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Carr steers Checkley to bigger lead

Checkley increased the gap at the top of the North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Cricket League to ten points with a 57 run victory over Audley.

After being asked to bat first, Checkley’s Andy Carr carried his bat finishing on 90 not out, guiding his side to post 182 for eight, while Tom Oaks collected figures of 4-59.

In reply the struggling Audley lost wickets at regular intervals finally being dismissed for 125 in the 48th over with Richard Cooper taking 5-55. The win leaves Checkley 10 points above Longton who moved into second place.

Longton moved up the league, beating basement side Elworth by 65 runs. After recovering from 29 for three, Longton scrambled their way to 144 for nine, as Yasir Ali, Thomas Bates and Christopher Winter all took three wickets for Elworth.

In response Elworth never got going with the bat, being reduced to 79 all out, Chris Hampshire the pick of the bowlers for Longton with 4-26. Defeat leaves Elworth stranded at the bottom 35 points adrift of Audley and safety, whereas victory puts Longton into second place, 14 points clear of Porthill.

Porthill could only manage a winning draw on their travels against Burslem. Batting first with runs throughout their line up Porthill posted 219 for nine, Rao Ifthikar Anjum top scoring with 59 not out. In the second innings the home side closed their innings on 201 for eight after 55 overs, Kevin Mountford (50) hitting a half century.

With the draw Porthill sit 24 points behind top of the league Checkley, as Burslem move to 18 points clear of the drop zone.

Knypersley lost for the second week running, beaten by six wickets away at Stone. After being put into bat Knypersley had starts in the top order but nobody could go on, Dan Ball top scoring with 46, as his side closed on 176 for six.

In reply James Dawson carried his bat with 93 not out, supported by Phillip Cheadle (51), as they recovered from 0 for one, to reach the total in the 44th over, with six wickets remaining. Knypersley have slipped to 26 points behind Checkley, while Stone are 29 points adrift.

Leek’s nearly season continued, with their fourth winning draw of the campaign against strugglers Wood Lane. Tom Steele (75) and Alex Thompson (57) hit half centuries for Leek being the main run scorers as they were reduced to 198 all out in the 54th over, Elliot Maginnis (5-49) collecting a five wicket haul.

In response after a solid start Wood Lane lost wickets at regular and fell to 132 for nine with Thomson taking 5-35 putting Leek in control. Maginnis then pushed his side over the 150 mark for an extra point, closing their innings on 151 for nine, leaving Wood Lane just four points behind Audley and safety.

Whitmore could only manage a winning draw at home against Hem Heath. The home side were put into bat and were restricted to 186, with Hem Heath sharing the wickets around the bowling attack. In the second innings the visitors clung on to a draw closing on 154 for nine9.

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