1stXI v Haslington
For the third time this season the 1stXI landed punches on runaway league leaders and cup finalists Haslington but came out on the wrong side of a result having failed to deliver the knockout blow. This was the most extreme example as superb opening bowling from Toby Carson (3-22) and Danny Williams (4-24) left the visitors at a perilous 28-7 and staring down the barrel of a result that would blow the title race back open.
However, the Jets have struggled all season to bowl sides out and this weakness was to the fore again as they couldn’t find the killer touch. Haslington added 99 for the eighth wicket, the only further dismissal, and saw out their allocation at 143-8 which would be a tricky task against after tea against a side boasting the two bowlers atop the league bowling averages.
Slipping to 8-3 with both inform openers failing to score left North East behind the game and wickets fell at crucial times just as any momentum looked like being wrestled back. They key dismissal was that of Chris Williams (49) who had played positively and was well set having taken the score into three figures. The 1stXI eventually subsided to a first defeat in two months, 119 all out and again left wondering what might have been.
Haslington v 2ndXI
The 2ndXI’s title procession rolled into Haslington under stand-in captain Andy Heath who was presented with a potentially tricky tie having been invited to bat on an uncovered wicket. The small boundaries of Sandbach School were well within range though and the top order hit out lustily to help amass 222-8, including 11 sixes as there were half centuries for Lyell Tweed (52) and Shez Mirza (59).
Simon Hare (5-21) then showed his enduring quality, taking his tally to 22 league wickets in just five appearances after tea. Returning paceman Alfie Jones (2-16) was an excellent foil in his first Jets outing as Haslington were quickly reduced to 48-9. A final wicket stand of 38 did restore some pride for the hosts but it was another dominant outing as results elsewhere helped extend the 2ndXI’s lead at the top.
3rdXI v Appleton
In similar conditions to the 2ndXI fixture the 3rdXI benefitted from winning the toss in helpful conditions and the skipper would back that up with his own performance. Owen Johnson (5-20) returned his best figures of the season to tear through the Appleton middle order to help limit the hosts to 89 all out whilst youngster Rory Caine acquitted himself superbly behind the stumps in his first appearance in senior cricket.
The chase got off to an inauspicious start as both Potter brothers were dismissed without scoring but that was as good as it got for Appleton. A partnership of youth and experience added an unbeaten 89 to take the Jets home as Cheshire U13s batsman Will Westerby compiled a composed 32* and John Johnson flayed his first half century of the season, finishing unbeaten on 55*.
4thXI v Elworth
An understrength 4thXI suffered a blow to their title hopes as they suffered a second successive defeat at home to Elworth. With much of the usual batting order unavailable they were dismissed from the penultimate delivery of their innings for an under par 118, father son duo Damien and Dan Mullany top scoring with 20 and 34 respectively.
Despite quick wickets for Andy Heath (4-18) a hard-hitting 38* from visiting skipper Sam Sherratt was the difference and the Foxes departed London Road with a 4 wicket win.
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