CHURCH Eaton CC firsts continued their excellent start to the season and made it two wins on the trot in North Staffordshire & South Cheshire (NSSC) division 3A.
Following up last week’s comprehensive seven wicket win over Oakamoor CC, this time the local side had to work hard in an enthralling encounter at Moddershall A.
Having been asked to bat first, the away side found it tough going in tricky conditions. Opener Andy Wood (31) played with more freedom than most amassing four boundaries and one maximum while Jay Arnold (35) battled hard and the pair were the principal contributors as CECC’s innings, interrupted by rain, came to a close on 101 all out off just 29.1 overs.
With such a small target to defend, CECC got off to an excellent start as seamer Jamie Wilmshurst (1-11) made a crucial early breakthrough.
From there on in, CECC were able to peg back the opposition on a regular basis as spinners Matt White (4-15) and Arnold (5-16) proved unplayable.
The pair bowling well in tandem caused a steady procession of wickets to fall as the home side slid to 63 all out off 36 overs.
CECC firsts will look to continue their recent early season form with a trip away to Stone SP firsts on Saturday. In the reverse fixture, a severely depleted CECC seconds slid to defeat by 88 runs.
Playing with only nine men, the home side bowled and fielded well to limit visitors Moddershall A to 163 all out off 49.4 overs with noteworthy contributions coming from junior Chris Guest (3-25) and the irrepressible Andy Richards (3-27). In response the highlight of the innings was a typically classy innings from opener Neil Archer (57no) who was left stranded as CECC fell away to 78 all out.
CECC 2nd XI played their second game of the weekend on Sunday at home to Leek & Moors in the Talbot Shield.
Having been asked to bat first CECC posted 209-8 off their allotted overs. Seamer Andy Hogarth posted a career best 51 in the middle order while CECC were also benefited from a late hard-hitting cameo from Tim Holdcroft (33no) to set a fine target.
In response, the visitors were pegged back to 130-4 off 25 overs before rain intervened. Leek & Moors advanced on the basis of a superior run rate.