IT was a rewarding weekend for Stone CC firsts who remain clear leaders of the North Staffs and South Cheshire premier table.
The Lichfield Road are enjoying a good start to the 2014 campaign and, while many rivals were denied a result this week by Saturday’s wet weather, Stone took full advantage.
Stone extended their unbeaten start to eight matches with a six wicket win at home to mid-table Porthill Park.
Fellow undefeated Knypersley also managed a result and stay eight points down on the leaders, but third place Little Stoke slipped to a second league defeat and are now 28 points adrift of their neighbours.
Twenty four hours later, Stone firsts kept up the good work with a four wicket Talbot Cup second round victory over third division Bignall End.
In the league match, Stone elected to bowl first and after steady start, reaching 82-3, Porthill fell away, losing six more wickets for the addition of only 33 runs as they finished on 115-9 after 37 overs, with George Hawbrook taking 3-22.
In reply, Stone reached the required target for the loss of just four wickets with ames Dawson hitting 29, captain Richard Harvey (28no) and Dave Womble (24no).
Stone also chose to bowl first against Bignall End in the Talbot Cup and the lower league side were well served by opener Andy Howle (31) and Harry Jones (37) as they made 142 all out in just over 41 overs.
Although Stone lost Dawson before he had managed a run, Liam Hickey (42) and Dan Lunn (29), with support from Luke Cheadle (18) and Russ Ballard (19no) helped Stone reach the mark for the loss of six wickets.
Stone will defend their unbeaten tag at home to fifth place Whitmore this Saturday, while Little Stoke take on Checkley (both 1pm).