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Hyde stake claim for Cheshire title

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Hyde were the only club in the top nine of the Chapel Press Cheshire Cricket League to win on a day of high run-scoring as the season reached its half-way mark with temperatures up in the 80s.

They recorded their third successive victory, by nine wickets after bowling out wooden spoonists Bramhall for 84 (Tom Young 5-40, Rob Woolley 3-35) and replying with 85 for one in just 17 overs (Danny Leech not out 40).

This consolidated fourth spot for the Werneth Low team and gives them every chance of staking a claim for the title especially with leaders Neston suffering their second successive defeat.

This came when the Parkgate side were roundly outplayed at Didsbury who rattled up 212 for seven, Nick Anderson 53, Chris Finegan 3-62.

Neston were dismissed for 134, Cheshire’s new left-arm spinner Jonny Fawcett taking 4-63.

Toft remained second after amassing 310 for eight in a winning draw against a toothless Bowdon attack at Knutsford.

Bowdon were minus opening bowlers Adam Syddall, who looks set to miss the rest of the season with a badly-damaged shoulder and Lancashire’s Steve Cheetham, summoned to act as a net bowler for England at Old Trafford.

For Toft, Simon Hardstaff scored an unbeaten 101, Nigel Muirhead 77 and Adam Carolan 71, while spinner Gareth Edwards took 3-90.

Another Lancashire starlet, Academy batsman Jordan Clark was again prominent, scoring a quality 85 and with John Cooper, 57, added 134 for third wicket in Bowdon’s reply of 245 for six.

Their 11 points tally drops them to 11th place and the spectre looms of the club being relegated for the first time.

Oulton Park continued to work up steam after a bad patch, but couldn’t dislodge Urmston's tail-enders at Moorside road and had to be content with 16 draw points.

Rick Moore scored 68 and Ben Spendlove 51 in Oulton’s 267 for five declared, with Sean Clarence finishing with 3-75.

Urmston responded with 228 for eight, the outstanding Aussie Clarence contributing 78 and Nathan Dumelow claiming 4-79.

The day’s only other winners were lowly Nantwich who did their prospects of survival a power of good with an improved performance at Oxton after posting a modest 163, Rob Howell 52, Sean Moore 3-42, Mark Rowland 3-51.

The usually strong Oxton batting collapsed from 91 for two to 146 all out (Chris Davies 46, Lee Dixon 38) against the pace of Jimmy Warrington (6-43).

Former New Zealand Test batsman Lou Vincent pulled off five fine slip catches for the Dabbers.

Lou Vincent

Lou Vincent razor sharp in the field for Dabbers

Chester Boughton Hall looked odds on favourites to pull off an overdue victory against Alderley Edge at Filkins Lane all the time Maroof Khan was at the wicket.

But when he was out for a quality 68, Chester collapsed from 170 for three to close on 226 for nine, five runs short of Alderley’s pre-tea tally of 231, Jonnie Usher 58 not out, Ajit Ranjan 6-75, Trevor Fabien 3-78.

As a comparison to the mid season point last year, Bowdon led the Premiership with 220 points, finishing runners-up with 366. Second, 28 points behind on 192, were Oulton Park who went on to win the title with 389.

Macclesfield were bottom of the table with 99 points on June 27, failing to get off the bottom rung with a final tally of 203.

Widnes were mid-table with 152 points at the half-way mark, then had eligibility problems and finished 11th with 244, including a 60 points deduction.