In mid table James Dawson’s century wasn’t enough to prevent his Stone side being defeated by five wickets against Burslem. After deciding to bat Stone posted 208-7, as Dawson was dismissed late on in the innings after making 108. In reply Burslem had runs throughout the batting line-up; they used the full amount of allotted overs, reaching the total with one ball remaining.
Leek gained a winning draw against Audley. Chris Beech (77) and Alex Thompson (59) helped Leek post 227-6. In the second innings Hamza Siddique top scored for Audley with 68 as they closed on 181-8.
Meakin came out the victors in the top versus second clash against Cheadle by 206 runs. Late runs from Matthew Redican (76no) and Dave Edwards (28no) helped Meakin post 276-8 after they were reduced to 182-8. In response Cheadle slumped to 70 all out as they drop to fourth, with Meakin 14 points clear of Little Stoke at the top.
Little Stoke move back into second place with a seven wicket victory against Alsager, successfully chasing down 201. Alsager batted first and had an opening stand of 157, when Oliver Sadler was dismissed for (71). His opening partner Sean Price went on to make 102 as they posted 201-1. Little Stoke got off to a poor start in the second innings, losing Harvey Collins with the first ball and lost their second wicket for 53, but Peter Turnbull (94) and Naveed Arif (66no) stabilised the innings as their side knocked off the total inside 40 overs.
Moddershall moved into third with a comfortable 97 run victory against Betley. Batting first Moddershall’s Sam Moores hit 104 from 103 balls, finding support in Kashif Bhatti who smashed 61 off 38 balls, as they declared on 257-5 from 54.1 overs. Bhatti then took 5-52 with the ball, wickets were taken regularly after the first came with the score on 77; Betley were dismissed for 160.
Ashcombe sit 27 points outside the top two with a seven wicket victory against Blythe. Josh Johnson was the pick of the bowlers with 4-48 as Blythe were restricted to 149-9, Craig Grimley top scoring with 45. In reply Rizwan Haider knocked off the runs with 64 not out, being supported by captain David Proffitt (33no) after 31 overs.
At the bottom of the table Barlaston picked up their second victory in as many weeks, against fellow relegation threatened Sandyford, by five wickets. After deciding to bat first Sandyford were dismissed for 166, Tom Taylor taking 5-59 for Barlaston. Jack Davies again played a crucial innings for Barlaston with a run a ball 68 not out as his side chased down the total in the 47th over. They now sit 12 points from safety and Sandyford find themselves in the bottom two.
Meir Heath moved out of the bottom two with a six wicket victory as they travelled to Silverdale. Iftikhar Asghar collected figures of 7-38 as the home side were blown away for 92. Meir Heath then reached the target in the 34th over for the loss of four wickets.
League leaders Newcastle & Hartshill lost their first game of the season, unable to defend 245 against Kidsgrove, beaten by three wickets. Nasir Malik top scored for Newcastle & Hartshill with 65 as they posted 245-8. In response Zohail Zaroof (81) and Tom Lench (78no) were the mainstays of the Kidsgrove innings, reaching the total in the 53rd over, cutting the gap to just eight points.
Stafford were unable to capitalise on the leaders defeat, losing themselves to Leycett by five wickets. Thomas Sturmey hit 62 as his Stafford side set the visitors 245 to win. Chanaka Wijesinghe hit 110 for Leycett in reply, with others batting around him, Craig Barcroft hitting 52, as they knocked off the runs in the 55th over.
Caverswall stayed in touch of the promotion places with a 44 run victory against Oulton. Deciding to bat first Caverswall were all out for 216, Jeandre Ludick top scoring with 53, as Daniel Colclough collected figures of 6-68. It took caverswall 45.2 overs to dismiss the home side for 172, with Tom Phillips putting up resistance with 92.
At the other end of the table Bignall End came out on top by six wickets against Bagnall in the clash of the bottom two. Adrian Myatt blew Bagnall away with 6-25, reducing them to 88 all out in the 38th over. In the second innings Bignall End reached the target after 23 overs, leaving them 12 points clear of the opposition, but 17 points from safety.
Endon gained the winning draw as they travelled to Norton. They away side were all out for 180 in the last over, Tom Latham top scoring with 65 as Norton shared the wickets around. In response Norton fell just three runs short of victory, closing their innings on 178-7, Anthony Sheeran took 5-54.
Rode Park & Lawton comfortably beat visitors Weston by 83 runs. The home side needed late runs from Ben East (61) to reach 183, with Phillip Stockton and Martin Dawson both taking five wickets for Weston. The visitors then lost wickets at regular intervals in the run chase and were finally dismissed for 100.
Eccleshall were the victors in the clash at the top, beating Crewe by 37 runs on their travels. The away side posted 214-7, with captain Myles Coughlan top scoring and leading the way with 78, finding support in Jordan Wood (55). Coughlan then collected figures of 5-43 dismissing Crewe for 177.
Woore remain in second place with an eight wicket victory against Fenton. Mark Bengry (3-33), Andrew Kenvyn (3-4) and Taz Hussain (3-9) lead the way with the ball for Woore as Fenton were reduced to 73 all out. Woore then knocked off the total in the 20th over for the loss of two wickets, leaving them 18 points behind Eccleshall.
Hanford remain in the hunt for promotion picking up maximum points against Norton-In-Hales with a 112 run win. Chris Mellor hit 85 not out at number three, helping his Hanford side post 240-7 from their 55 overs. In the second innings once Hanford got through the visitors top four there was little resistance as they fell for 128. Norton-In-Hales now sit 14 points adrift at the bottom, while Hanford are nine points behind Woore.
Leek & Moorlands are second from bottom after losing at home to Stone SP by 37 runs. The visitors declared on 242-6 in the 50th over, Daniel Lunn (84) and Shafique Hussain (61) lead the way with the bat. In reply Mick Coxon’s 86 wasn’t enough to prevent defeat was they were all out in the 58th over for 205.
Church Eaton beat Oakamoor at home by seven wickets, leaving the away side 27 points clear of the drop. Oakamoor were asked to bat first and were reduced to 148 all out, Matt Carnwell top scoring with 46, Robert Hogarth and Matt White both took four wickets for the home side. Andy Greaves then carried his bat for Church Eaton with 51 not out as they knocked off the runs after 31 overs, with seven wickets remaining.
Forsbrook were victorious on their travels beating Wedgewood by 87 runs. The away side posted 234-5, Wayne Glover running out of overs for a century, finishing on 98 not out. It took Forsbrook until the 48th over to dismiss the home side, Stephen Pugh (5-30) and Andrew Jones (4-39) did the damage with the ball.