Oxton lead squeezed by Hyde

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The Chapel Press Cheshire Cricket League continues to throw up weekly surprises and Saturday was no exception with leaders Oxton losing heavily at home to mid-table Alderley Edge to have their advantage trimmed to four points.

Oxton’s batting let them down after being inserted and only Simon Stokes, 35, looked the part against the menace of Jason Whittaker, 4-35 and Zaymn Chapman, 3-31 in an inadequate tally of 113.

Jason Whittaker

Oxton struggled against menacing Jason Whittaker

Alderley Edge knocked off the runs at 114 for three in 34 overs, Calum Rowe 32, Adam Worrall 25 not out.

Another club who have never won the premier title Hyde beat bottom team Urmston by three wickets after a late start at Werneth Low.

Urmston batted decently to total 186 for nine from their 45 overs, Lancashire Under 19 wicket-keeper Elliott Bullock top scoring with 49, while Chris Tipper took 5-77 and Scott Kirwin 4-53.

After a mid-innings crumble, Hyde recovered thanks to a doughty unbeaten 45 from wicket-keeper Mark Makin batting at nine, to close on 190 for seven but Matt Parkinson caused them trouble with 6-79 and not until the penultimate delivery of the game did Hyde scramble over the line.

Widnes pulled off a surprise six wickets win at Macclesfield to spoil the East-Cheshire club’s otherwise highly successful Open Day which attracted a large crowd, part of the game being broadcast live on Silk FM radio.

The match was a personal triumph for Widnes’ star new acquisition, 2013 Oxford University captain Samridh Sunil Agarwal, who celebrated his 21st birthday last week and could prove to be the difference between relegation and a safe placing.

Widnes Sam Agarwal

Widnes new star Sam Agarwal 5-62

As Macclesfield struggled to post 178, James Crosthwaite 44, Barney Cutbill 33 not out, Rob Keen 30, Khalid Sawas 30, Agarwal’s off-spin helped him claim 5-62 off 16 overs.

He then went on to score an impressive unbeaten 82 after tea, helped by Dark Blues teammate and close pal, Ben Williams, 43 as they replied with 179 for four. Spirited skipper Cutbill took 3-52, but his side had just not scored enough runs.

Macclesfield slip to third place, but remain one of handful of clubs who remain well in the reckoning for the title. This list theoretically includes Didsbury, now in equal seventh place 54 points behind the leaders.

Didsbury surprised Chester Boughton Hall at Filkins Lane when they dismissed their hosts for 124, the ever-improving Nick Anderson taking 4-54. His side replied with 125 for six, Paul Slattery 35.

Neston enjoyed the better of a high-scoring draw against Toft at Parkgate after posting 237 for seven, Luke Camden 83, producing another quality innings supported by Andy Roberts, 52.

Toft went well for a time - especially Ed Stubbs, 55 and Toby Drummond, 49 - but were eventually reliant on their last pair to hold out for the final three overs at 208 for nine. Aussie Chad Wilson, took 4-76 and Chris Finegan 3-44.

Heavy rain in the Stockport area on Friday caused the cancellation of Marple v Nantwich , the only league match not started on Saturday. Luckless Marple have now had five of the first 14 fixtures called off and reigning champions Nantwich four.