Leek clinched their second premier division championship in successive years with a winning draw against Knypersley. Nadeem Malik (50no) hit an unbeaten half century as Leek posted 197-5 from their allotted overs. In reply Knypersley got off to a terrible start falling to 31-5 but Tom Edwards’ 84 rescued his side as they closed their innings on 128-6, while Greg Willott collected 3-13 from 15 overs. The winning draw was enough for Leek to defend their title finishing two points clear of Stone.
Stone did all they could, picking up maximum points away at relegated Audley winning by 92 runs. The visitors declared after 49.3 overs with the score on 223-7, James Dawson top scoring with 82, while Andrew Johnson was the pick of the bowlers for Audley with figures of 4-52. In the second innings Dries Nell took 8-37 as Audley were dismissed for 131 inside 41 overs.
Checkley finished in third with a 56 run victory at home against Burslem. The home side’s captain Michael Allen top scored with 64, helping his side set Burslem 223 to win. In response the visitors lost wickets in clumps unable to get a real partnership together being bowled out for 166, Joshua Pieters hitting 66. The result means Burslem finish just above the relegation zone, while Checkley ended up in third.
Longton dropped to fourth with a five wicket defeat against sixth placed Porthill. After being put into bat Longton got off to a solid start with an opening stand of 119, Richard Holloway (65) and Michael Longmore (50) setting the base, but the innings fizzled out as they were restricted to 188-8, while John Hancock took 5-58. In reply Porthill chased down the total in the 55th over, Rao Ifthikar Anjum seeing his side over the line with an unbeaten 55.
Wood Lane beat Hem Heath by seven wickets. Liam Banks top scored for Hem Heath with 71 before they were reduced to 176 all out in the 39th over, with Elliot Maginnis taking 4-61. Deane Jervis (69) and captain Daniel Brierley (48no) were the main run scorers for Wood Lane, reaching the target in the in the 35th over, which leaves them in mid table.
Relegated Elworth beat Whitmore comfortably by eight wickets at home. Having reduced the visitors to 136 all out, Elworth’s Matthew Winter finished 71 not out as his side chased down the total in the 39th over. In the first innings Thomas Bates was the pick of the bowlers with 4-20, while Justin Mould hit 57.
Meakin secured the title despite being beaten by 32 runs at home against Ashcombe. Winning the toss and deciding to bat first the visitors closed their innings on 200-9 from their allotted overs, Rizwan Haider hitting 50, while Dave Edwards and Matthew Redican both took three wickets for Meakin. In reply Meakin got off to a fast start putting on 72 for the first wicket, Haydon Simcock smashing 51, but after that they lost wickets at regular intervals falling to 168 all out, Grant Roberts (4-28) the pick of the bowlers for Ashcombe. The result left them four points clear of Little Stoke at the top.
Little Stoke picked up maximum points against Cheadle beating them by 61 runs to seal their place in the premier division next season. Batting first Little Stoke were restricted to 159-9, with Josh Renshaw falling one short of his half century, while Steve Morgan collected figures of 4-43. In reply Cheadle only had Andrew Coxon (49no) to get to grips with the Little Stoke bowling attack, as Peter Turnbull (6-44) blew away the top order, before they were dismissed for 98.
Moddershall fell eight points short of promotion, despite dominating Sandyford winning by 170 runs away from home. Sam Moores (65) and Khalid Malik (50) weighed in with half centuries for Moddershall enabling their side to declare after 48.1 overs, posted 228-5. In the second innings Matt Goodwin (6-35) did the damage with the ball for the visitors, dismissing Sandyford for 58. As a result Moddershall finished in third place, eight points adrift of the promotion places.
Betley finished on a high, beating fourth placed Silverdale by 47 runs. Batting first Betley stumbled their way to 139 before being bowled out in the last over with captain Richard Bebbington hitting 54, while Mitchell Stokes took 4-27. Bebbington then collected figures of 4-41 reducing Silverdale to 92 all out.
Barlaston followed up last week’s victory with a five wicket win against away at Alsager. Mark Stanyer (5-46) and Michael Dyer (4-67) took the majority of the wickets for Barlaston as the home side fell for 168, Sean Price hitting 60. In the second innings Bronson Meehan (73no) guided his side over the line in the 46th over with five wickets remaining.
Relegated Meir Heath travelled to Blythe and came away with a two wicket victory. Having restricted the home side to 177, Jason Britton and Neil Crump both taking four wickets, Meir Heath recovered from a terrible start with the bat, to get over the line after 45 overs. Number 10 Ben Degg finished 44 not out while number nine Chris Mobley also hit 44.
Stafford are division two champions after a six wicket victory away at Rode Park & Lawton. Having won the toss and deciding to bowl first Stafford removed the home side for 132, as they fell from 75-0, while Oliver Stark took 7-52. Guy Seaton then guided his side to the title with 65 not out as they recovered from 32-2 to reach the total in the 35th over.
Newcastle & Hartshill picked up maximum points as they tried to chase down Stafford, beating Leycett by 166 runs. Jake Short (56) and Simon Wood (50) both hit half centuries for Newcastle & Hartshill as they set Leycett 238 to win. In reply Leycett were dismissed for 71 as Nasir Malik collected 7-32, while his side finished six points behind Stafford.
Kidsgrove hung on to third despite losing by seven wickets at home against fourth place Caverswall. Batting first the home side never got going with the bat as they were all out for 126, with the wickets shared around the Caverswall bowling attack. In the second innings Jeandre Ludick smashed 80 not out to see Caverswall over the line in the 27th over.
Norton collected a 77 run victory at home against relegated Bignall End. After winning the toss and deciding to bat first Norton set the visitors 198 to win, with starts throughout the batting line up, while Simon Howle took figures of 5-57. In the second innings Norton’s Yasser Tariq (5-58) and Alex Graham (4-48) did the damage with the ball removing the visitors for 120 inside 37 overs.
Martin Dawson’s century was the stand out performance as his Weston side beat Endon by 133 runs. Dawson shared an opening stand of 156 with Chris Simpson (55), before Dawson was removed for 112 from 90 balls. Weston went on to post 273-6 from their allotted overs. In reply Endon had Alex Bailey and Jordan Weaver both hit 46, but nobody else made an impact with the bat as they were dismissed for 140, as Phillip Stockton took 5-19.
There was no play possible at Bagnall who were supposed to take on Oulton in their final fixture.
Eccleshall clinched the division three title with a 34 run victory against Stone SP. Having been put in to bat Eccleshall set the visitors 196 to win, Robert Lakin top scoring with 90, while Andrew Winfield collected figures of 5-43. In response Stone got off to a solid start with an opening stand of 115, Daniel Lunn hitting 89, but wickets then fell at regular intervals and they were eventually removed for 161, from 59.2 overs in an innings which consisted of six ducks. Victory means Eccleshall finished eight points clear of second place Woore.
Woore did all they could to chase down Eccleshall travelling to Wedgwood and winning by 136 runs. Batting first Woore posted 201-8, Taz Hussain (53no) and Muhammad Arshad (49) being the main run scorers. In the second innings the home side were blown away for 65, with only two batsmen making it into double figures, while Mark Bengry took 5-16.
Forsbrook beat Hanford by 23 runs in a low scoring game to take third place. Forsbrook were reduced to 112 all out in 38.1 overs, while Chris Mellor was the pick of the Hanford bowlers with 7-37. In response Hanford were removed for 89, Sean Bowers taking 5-18.
Crewe collected a five wicket away win against Church Eaton. Having removed the home side for 114, Phillip Marsh (5-55) and Shahid Mahboob (5-28) both collecting a five wicket haul, Crewe reached the target in the 42nd over, Mark Hurst hitting 39 not out.
Oakamoor beat relegated Norton-in-Hales by 39 runs. Recovering from 39-4, Oakamoor set the home side 151 to win, John Wood (41) and Phil Tomczak (43) rebuilding the innings. In reply Norton-In-Hales got off to a dreadful start falling to 13-6, but opener John Woodfield (34) helped his side recover to reach 111 before being dismissed in the 46th over, while Eddie Brookes took 4-18.
Fenton finished the season with a 70 run victory away at Leek & Moorlands. Having set the home side 174 to win, Fenton removed Leek for 103, Stephen Atkinson the pick of the bowlers with figures of 5-43. In the first innings Phil Hall (51) reached his half century before being run out.
By Tom Sherratt