Leek strengthen position

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Leek strengthened their position at the top of the North Staffs and South Cheshire Premier League table extending the gap over Wood Lane to 32 points after beating Hem Heath by 69 runs.

Alex Thompson dominated the batting finishing on 104 not out, while Alex Mellor hit 59, as Leek posted 224 for four.

Hem Heath then made a poor start with bat being reduced to 28 for four, but Mathew Bailey looked to rebuild the innings, but when he was out for 44, the score was on 116 for seven and they were finally dismissed for 155, Tom Steale the pick of the bowlers with 4-49.

Wood Lane’s title hopes took a blow when they were unable to defend 207 away at Longton.

The away side made a poor start and were reduced to 7 for two and lost opener Deane Jervis injured, but Ryan Hassett (53), Jeff Maynard (68) and captain Daniel Brierley (27) battled to rebuild the innings.

When Maynard was out the score was on 184 for eight and they closed their innings on 207 for nine, Longton sharing the wickets between the bowlers, Richard Hassall taking 3-65.

Despite losing Richard Holloway for a duck Longton never looked back, James Towle (80) and Michael Longmore (67) set the foundations for the run chase, they then lost a couple of quick wickets but Tom Redfern (18 not out) saw his side over the line.

Wood Lane look adrift of Leek 32 points behind and Longton are now 43 points away from the leaders.
Fellow chasers Porthill Park kept their slim title hopes alive, picking up maximum points at home against Stone, beating them by 21 runs.

George Cairns (85) was the mainstay of the home side’s innings, with only Ben Cotton (22) making it past the 20 mark, as Porthill were dismissed for 166, Andrew Winfield (5-30) and David Womble (4-34) took the majority of the wickets.

Stone’s innings then never really got going, but Matt Coxon fought back against the Porthill bowlers with 61 not out as his side were reduced to 145 all out, Ben Coxon being the pick of the bowlers taking 5-27.

The home side are now 40 points behind the Highfield outfit, with Stone in mid table between Knypersley and Checkley, in sixth.
Knypersley beat rock bottom Cheadle by four wickets at home, as Nayyar Abbas claimed figures of 4-14.

Knypersley won the toss and put the strugglers into bat, and after a positive start from the away side at 75 for two, wickets began to fall at regular intervals and Abbas took out the lower order, with Kevin Cockerton claiming 3-44 as Cheadle were all out for 133.

Knypersley looked to be in trouble with the bat but Abbas (38) stabilised the innings and Tom Goodwin (41no) saw his side over the line in the 40th over. Cheadle are now 54 points behind Little Stoke and safety.

Little Stoke managed to hold on to a losing draw against Checkley, with one wicket remaining, chasing 189. Checkley batted first and Daniel Spasic (61) and captain Andy Carr (48) helped their side post 189 for five.

In reply Little Stoke made a poor start being reduced to 54 for five, but Dave Ecclestone (50 not out) and Jack Phillips (34) rebuilt the innings and after 60 overs Little Stoke managed to hold on with one wicket remaining finishing on 172 for nine, Richard Cooper was the pick of the bowlers with 4-49.

Burslem gave the survival hopes a revival after beating Audley by three wickets, moving within a point of Little Stoke.

Hamza Siddique (47) was the only batsmen who put up any resistence against the Burslem bowling attack as they were dismissed for 91, Phil Adams and Michael Brown both taking four wickets.

In the second innings Burslem lost wickets at regular intervals but Brown (23) saw his side over the line with three wickets remaining.