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Mellor's ton makes all the difference

It’s all change at the top of the North Staffs and South Cheshire Premier League after Leek's Alex Mellor hit an unbeaten century against Whitmore to earn them victory by eight wickets and pole position in the table with Checkley dropping to third.

Having dismissed the visitors for 166, Mellor guided his side to victory with 104 not out off 129 balls, finding support in Chris Beech (56). The victory puts Leek top, level on points with Stone and nine points ahead of Checkley.

Stone travelled to Wood Lane and came away with an 18 run victory. Winning the toss and batting first, Stone were reduced to 161 all out after 49 overs, with James Dawson top scoring with 63, while Samiullah Kahn and Maz Shah, both took four wickets.

In reply Wood Lane got off to a poor start falling to 39 for three and despite Daniel Brierley’s 66 they were bowled out for 143. The win moves Stone up into second place, while Wood Lane are just 12 points above the relegation zone and Audley.

Checkley were the big losers of the weekend, being comfortably beaten by title rivals Knypersley by eight wickets. Checkley were put into bat and were blown away for 51, Dan Cumming the pick of the bowlers with 5-19 from 14 overs.

Knypersley then knocked off the target after 15 overs, Dan Ball (27 not out) seeing his side over the line. The victory moves them within 20 points of Leek and Stone at the summit, as Checkley drop from top spot to third, nine points behind the top two.

Longton couldn’t take advantage of Checkley’s slip up, themselves being beaten by three wickets against Burslem. Batting first Longton posted 201, with David Fairbanks (48), Michael Longmore (45) and Richard Holloway (45) all making it into the forties, while Michael Brown took 4-72.

In response Burslem knocked off the total in the 55th over with Ateeq Kahn (51) and Kevin Mountford (50) both making half centuries. Burslem move themselves 20 points clear of the drop zone, while Longton are 21 points adrift of the top two.

At the bottom end of the table Audley were beaten by 60 runs away at Porthill. George Cairns hit 101, helping the home side to declare on 248 for five after 50 overs.

In the second innings Dan Hancock collected match winning figures of 5-17, dismissing Audley for 188 despite Hamza Siddique’s 58. The defeat leaves Audley 12 points behind Wood Lane and safety but 35 points above rock bottom Elworth.

Basement side Elworth were comfortably beaten at Hem Heath by eight wickets. Having won the toss and deciding to bat first Elworth were dismissed inside 26 overs for just 78, Muhammad Jahangir the pick of the bowlers for Hem Heath picking up 5-37.

Liam Banks (53 not out) and John Cheadle (26 not out) then guided their Hem Heath side to victory, recovering from 1-2. The loss leaves Elworth stranded at the bottom 47 points adrift of safety and Wood Lane.

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