The summer solstice marked the arrival of some welcome sunshine as North East Cheshire continued their maiden campaign with another set of positive results. Three wins and a winning-draw represented a good return with holiday season in full swing as both the 2ndXI and 4thXI remain top of their respective divisions.
1stXI v Runcorn
A stubborn Runcorn side denied the 1stXI victory at London Road after the Jets posted a daunting 225-7 in the first dig. New opening pair Charlie Dahlenburg (73) and Andrew Clarke (71) set the tone with a dominant stand of 119 that immediately put the visitors under pressure, only spin pair Rob Magee and DJ McNamara finding any success on a placid batting surface.
In the face of a more disciplined bowling effort, Runcorn’s approach was very much safety first after tea as they sought to repel the new ball. The North East attack combined to bowl 12 maidens but wickets were hard to come by until a brief flirtation with the required run rate saw Toby Carson (2-41) and Danny Willliams (2-31) share three wickets in the space of two overs as a result.
That was the signal for the visitors to officially abandon their chase, shutting up shop for the draw despite the best efforts of the six strong home bowling unit. 16pts represented a good day at the office though and a consolidated position in the top half of Division 1 approaching the half way mark.
Appleton v 2ndXI
Any concerns that the 2ndXI were light on bowling with some key figures unavailable for selection were soon extinguished at Appleton. Turning his arm over for the first time this season, Matt Wragg returned an astonishing 5-3 to help reduce the hosts to 15-7. That they recovered to 71 all-out owed much to skipper Dyson’s creative use of nine bowlers with Saul Gould (2-3) also enjoying a first 2ndXI spell of 2019.
Gould was then the only casualty of the chase as Adam Burgess (39*) and Alex Dickman (19*) combined for an unbroken stand of 62 and another dominant victory. The 2ndXI remain unbeaten and 23pts clear at the top of the division looking to kickstart the required ascension up the leagues.
Mossley v 3rdXI
The 3rdXI responded to a first home defeat last week by returning from Mossley with a first away win, and by an impressive margin of 215 runs. Sam Potter (53) passed 300 runs for the season with another half century with fellow opener Alex Oswell (85) also enjoying his work before falling 15 runs shy of a first career century. Dave Potter’s 41 and a late flurry of runs from Eddy Owens (20*) and Andy Welsby (18*) accelerated the Jets to an unassailable 262-7.
A professional job was completed after tea, the only negative arriving in the shape of an injury to captain Owen Johnson which forced him from the field. Brother Luke (3-7) and Ben Holbrook (3-0) decimated the Mossley middle and lower order, assisted by Andy Welsby (2-9) as the hosts were all out for 47 in 22 overs.
4thXI v Sale
A captain’s innings from Damien Mullany (46*) helped preserve the 4thXI’s unbeaten record and place at the head of Sunday East Division 2. After a positive opening from Saul Gould (20) and Chester Bowden (29) the Jets batting wobbled in the face of a Jared Moran five-for but the skipper’s innings helped post a challenging total of 140-7 in a game reduced to 30 overs per side.
Sale then had no answer to the opening bowling of Jack Chignall (5-15) whose first career five-wicket haul put the result beyond doubt. Whilst the visitors total was boosted by a generous 34 extras the Jets comfortably managed the innings, dismissing the visitors for 90 with further scalps for Nathan Warner, Ed Parkinson and Matt Mullany.
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