After opening the season with two defeats, Marple have recovered to such an extent that Saturday’s outstanding six wickets win at Grappenhall was their third in a row and moves them up to fourth spot in the VIVIO Chshire County Cricket League.
Just for once, the Marple spinners took a mauling at Broad Lane (Andy Greasley 1-88, Joe Cash 1-71) with Grappenhall piling up an impressive 259 for six, Josh McClelland 68 not out and Mike Sambell 51.
Marple were up for it and their outstanding 19-year-old Tasmanian Beau Webster struck 118 including 20 fours. He was aided by Mark Bennett, with 68 in a third-wicket stand worth 158, followed by Andrew Hall, 34 not out, in a response of 261 for four with six overs to spare.
Neston stay top with the only unbeaten record after outplaying Hyde at Parkgate, although they were unable to beat their east Manchester visitors in a game which started officially 15 minutes late with League sanction after a major motorway delay.
Neston’s batsmen took the Hyde bowlers apart led by the consistent Will Evans, 85, back from Australia Jack Smith, 70, and Luke Camden also 70 – off 53 balls. The hard-working Dan Cranmer claimed 4-86 and Tom Young 3-95. Hyde worked hard to keep their innings intact before closing on 196 for nine, Danny Berry 32, Dave Fitzsimmons 31, Paul Stimson 4-37, Andy Clarke 3-62. The points distribution was 15–7 in Neston’s favour.
Neston lead by 17 points from Chester Boughton Hall who beat Toft by four wickets in an entertaining game at Filkins Lane. Aussie Jake Hancock (72) and Pat Roberts (67) helped Toft close on 214 for nine; Jordan Clark 5-42. Warren Goodwin led the CBH charge after tea with a classy 93, helped by Clark 44 and a useful cameo 28 from Ross Dixon. Jimmy Lomas took 3-58 for Toft.
Three-times champions Nantwich emulated Marple by registering their third successive victory, by 55 runs at Alderley Edge after skipper Ray Doyle had hit 116 batting at six; no other batsman topping 30, with Jason Whittaker claiming 5-53.
Alderley were all out for 153, Charlie Reid 48, Jack Goode 4-35, Jimmy Warrington 4-64.
In another match which began late (by 20 minutes) due to motorway problems, Oxton moved away from the drop zone with an overwhelming 143 runs home victory over Bowdon, who are nothing like the side that won the First Division title last season.
Former Irby batsman Alex Hughes hit a best of the day 129 not out in Oxton’s impressive tally of 285 for six, with good support from Gayan Fernando, 41 off 25 balls, Andy Gibson (37) and skipper Simon Stokes (30). Gareth Edwards took 3-75.
Bowdon mustered a disappointing 142, Matt Foakes (66) again being their only batsman to last against fine bowling from Martyn Evans (6-31) and Fernando (3-44).
Macclesfield enjoyed their best points return so far (14) in a winning draw at Didsbury. Macc closed on 231 for six, Rob Porter a fine 88, Ed Bones 38, Ben Morrison 32, while off-spinner Simon Normanton took 4-83 off 24 overs. Didsbury got to 200 for eight promising all-rounder Normanton contributing 73 and Jonny Fawcett a key 28 to hold the innings together towards the close.