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Oxton suffer sticky patch

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Thirteen of the 18 matches scheduled for Saturday made starts, a tribute to the magnificent work of the Chapel Press Cheshire County League’s hard-pressed and hitherto unsung groundsmen and their helpers.

For the umpteenth time in this dreadfully wet and disappointing summer scores of people worked tirelessly from early morning to repair the ravages of Friday’s monsoon-type rain to see that so much cricket was played.

Possibly the worst-hit ground is Alderley Edge, which is in such a serious condition that no cricket has been played there for 10 days, including the first day of Cheshire’s Minor Counties match against Dorset on Sunday.

Macclesfield moved up to second spot only two points behind ECB Premier League leaders Oxton when they recorded their third successive victory, by 41 runs at Hyde.

Macclesfield Khalid Sawas

Macclesfield's Khalid Sawas made 137

Their hero was again Khalid Sawas who scored a magnificent 137 including 11 sixes, his third century of the ‘summer’ in a tally of 266 for nine, helped by Rob Porter, 43 and Andy Hodgkinson, 38. Chris Tipper took 4-46 from eight eventful overs.

Danny Berry, 78 and John Ashley, 51 batted well for Hyde, but with skipper Cutbill in barnstorming form with a 6-35 return, Hyde were ousted for 225 to suffer their fourth defeat – as many as all last season.

Leaders Oxton are having a sticky patch. They lost at home to Toft by six wickets after posting another under par score of 117, Chris Davies 44, Jimmy Lomas 6-53 off 23 overs. Andy Bones, 43 and Jake Hancock, 32, steered fast-improving Toft to a spot in the top half of the table.

Chester Boughton Hall sent Urmston to the foot of the chart with another impressive performance at Filkins Lane. They bowled Urmston out for 129, Lewis Jackson 49, the tireless Alex Kegg returning figures of 25-8-59-6. CBH replied with 132 for three, Warren Goodwin confirming his full recovery from a serious hand injury with a solid 49.

Widnes moved off bottom spot with a four wickets win in the day’s lowest-scoring game, at Neston, whom they despatched for 97, Andy Roberts 37. Three wickets each went to Ben Moore, Mike Nalesnyik and Ben Williams. Widnes struggled to 99 for six helped by Ian Spencer’s cameo innings of 21, while Chris Finegan claimed 4-39.

Marple were unable to celebrate their return home with victory over Alderley Edge, but emerged with a 10-5 draw from the 100 overs game.

Proud new father Andy Hall top scored with 53, aided by Garry Cash 52 and Jimmy Ormond 37 in Marple’s 178 for eight, Mark Warnes 3-55, Jason Whittaker 3-80.

Alderley needed their last pair – Warnes and Chapman – to hold out for four overs to close on at 135 for nine after Alan Day had top-scored with 67. Three wickets apiece were taken by Andy Wylie, Ormond and Andy Greasley.